‘Life-changing’ is mega high acclaim in my books. Of course, the pedant in me could argue that everything is life-changing, but when I use it, I’m referring to those memorable moments of awakening that shift your consciousness and alter your path perceptibly.
The day I watched The Constant Gardner was one of those moments. I was shortly due to graduate from university and was lounging around in my student house in Camberwell, pondering the question ‘what next?’ A masters degree in dialects of English, a course in children’s literature, a teaching programme, a journalism course – my options were wide and diverse, but nothing had truly stuck.
An unexpected awakening
So, like all good students, I was in my pajamas at midday preparing to watch a film, after a daily fix of Neighbours (for all non-Brits wondering what I’m talking about, you are sorely missing out). Little did I know that those next few hours would be one of those rare moments you can call life-changing.
I’d always been interested in humanitarian work, but watching The Constant Gardener, with its story of poverty and social justice, reminded me why and re-awakened that fire within
It also took my mind back to a previous life-changing moment I’d experienced when 15 and visiting Tanzania on a school-exchange programme. We spent time in a tiny village and I remember seeing a very sick child and being told that she had AIDS and would likely die. That moment of rawness, and in fact my whole time in Tanzania, was life-altering, and had made me hyper-aware of the injustices of the world, the suffering within it, and my own desire to help.
This re-awakened passion led to a snowball of events. I put on a fundraising event for the charity Oxfam and through that realized that working in communications for a humanitarian organization was what I wanted to do. I interned, I studied and, for the next six years, ended up working for charities including Oxfam, Survival International and the Red Cross.
Not all of that was down to watching The Constant Gardner, but it definitely sparked a moment of awakening that reminded me of the path I was on, and where I wanted to head. I am ever thankful for it.
The power of film
And I know I’m not alone. I think many of us can think of films that have changed our lives. Steve cites watching Earthlings as the moment that cemented his choice to be vegetarian, another friend found solace in The Fountain and another awoke to his deep connection with nature after watching The New World . The power of film can be profound.
And that is what is driving Steve and Planetary Collective’s current project Continuum. It’s a film that will touch people. It will make you think about life and maybe spark something you didn’t realize was there or had simply forgotten about along the way. It may sound like a grand statement but I think this film has the potential to change the course of people’s lives. It’s not a magic pill – just like The Constant Gardener won’t have affected everyone as much as it did me – but it is a film with a message that needs to be heard. I’ve listened to the interviews, I know the plans for the documentary intimately, and I can vouch that it’s going to be incredible.
On the right track
The success of Planetary Collective’s first film Overview, shows they are on the right track. More than 1.5 million have watched it and it has been met with critical acclaim, being called everything from “breathtaking” to “a film that should be watched by everyone”. Continuum builds on the messages within that, and if you watch the trailer, you will see that the images and words are just as powerful. In fact, if you watch the trailer, I think you’ll agree that this is a film that simply has to be made.
The only problem is, it won’t be made unless Planetary Collective raise a final push of funding. The good news is you can help. They’re not asking for donations, but pledges, meaning you’ll get something in return. You can pledge to buy Continuum in advance, and that way the film will be finished. You can also pledge to buy the soundtrack, a special USB version, art prints and more. From $1 to thousands of dollars, it will all count towards ensuring the film is made.
Help create life-changing moments
This is all being run on Kickstarter, an awesome website you may have already heard of. It’s super easy to use and I’ve included a little guide at the end of this post.
The Planetary Collective Kickstarter Campaign for Continuum has just one more week to go and they have already reached 75% of their final goal. The problem is – if they don’t make the final 25%, they don’t get anything at all – that’s the way that Kickstarter works.
This film is in danger of not being made. This is heartbreaking on a personal level as I have seen the blood, sweat, tears, passion and sheer time that has gone into making it. It’s also heart-breaking on a much higher level as I truly believe this is a film people need to watch.
Big words for a big project
Like I said at the start of this piece, ‘life-changing’ isn’t a word I use lightly, but I really think this film could be. Please help us make it happen.
Watch the trailer, consider making a pledge and share this campaign with everyone you can think of.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
All the photos above are shots from the film.
How to use Kickstarter
- Go to the page http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/planetary/planetary-collective-presents-continuum
- Click on the green button ‘Back this project’.
- Choose your pledge amount
- You can login with Facebook or register with Kickstarter, which can all be done on one screen (nice and easy!).
- Next you need to give your payment details (no money will come out of your account until the end of the campaign. If the campaign doesn’t reach its 100% total then you will never be charged). Kickstarter is partnered with Amazon so the next step will take you through to the Amazon sign in page/checkout.
- Choose an existing Amazon payment method or add a new one.
- Finally confirm your payment (remember it won’t be taken until the end of the campaign and only if the campaign is fully funded).
- And volia, you are a backer! Thank you!