Think like a rainforest

There are lots of great things about working at Scriberia. But for a bunch of curious people like us, the best thing is surely the opportunity to gain new perspectives and insight from the fascinating clients we work with. In order for us to help them share their knowledge with a wider audience, they first have to share their knowledge with us. And those lessons really are our privilege.

Never has this been truer than when we started working with the Inga Foundation, on an animation for the launch of their revolutionary AltForest campaign.

Of course, we already knew that the destruction of the world's rainforest posed a threat to the environment. And we knew that something should be done about it. But, until we spoke to the AltForest team, and picked the brains of the founder, ecologist Mike Hands, we had no idea that the solution could be so ingeniously simple.

Every year, 125 million farmers in the tropical rainforest burn down forests to clear land for crops. This method of slash and burn ruins the soil, so after a year or two, the crops stop growing and the farmers set fire to the next piece of land. Mike Hands discovered that slash and burn was depleting the soil of essential nutrients. And in his search for a solution, he found the Inga; a fast-growing tree that keeps weeds at bay, provides soil with nutrients, and allows crops to grow again.

Rachel Porter, our Head of Content, wrote the script for the animation: "When clients have so much knowledge to share, the challenge as a scriptwriter is refining the message and delivering it with impact. As usual, I worked closely with our animation team to ensure that the weight of information could be carried between the voiceover and the visuals. The balance was critical."

Mike and his team wanted a straight-talking, visually impactful animation that would break through apathy and grab the attention of an audience, not only explaining the problem of slash and burn, but also defining a real and demonstrably effective solution that could eradicate the practice forever.

"We used paper craft to represent the layers of the slash and burn cycle," says Angie Phillips, our lead animator, "so you can almost feel the forests being torn from the ground. And we created bold cinematic visuals, with dramatic transitions between scenes, to narrate the urgency of the message."

"The animation had to be human and relatable to engage an audience with such a huge real-world problem," adds Creative Director Chris Wilson. "The final visual story feels warm, tactile and very immediate.'