AimHi Earth is on a mission to transform global understanding of climate and nature and boy do they mean it. As a team of scientists, creatives, teachers, and general outside-the-box thinkers the team spends their time coming up with imaginative ways to engage and inform people about climate and nature, but more importantly, they think of ways to help people make a difference themselves. Over the month of October and September we, the Here Now Films team, had the pleasure of helping AimHi Earth film their new live Climate and Nature series from the midst of the Tropical rainforest biome at The Eden Project, Cornwall.
Inform, engage and excite
So, what’s it all about? Well, education isn’t always about reinventing the wheel (although AimHi and Eden both give this a good bash too), it’s about taking everything that’s worked before and exploring new ways of putting it together to inform, engage and excite people. That’s exactly what AimHi Earth does, they blend one-to-one live tuition, live annotations of graphs and imagery, guest speakers, and celebrity Q&As to take their audiences through hard-to-navigate topics in a light-hearted manner with a ‘no such thing a stupid question’ approach.
Simple and complex
As the filmmakers on the ringside view, we watched a number of optimistic climate and nature stories from the simple story of CO2 through to the complex issues of the modern-day. At any one time, there are two people leading a lesson, one in front of the camera, and the other off-camera – this job was complex and involved annotating and directing the mixed media of graphs, photos, and clips that presenter in front of the camera was discussing. Toping it all off each lesson ended with a surprise celebrity guest (I mean really, Sylvia Earl, world famous conservationist, and explorer kicked off lesson one…) who would speak about their own concerns and would even answer questions to the budding pupils spread out across the UK.
Filming live is no small feat and doing live lessons from the world’s largest captive rainforest has been testimony to the skill and organization of the AimHi team. Arriving at 7am at the buildings behind the giant tropical biome we unload a van of cameras, lights, sound gear, tables, wires, screens, and auto queues into the open arms of the AimHi team. At this time of day, the biomes are completely empty, no visitors, no staff. We enter through a back door. The first thing you notice is the humidity followed by a wall of smell and taste, the sound of the waterfall fills the distance. We follow the paths through sugar cane and oil palm, beneath towering bamboo, and through rice paddy fields. All the plants that fill the lessons of the AimHi Nature & Climate course. Ten years ago, broadcasting live video would be in the hands of only powerful media giants, today we set up with nothing more than a simple wifi dongle and live streaming set up used by your run-of-the-mill Youtube vlogger. This increase in accessibility to powerful communication tools is one of the most exciting prospects of the next ten years as many companies, just like AimHi, look to connect on a deeper level with their audiences.
A new way of connecting
These lessons are the beginning of something big for AimHi as they look to put their stamp on the educational world. Things are looking bright, very soon they will find themselves at the exclusive COP26 where they will broadcast a lesson to classrooms across the whole of the UK through World’s Biggest Lesson. Live broadcasting is where many organizations are moving, whether live stories on Instagram or having live as your core business proposition, it’s becoming more and more important with the companies we speak with. And why wouldn’t you? Going live has never been easier and with the tech available at our fingertips it’s no longer saved for the likes of the media giants. At Here Now we film as our superpower in inspiring a happier, more ethical planet. The work we did with AimHi has shown us a new way of connecting with big audiences and has been a great reminder of why we do what we do.