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The impact of documentaries

The Creative Crowd
The impact of documentaries
By Greenlit • Issue #10 • View online
Summer is here, and Greenlit is busy planning several great events we can’t wait to share with you. (If you’re a theatre-maker, be sure to scroll down and RSVP for our Fringe Mixer happening next week.)
But first: documentaries. Greenlit is lucky to have several documentary projects currently crowdfunding on the platform, including Veins of the Earth and Rockall: The Edge of Existence.
In this week’s issue, we’re talking with Veins of the Earth filmmaker Emily Hardisty about her passion for nature and the power of documentaries to inspire change.

An interview with Emily Hardisty, writer and producer of Veins of the Earth.
Emily has had several years’ experience as a wildlife presenter, filmmaker and vlogger for various conservation organisations, including the Cornwall Wildlife Trust, Rivers Trust and the Westcountry Rivers Trust. In 2021, Emily founded and began a wildlife vlogging Nature Trail series with the Cornwall Wildlife Trust, regularly featured on BBC Radio Cornwall.
Thanks for joining us Emily! Tell us about your film Veins of the Earth.
Veins of the Earth will be a feature-length documentary set in the south-west of England that will combine science and conservation with history, folklore and mythology to address critical issues with river systems, the shocking state of Britain’s rivers and rapid decline of freshwater species. 
However, we do not want to preach hopelessness and want to use this film to showcase what is and can be done to bring rivers back from the brink: the ecosystem-based approaches, rewildling success stories and the wonder of river species. 
Alongside this, through looking deeper into river history, folklore and mythology we aim to further portray just how connected we are to these precious waterways at different levels, how we have and continue to rely on rivers, as well as how rivers have influenced culture. 
When did you start thinking about making a documentary focused on river environments and how they’re currently being polluted?
I first came up with the idea for Veins of the Earth awhile sitting on a river bank after I had just finished filming a ‘river talk’ vlog for a local river conservation organisation. 
I am in total awe of the way rivers and river species connect and breathe life into other habitats. Yet, freshwater species are declining faster than those within any other habitat type and rivers are quite literally being ‘pumped’ with pollution. We need to do all we can to bring rivers back from the brink and give them space to breathe and flow, and we hope this documentary encourages others to do their part in protecting and conserving these precious waterways. 
Why have you turned to crowdfunding to help get this documentary made?
Veins of the Earth is the first feature-length documentary myself and the team have created together, so we decided to turn to crowdfunding to help us get our foot in the door and take the next step in the production. We aim to raise enough through our crowdfunding campaign to begin filming and create a proof of concept teaser which we will then use in our pitch to productions companies and broadcasters. 
How did you come to producing wildlife documentaries?
I have always been happiest spending time within the natural world, and always knew I wanted to do my part in protecting and conserving nature. I spent a large amount of time studying science/wildlife biology: I have a degree in Applied Zoology and a Master’s in Marine Biology. I only began venturing into the world of wildlife film and presenting just over a year ago, creating short wildlife vlogs/talks for various wildlife conservation organisations. 
You’re striving to make this a carbon neutral production, which is great! What steps will you be taking to minimise the environmental impact of making your film?
To minimise the carbon footprint of the film, production will be undertaken near to where our production team and contributors locally reside, in the south-west of England. Moreover, we’re keeping our paperwork for the production planning digital, so we can avoid using unnecessary amounts of paper. ​
Do you have any tips for other filmmakers on keeping their productions eco-friendly?
Food waste can also be an issue when it comes to sets, so reaching out to local restaurants to provide perfectly good food that would otherwise be thrown away, or providing food ordered through food waste apps for the production, can be another way to avoid generating excess waste. This is something we also aim to do during production for Veins of the Earth
Furthermore, providing tea/coffee cups and asking those within your team to bring their own reusable water bottles is of course another way to make your production more eco-friendly. 
Great tips, Emily. Lastly, what kinds of films do you want to see more of?
Those focused on the less spoken about, unknown, or underrepresented, and of course most importantly, the climate emergency and nature crisis. It is imperative to reveal and show the shocking truths, but alongside this, I feel creating films that also instil hope can be vital in inspiring others to take action.  
Thank you to Emily for chatting with us! You can learn more about Veins of the Earth on the film’s Greenlit page.
News & Opportunities from Greenlit
Pre-Fringe Mixer for Theatre-Makers
Going to Edinburgh Fringe in August? Based near London? Join us next week for our Pre-Fringe Mixer at the National Theatre’s Understudy Bar. Tuesday 7th June at 6pm. Free RSVP.
A Queer Night of Cabaret + Comedy for how to build a wax figure
Join November Theatre and the how to build a wax figure team for a night of Comedy, Cabaret, and Debauchery! Come and help the NT team fundraise for their premiere at Edinburgh Fringe, see some of the best comedy and drag acts on the London scene, and take part in their ‘verrrrrrry sexy raffle’. Book tickets.
Now Funding on Greenlit
Greenlit is proud to be collaborating with Edinburgh Fringe. A slew of productions heading to the Fringe are now funding on Greenlit. Bad Teacher is a surreal dark comedy about the trials and tribulations a 20-something female teacher faces in a Sixth Form College. One-woman show Up Her Sleeve recounts a young woman’s sexual revelations after she receives the diagnosis of a common ovary disorder. And how to build a wax figure is a queer love story about a wax sculptor and her mentor.
On the film side, we’re very excited about Kill Your Lover, a feature-length body horror from filmmaking duo Alix Austin and Keir Siewert, about a transformational toxic relationship.
I/Wanda is a dramatic short film that will explore climate crisis, male violence and, fundamentally, the hope for change.
Smile, starring the great talents of Sue Vincent and Catrin Stewart, is about a woman learning to fight back after a sexual assault.
We’ll be popping back into your inboxes soon with much more about Kill Your Lover and the independent horror scene. Stay tuned!
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