planet earth: the cinema of soil

A series of branded videos illustrating the importance of soil health

To drive awareness and understanding about the importance of soil health, the SSA plans to produce a series of short narrated videos, each one addressing a specific impact of degraded soil: climate change (soil carbon), flooding, biodiversity loss, fertility and so on. Between them, these videos will create a powerful, shareable and dynamic narrative about the overall importance of soil health that will grab public attention.

Soil has the potential to tell a compelling and highly photogenic narrative.

We will explore different presentations and styles to tell a complex, multi-faceted story:

  • Small scale, laboratory footage demonstrates the importance of biodiversity 

  • Aerial drone footage reveals the loss of soil during heavy rainfall flood events 

  • Historical footage shows the long term impact of degraded soils 

  • Time-lapse footage shows plant growth and movement of soil organisms 

Data-rich:  Film footage and spoken narrative can be embellished or juxtaposed by the significant body of available research – on the physics, chemistry and biology of soil, economic statistics about the financial impact of soil loss, and other more dramatic figures such as the fact that in parts of the UK there are only 60-80 harvests left.  

Animation: Demonstrating soil processes, the movement of carbon, and the impact of farming techniques.   

Unique perspectives: Unlike air and water, soil is ‘owned’, rendering people’s relationship with it individualised and highly personal. Their land is the same land their ancestors tilled and will be the land they leave to their children. Land owners will tell the stories of their land, from their land in individual chapters which give the stories a personal touch.

Differing angles: There are a number of ways of framing the soil narrative. We can present it according to ‘problems’, or use an approach built around solutions – farming techniques or opportunities, such as regenerative agriculture and carbon sequestration.