Climate change has set the scene for Hollywood scripts since the early 1960s. Since then, filmmakers have leveraged climate-centric science while making audiences think. The creative vehicle for this vital message is Cli-Fi—or ‘Climate Fiction,’ a phrase Dan Bloom coined while calling for stories to shock people into awareness. It’s also aptly named ‘the near future Science Fiction’ because humanity is already experiencing its adverse effects.
But does straddling the line between fact and fiction make light of a serious subject? No, explains novelist Salman Rushdie. He encourages storytellers to build on factual evidence and do what fiction is good at—constructing an understanding of what is real and what isn’t. It is about bringing science to society. Neuroscientist and Nobel Laureate Edvard Moser remarks: “I don’t think there’s a single sentence I could say that would change anyone’s mind overnight, but I think it’s a long-term thing.” Creative minds must plant seeds for lasting attitudes to grow from the soil.
Teaching, provoking thought, and captivating audiences is a big job. It’s also a vital one, as the planet fights a battle against environmental collapse.
Some masterpieces that took up the charge:
- Mad Max
- The Day After Tomorrow
- And last but not least…Pond5 in Action: Snowpocalypse and your future stories!
We’re kidding. But we’re also sort of not. Pond5 in Action shorts are stories to inspire your creativity. Every month we choose a trending topic to help you resonate with the widest audiences possible— and the more global discussion revolves around climate devastation, the clearer it becomes that Cli-Fi must make the cut and the production of climate change videos are on the rise.
Pond5 in Action: Snowpocalypse
The story of a couple crossing snowy plains in an unknown realm. They finally reach a familiar sight: the snowed-under Statue of Liberty. This call-back to Planet of the Apes is a final reassurance that this is our world, our planet, transformed beyond recognition by climate change.
Read on for behind-the-scenes insights direct from our Creative Designer and Trends Enthusiast.
About the Video
In our first-ever foray into Sci-Fi, we used the Cli-Fi subgenre for its potential to inspire stories that are close to our reality. It’s a playground for interesting hypotheses and a call to action. Many of the creators using the Pond5 library are in the business of making people think about important causes, and, let’s be real, climate change affects us all. It will only be more visible in the media for decades to come.
We used the Snowpocalypse theme to tackle general beliefs that climate change is only felt through warmer weather. In contrast, an increase in atmospheric humidity causes extremes on both ends of the temperature scale.
Cut the Climate Clutter
Anyone can lean into Cli-Fi themes to show climate degradation in a fresher, more provocative way. Our minds are guilty of filtering information and becoming numb to the pleas we have heard many times before, so you’ll need to approach audiences with a good story for better engagement and impact.
While making this video, we were surprised by the sheer number of clips showing just what we were imagining. It can be easy to assume that stock footage features only realistic, everyday subject matter, but our library goes way beyond that! It’s got many clips conveying sci-fi movie references, illustrating imaginary landscapes, and helping creators raise questions and evoke emotions.
This month’s top tips:
- Create a Cli-Fi style story to override mental filters for climate change communications
- Use extra cinematic media for a stronger sense of adventure, tension, or hope
- Set high expectations when searching for content on Pond5!
The charge from Edvard Mozer rings loud: “Science should not be an elitist activity, it is something that should be driven by society for the benefit of society.” If scenes from this video are the change catalysts you’ve been seeking, find them in our full collection here!
Climate change videos can be created by individuals, grassroots organizations, or large-scale media outlets. They may take many different forms, from short social media clips to feature-length documentaries. Regardless of their format, these videos play an important role in educating people about the causes and consequences of climate change and inspiring them to take action to address this critical issue. In fact, each year the month of April is dedicated to celebrating our earth during Earth Month. You can find relevant media from our environmentally- themed collections below: