Show and tell: inspiring viewers through emotion

We used a very simple device in a short film we made for Teach First recently. We interviewed three teachers at a school in a deprived area in south London and asked them what inspired them about their pupils. We then surprised them with videos of their pupils explaining how their teachers have in turn inspired them.

This prompted very genuine, emotional reactions from all the participants, giving the film an emotional core that can’t help but inspire the viewer.

The film was for Teach First’s annual fundraising dinner, and has subsequently been used on its social media channels. Teach First is a charity that encourages highflying graduates to go into teaching, learning on the job, in some of the country’s most deprived schools. They are one of our favourite clients, and an organisation we’re proud to work for – you can see more of the films we’ve made them here.

The film was made over two days, and involved some swift editing overnight. The first day was spent with the students, gathering b-roll and interviewing them speaking straight into the camera lens. We don’t often shoot like this but here we wanted the teachers and viewer to feel the students were talking directly to them. The second day was spent with the teachers, interviewing them in a traditional way but also using a laptop to show them the student interviews.

The results were exactly what we wanted: an engaging film that made its point with emotion. We were able to demonstrate to the people helping to fund Teach First how important the work they’re enabling is, and the positive effect it’s having on communities facing a lot of challenges.