Our Earth | Charlie Stewart

When creating this piece I intended to provide an educational video for people who may not understand the severity of global warming in the form of a public service announcement  (PSA). A PSA’s purpose is generally to benefit the public, which in my opinion, complimented the piece’s purpose and encoded messages. I was inspired mainly by the amount of coverage the media dedicates to climate change and more specifically the prevailing theories and  opinions from people who don’t believe that climate change is a serious issue. A possible  reason for the confusion behind climate change is the fact that there are so many different messages and stories told through media that people may get overwhelmed or confused when browsing media content, specifically because of the high amounts of debate on whether or not it actually exists. To reduce some of the confusion, I portrayed the vast amount of media content all in one sequence, paired with the landscape shots of Hong Kong, connecting to it’s pollution levels but also acting as a representation for society because of the metropolitan’s densely populated reputation. This aims to bridge the disparity between what is heard on the news and what is happening in the real world. This is especially evident in the shot of Donald Trump on the big screen in Times Square as there is a visual juxtaposition between television news and the real world. I chose to use Donald Trump because he is commonly known as one of the biggest climate offenders. However there are still many other people who share his view from a more scientific standpoint such as Bjørn Lomborg, Patrick Michaels and Fred Singer just to name a few. Through further research I have found that most of their claims against climate change are opposed by scientific reasoning that is supported by 97% of the researchers in their field. So, in order to convey the importance of the environmental issue, I knew I had to include multiple sources of news/media to highlight its many issues. Having different sources of media help depict that even though this issue is ubiquitous around the world, it still hasn’t been as impactful as it should be on people and their behaviours. There were many technical decisions that were taken into account, especially related to editing and cinematography. I intended to start off the video by coherently and obviously displaying the message I wanted to convey. The heartbeat effect serves as a metaphor to personify the planet, allowing the audience to empathise with the struggles of the planet in an attempt to create a deeper understanding of the issue. Shortly after this, there is a message from Donald Trump, the president of the United States, dismissing allegations of climate change. I hope that due to the placement of this clip, (directly behind the aforementioned heartbeat clip) it cultivates negative feelings of anger or disgust towards nay-sayers of climate change. Furthermore, I wanted to include the sequence of the newspapers because I felt that it would further portray how much alarming and critical attention this issue is receiving in traditional news media to demonstrate the importance and weight of the issue. In addition, the inclusion of reporters’ voices discussing environmental problems adds another layer of media attention to this sequence as it displays that these issues are not only discussed in newspapers but also on the air as well, again encompassing the global scope this issue has. The video was intentionally kept quite short because it allows for greater spreadability. Additionally, it ensures that people who are watching the video are more likely to stay for the entire video, therefore allowing viewers to grasp a hold of the entire story. Lastly, I added captions and attempted to make it as aesthetically pleasing as possible to make it attractive on social media platforms.