charity marketing, Edinburgh Life, Film Production

Dip for Australia – Bushfire Relief Fundraising Swim // Social Cause Film

We’ve all seen the terrible scenes from Australia, where climate change inflicted bushfires are ravaging the country. Well when a client suggests doing a fundraising plunge into the North Sea, who are we to say no?

Adam Towler, a PT at CaveFit, who we produced a values film for, had spent years working in Australia and New Zealand and felt like he needed to galvanise support to help our antipodean family. Through sheer force of personality and good natured enthusiasm, he rounded up scores of folk willing to submit to the icy waters off the coast of Edinburgh including Olympic athletes, fitness models, cold swimming ladies groups and anyone unlucky enough to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The event has thus far raised over £1000 for the Australian Red Cross, to support communities affected by the bushfires, and is still going strong. To donate, click here.

I also made a quick video of the event, running around like a maniac between lighting fires to keep people warm and going for a swim myself.

Production Notes

It was too cold to hold people back once they were stripped off, so getting loads of good pre-dip footage wasn’t going to happen. I arranged with Adam to give a quick chat to the gang, partly to give it a sense of occasion (as everyone knew what they were there for) but also to give me a narrative for the film. Using the lightweight Rode Wireless lav got me clean enough audio directly into the camera and shooting handheld with a bit of deliberate movement for that section made the viewer feel like they were in the crowd, waiting to run in.

Switching quickly to the Ronin for the run in, then back to handheld and wading out into the water up to my waist, gave me the shots from that perspective and then a few tie in shots of the crowd warming by the fire wrapped up the shot, with one final shot of the fire being put out (which we would do anyway in order to leave no trace) served as a reasonable way of tying up the narrative.

To give immediate context, we used news footage from around the world to tell the story of the scale and ferocity of the bushfires. The selection of multiple countries was also deliberate, to show how big a global news story this is. Using snippets of news footage is legal under the “fair use” proviso of copyright law. You can read more here, but essentially, the clips are relating to current news events, are not photographs, have broadcast logos in place which should serve to sufficiently credit the source and only use an acceptable amount of footage.

All in all, it was a great day, fun to be involved in and did a good job of raising funds to help folk. Plus, this cold water swimming is quite invigorating.