Cats Protection – The Big Kitten Con
Cats Protection’s investigations have revealed that sick and underage kittens are being sold on social media and online. They commissioned us to produce a ten-minute short-form documentary on the subject.
We produced this film end to end.
We began by storyboarding the narrative and producing an outline script. Key to this work was designing how we wanted the audience to think and film. We presented this initial work to Cats Protection for their input and sign-off before moving to the next phase.
With assistance from Cats Protection, we started to look for case studies. We strategically selected three that told the story from three different angles – knowing that each would appeal to different segments of the audience.
We filmed with each of these three case studies and also produced a set of photographs of each to be used by the charity in marketing and media opportunities.
One of the challenges of filming for Cats Protection is working within their guidelines for filming with cats. This means being meticulous about how you interact with the cat, being aware of how the cat is feeling and visually representing the cat in a very specific way. All footage and photographs are checked and signed-off by their vets so it’s important to get this right.
Another challenge was filmed against the backdrop of covid. But over the last couple of years, we have developed strong filming guidelines and we work very flexibly so we’re easily able to re-schedule shoots as necessary.
Our expert voices within the documentary are Maggie Roberts, Cats Protection Chief Vet and Jacquie Cuff, Head of Advocacy. We also secured interviews with TV vet Fabian Rivers.
Actor Caroline Quentin (Men Behaving Badly, Strictly) came on-board as the voice-over. We wrote the voiceover script and then directed the voice-over recording.
The audience for this documentary is millennials. We pitched producing a film in the style of a documentary that you would see on BBC3 with bright, bold animation and graphics. A film that would then translate easily to social media shorts.
‘Best film we have ever made’ say Cats Protection
“This film is really powerful, and completely on brief!”, Nicola Shepard, Head of Brand and Marketing, Cats Protection.
As I write this I’ve just had an email from Cats Protection who have just showed the film to their national wide staff – they said, ‘It’s the best film we have ever made.’
We are currently producing a minute version for cinema and a suite of social media shorts.
This film is yet to launch so we don’t have outcomes but we’ve included it as we are really proud of it and it showcases multiple skills.
The aim is to secure over 5,000 signatures on a petition to pressure the Government to regulate cat breeding.
Password to watch the film is: catsprotection
Million Miracles – Sightsavers
Sightsavers Million Miracles – the charity asked us to produce a live storytelling event across social media, newspapers & TV to launch their £50million flagship fundraising campaign.
32 million audience reach across television and newspapers
£10 million fundraised
Innovative live broadcast from Malawi
Google and The Telegraph as media partners
As a single-issue charity one of their key challenges is how to tell the same story of blindness and cataracts story over and over.
In order to gain attention from the target audience, generate media headlines and encourage donations we proposed a live broadcast of a cataract operation from a hospital in rural Malawi.
The live operation was the ‘hook’ into the story – and an invitation to then discover the accompanying suite of films we produced that enabled the audience to discover what life would be like for a blind person, to meet the surgeon, the health worker and discover how life is changed by a seven-minute operation that restores sight.
Sightsavers Million Miracles – an audacious idea
Our concept for Sightsavers Million Miracles was to produce two LIVE broadcasts.
First, we would broadcast a cataract operation live from a rural hospital in Malawi, Africa.
A day later, in a second broadcast, the audience would witness LIVE the heart-stopping moment the patient’s bandages are removed and their sight is restored.
This live storytelling was designed to drive online engagement, generate media headlines and excite potential media partners.
To overcome the challenges of producing a LIVE TV-quality broadcast on a charity budget from an extremely remote and unconnected location – we designed a portable, multi-camera broadcast studio that fit in a single flight case.
With patchy electricity and no internet, we relied solely on a satellite connection powered from a Bgan (an ultra-portable satellite terminal) we put on the roof of the hospital. We secured sponsorship Google and in partnership with them we developed new ways of producing live web-based storytelling.
Finding the best case study
Finding the perfect case study in Malawi to drive the live storytelling event was vital.
With years of experience producing stories for national newspapers, magazines and television we know how to find the right characters and craft a story that an audience can connect with.
We were looking for somebody who had been blind due to a cataract for a few years.
Somebody who would see a family member for the first time once their sight was restored as we knew this would drive media headlines.
We found Winesi March, who had been blind for two years due to cataracts and had never seen his granddaughter, Luka.
We produced two live events.
A suite of six films 4-minute films produced and transmitted on location.
Photographs of all case studies and the live event.
Produced a film for high-net worth event.
Involved participation from school children.
Produced an influencer event.
Secured partnerships with the Telegraph and Google.
Cats Protection – A brand film
Cats Protection commissioned us to film a behind-the-scenes mini-documentary for their Christmas campaign.
Client: Cats Protecion
Generated over 8 million impressions – a 400% uplift over expected results
Generated over 81,000 clicks – a staggering 3,000% over expected results
Gave longevity to the campaign
Generated engagement and conversation with super fans and a new audience across social media channels
Telling a brand story with a behind-the-scenes film
Cats Protection commissioned us to film a behind the scenes ‘Making Of’ documentary of their Christmas animation produced in collaboration with world-class studio Aardman Animations, and star of ITV’s This Morning Holly Willoughby, who made her ‘acting’ debut as the voice of mum.
In addition, we also produced behind-the-scenes photography and a suite of films for use across social media channels.
The results were staggering. The film generated over 8 million impressions, which was an increase of over 400% on the predicted results. It also generated over 81,000 clicks through to the website, this was a staggering 3,000% per cent increase on the predicted results.
And the film is still performing on both YouTube and Facebook driving engagement and awareness of Cats Protection.
Storytelling for audience engagement
Our brief was to go behind the scenes and capture the collaboration between Cats Protection and Aardman Animations as they brought this magical tale to life.
As well as giving an insight into the creative process the charity also wanted to tell a more in-depth story of their work.
This included their campaigning work on the importance of microchipping your cat so all lost cats can find their way home.
Through extensive storyboarding, we were able to weave the two narratives seamlessly together to produce an engaging behind the scenes film that performed well above expectations.
Collaborating with Aardman and the in-house team
The success of this film can be attributed to the relationships built with Ardman Animations and the Cats Protection team. We really enjoyed working collaboratively with everyone involved and it enabled us to get the quality and volume of footage that we needed.
“As soon as we appointed Fieldcraft Studios, they quickly become part of the Cats Protection in-house team, getting under the skin of what we were trying to achieve, and contributing great ideas and suggestions to shape the project.”Judith Barnard, Director of Communications, Cats Protection
Elmley Nature Reserve
Capturing the breath-taking nature reserve across the seasons to produce a brand film and suite of content for social media.
The Elmley ‘experience’ captured on film
We spent a year filming across the seasons at the stunning Elmley Nature Reserve.
Elmley is a very special place – 3,300 acres of breath-taking wilderness on an island in North Kent. Still a working farm, Elmley have also created thoughtfully designed places to stay allowing guests to immerse themselves in nature.
We were commissioned to film Elmley’s spectacular landscape and abundant wildlife both from the ground and the air.
We also captured on film the range of accommodation across the reserve and the conservation work that takes place throughout the year.
We produced a brand film and video content for their website, alongside a suite of content for social media.
Guests visit Elmley to immerse themselves in the spectacular scenery and to relax and unwind in nature.
Our filming treatment reflected this Elmley, ‘experience’ taking the audience on a captivating yet relaxed tour of everything the reserve has to offer.
Filming the changing landscape
Elmley has a vast amount of freshwater habitat alongside the equally vast expanses of salt marsh and mudflats of the Swale. This creates a gigantic feeding area for waders and wildfowl throughout the year.
With every season we spent several days capturing the evolving landscape and wildlife. This involved early mornings to capture the stunning sunrise and sunsets.
We filmed Elmley’s accommodation and the food and drink from their Cowshed cafe during the warmer weather of the summer months. Working with models we captured the accommodation, the food offering and landscape scenes that give an intimate sense of the Elmley experience.
The films and video clips were produced to use on Elmley’s relaunched website as well as across their popular social media channels.