An insight into filming a charity video overseas

I’ve just returned from two back-to-back filming trips to Uganda and India and it got me thinking about some the different approaches and challenges that come with capturing stories in a different country and culture – and particularly in places where they’re not used to seeing cameras and being interviewed. With this in mind, I’ve put together a short list of some of the challenges of filming charity video overseas and ways to deal with them:

1) Travel

Encouraging Community Involvement

Community involvement is central to Phoenix Community Housing. They’re different from the vast majority of social landlords as they’re resident owned and led and when we were asked to produce a film to introduce Phoenix, we wanted to ensure that their unique role in the community was central to the video.  The film showcases Phoenix’s people-centred approach and how they positively engage with people and projects in the community.  The video is targeted to current residents and employees to highlight the breadth of their work and encourage people to get involved. 

Increase supporter engagement with visual stories as they happen

Video is a powerful, engaging and effective tool for charities to visually tell their stories, promote fundraising events and encourage supporters to get involved. Great visual stories stir emotions and persuade audiences to take action, be it sharing, fundraising or volunteering.

Filming for Christmas under a hot sun

Extraordinary gifts

The sun was beating down from the African sky and a long dusty road lay in front of me to get to our destination. Just the sort of scenario that makes you think of…. Christmas!

Bringing International Development Stories to Life

At Purple Flame Media we specialise in telling compelling stories that provoke action and inspire positive change. Over the last 15 years we’ve worked with a number of international development charities.  During this time we’ve gained valuable experience of filming overseas and effectively bringing stories to life and a thorough understanding of what needs to be considered when filming for international development charities.  

Why Blue Skies Help Charity Video Training

Somehow, we seem to have got lucky every time we’ve run a training course – once again, blue skies and the prospect of a pleasant day heralded the start of a day’s training. Why is this important? Mainly because the courses we run are very hands-on - we like to get our trainees out and about to practise filming in a range of differing circumstances and not just be stuck in a featureless training room!

Sailing into the future

Splash! A big gust came in, the boat went over and Aaron was pitched head-first into the cold Suffolk coast water, hanging on to his glasses as he vanished under water. All caught on camera too, thanks to the various Go-Pros on the boat plus filming from the safety boat. Thankfully, within a moment, he was bobbing back to the surface and back on the boat.

Connecting Students with Worldwide Human Rights

Coffee pot at the ready, comfortable shoes on and the camera fully charged and memory cleared – it was time yet again to start the mini-filming and editing marathon at Truro School. This was the third year running that we’ve been involved in their end-of-term World AIMS programme -  two days focusing on world issues such as disaster relief, sustainability and charity. This year, the focus was on Human Rights – looking at freedom of speech, freedom of movement, modern-day slavery and gender equality.

Inspiring Volunteers to Make A Difference

It’s over 15 years ago since we first filmed in Peckham with local and national charity Habitat for Humanity and since then we’ve filmed both across the UK and internationally for them. A couple of years ago, we produced a film to show how they are reclaiming empty homes in London and recently we were approached to produce a new film to introduce the charity to volunteers on site. 

Promoting Inspiring Charity Partnerships

Our latest video for international development charity All We Can looks at how partnerships are at the heart of their approach.  The key objective of All We Can is to work through local partners who understand the need and context and listen and support local solutions and local people.  Positive partnerships give dignity and respect to the people they are serving and have real long term impact.


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