How Storyhunter Freelancers Are Helping Save the Planet One Video at a Time
In our “always-on” digital economy, brands need to tell stories that are timely and conscious of broader social conversations. Earth Day, celebrated on April 22 every year, is a chance for companies to stand up for the environment. But, it’s important to keep in mind that consistent and meaningful environmental content will foster brand loyalty.
Many brands demonstrate their commitment to the environment by using platforms such as Storyhunter. Instead of flying crews to shoot locations, they use our marketplace to discover and hire local freelancers, slashing carbon emissions from long-haul flights and hotels.
See some of the impact-driven work Storyhunter freelancers are creating for brands and media companies year-round:
Haya Iqbal, a two-time Emmy award winner, directed, produced and filmed a documentary for Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH). A young mother rendered homeless by the bursting of a glacier, an elderly blind poet now a climate refugee, and a first-aid worker in need of sleeping pills every time a climate disaster occurs open up in the film about their struggles with eco-anxiety, post-traumatic stress, and suicide.
“The region of Gilgit Baltistan is often exoticized as the supreme vacation spot for Pakistani and foreign tourists. Most media coverage of the region is limited to its beautiful natural landscape and massive tourism potential. No one ever talks about how under-resourced it is, or how it is one of the hardest-hit regions by climate change,” Haya said. “For me the most rewarding bit has been that people from outside the region have reached out numerous times to tell me that the film has changed how they look at the region.”
Haya told us the client appreciated the nuanced way the film tackled climate change and mental health. So much so that they allocated funds to relocate dozens of internally displaced people vulnerable to the risks of climate disasters.
Director Josef Rios filmed a branded video for Spanish tour company Soltour. Over four days, Josef filmed in locations in Mexico, including Tulum and Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve. In one line, the video was about “love, peace, and understanding for Mother Earth,” Josef told us.
“The most rewarding part of working on this project was jumping between amazing locations in my home playground where I lived and capturing the spontaneous things of mother nature,” Josef said. “All the great things that we take for granted are in front of us to enjoy.”
Josef added that the client loved the imagery, narrative, and the “beautiful locations where they can take their clients to live amazing experiences.”
Austin Meyer is a documentary filmmaker from Santa Rosa, California. He pitched, filmed, and edited a news documentary for Business Insider about how volunteers in the Fire Forward program learned how to use “good fire” to manage future disasters.
As is the case for many locally-embedded Storyhunter freelancers, Austin had a personal connection to this story: “In September of 2020, my family and I evacuated our home in Sonoma County for the third year in a row,” Austin told us. “Homes five houses up the street from us burned to the ground. In the wake of that experience, the question was, ‘What are we going to do about this terrible wildfire problem that only seems to be getting worse and worse?’ It was this question, and my pursuit to better understand fire, that led me to this story.”
More than a million people watched the piece across Business Insiders’ social platforms, and the video led to an uptick in signups for the Fire Forward program.
Mauricio Gonzalez Muniz
Documentary DP Mauricio Gonzalez, based in Santiago, Chile, filmed a story for Bloomberg Quicktake on the falling water levels in some regions of Chile that have “exposed injustices inherent in Chile’s private water system.”
“It’s always rewarding to be part of documentary projects as it’s a chance to portray the realities of conflicts or subjects,” Mauricio said. “As a filmmaker, you must be up to the task.” Bloomberg Quicktake was thrilled with the final piece: “They highlighted the cinematography, my communication skills, and the ability to produce the story.”
By Shivan Sarna, Head of Stories