13 Sep 2022

How to plan a successful charity film

Here at Inside Job Productions, our purpose is to make great films and video production content that has an impact. As a film production company in London, we work with some amazing companies and causes, and are always committed to developing content that has an impact. But what makes a great charity film? It all starts with great planning. Here’s some of our top tips on how to do just that:

Know the story

The story isn’t just the information you are immediately trying to present. As a charity you have a message you want to convey as well. The bigger picture message is the real focus here – the individual film is a route to convey that broader story. Great film companies don’t just listen to what you think the story is. They also get to know the details on a personal level and help guide where the film needs to go. Their expertise can help shape stories that you might not have even realised were there, bringing out the aspects that  create a powerful and emotional connection with the audience. And with these emotional connections often comes increased views, interactions, and participation in the campaign behind the film.

Know the medium

Vox pops, documentary, archival footage and animation are just a few of the techniques you can use to create a powerful charity film. As part of their Left Out Of Life campaign we created this animation for Sense. We took real life examples, listened to their thoughts and emotions, and created this animation to portray them.  By creating a simple animation with a clear narration depicting the video, it creates a hard hitting emotional connection that is accessible for viewers to experience and encourage them to be a part of.

Know your audience

Your audience are key. You have a message, they need to hear it But you need to understand their own needs, situations, and motivations. Where are they when they will see the film? How much time will they have? Are they likely to be doing other things? How much knowledge do they already have about your charity communications or your cause? Is this the first time they have come across you? Gathering as much insight and information into who your audience are and what matters to them will help you create a film that truly connects with them on an emotional and actionable level.

Know your goals

The aim of the film is important when thinking about your audience. Are you looking to inform? Raise awareness? Increase donations? Gain volunteers? If it’s a brand awareness film, broader explainers can work well. If it’s direct fundraising, you need something powerful and immediate. Your call to action should be aimed at these viewers is crucial to the success of your film. Clear instructions that convey what you would like the audience to do after seeing your film will help encourage them to take action. 

Know your success

Finding out how successful your film has been can be just as important as the film itself. The success of your project can determine whether the message is getting to the right places and people, and how well the message has been received – and if the broader campaign objective has been reached. It all starts with identifying the right metrics – from your purpose. Knowing the impact your film has had is key to understanding how successful it has been as well. Have donations/volunteer numbers increased? Are the numbers of people visiting the host website increasing in response to your film? Has there been any additional media coverage using footage directly from your film? All these metrics can help you to judge if your project has been successful


Know these things before you set out, and you’ll be well on your way to a great charity film.