Huge demand to make “Eye Opening Films”

We made 7 'Eye Opening Films' in 2016

Butterly Conservation: How to save butterflies and moths

Campaign Bootcamp: Anyone, Anywhere Can Win

Community of Arran Seabed Trust: Arran and the Sea: a community story


Fostering Network: We are not mistakes on pages

The Restart Project: Fixing the UK's Electronic Waste Mountain

Yorkshire Dance: We Danced

Making Eye Opening Films - the background

We received 280 applications in the response to our offer, emailed to every organisation we currently fund, to make a short film about their work.

We were offering 7 organisations the chance to make and edit a short professional film about their work with Day for Night Films, focussing on “something to share that others could learn from”.

It was a quick turnaround. We gave organisations 3 weeks to get back to us with a proposal, and we made a decision on the successful projects in a further 2.

Thank you to everyone who applied – we loved reading them. It is always a privilege to be reminded of what great work we are able to support, and a sobering reminder of the need and opportunity for change there is throughout the UK.

It was hard to make decisions, so we wanted to share our process to give those who were not successful some (we hope) useful feedback.

What did people want to make films about?

What did we think about their plans?

We rated organisations’ plans out of 5 - these were the average (mean) ratings:

What we loved:
  • Films that were “message first” – with a clear idea of what there is to learn from
  • Films that weren’t trying to reach too many different people – with a clear audience
  • Beneficiary led / devised / featuring films
  • Films with a clear potential impact

What we've learned:
  • Don't underestimate demand!
  • Put a time on the deadline where turnaround is tight
  • Allow more time to make decisions
  • Watch more video content created by applicants
  • We should collate the wealth of existing film footage already created by those we fund on youtube/ our website, and share it more widely.

What didn’t work so well for us:
  • Promotional films that would be nice to have, but where impact is unclear
  • Films with no target audience, which want to reach everyone
  • Films with no potential route to be shared
  • Films where funders are the target audience – are you sure they watch videos?
  • Films that are really a full length documentary
  • Using actors – real people’s stories are so much more powerful
  • Technical challenges - stock footage/sound/difficult location