Yesterday, a new animation by London-based This Is Studio made its debut on the Greenpeace website. The environmental organisation commissioned the studio to create a piece that, using simple imagery and animation, explains the damage European Union fishing laws are doing to fish stocks. It accompanies the results of a Greenpeace investigation into the National Federation of Fisherman's Organisations, a body purporting to fight for the rights of UK fisherman. Greenpeace says the lobbying group is, "...a clique of foreign fishing barons, including companies linked to illegal and destructive fishing."
This Is Studio stepped up to the challenge and is also supporting the campaign on its own website with an animation of a small trawler rocking on an uncertain sea.
"We wanted to communicate Greenpeace's findings in a mature style, so we created an aesthetic loosely based on block screen printed textures. This developed into a more layered, textural collage," says Richard Barnett, co-founder of This Is. "Our directorial style was simple and naturalistic, using one continuous shot to keep up the narrative flow and rhythm of the animation."
The work is one of a number of interesting creative briefs Greenpeace has commissioned recently. In December we looked at Free Range and the Detox Fashion campaign. Aside from being able to make a difference to the environment, what Barnett liked about the job was the chance to work closely with the organisation. "What was fantastic is that we were brought in right at the beginning of the communication stage," he says. "This meant that we worked very closely with them developing the film's narrative and then the script, which in turn made the aesthetic and storyboard development much more informed."
How much did he know about fisheries before the project began? "A little, but not nearly as much as I know now," he says. "Which hopefully will be the case for anyone watching the animation. The main inspiration came from the challenge of illustrating the facts without hiding behead empathetic characters or a cutesy aesthetic."