Asthma UK

June 22, 2016 in Tutorials

The Brief

To make a hard-hitting film that would inspire and move donors to contribute to Asthma UK, and also serve as an awareness film on the charity’s website.


The challenge was to make a film that would be emotionally impactful but did not leave the audience feeling they had been manipulated.


Producer Wendy Pearce at Media Trust approached Chris and Paul to direct the film.   Chris, Wendy and the client quickly decided that a clear, factual re-telling of the Olivia’s tragic death was the best approach. Chris suggested that if Olivia’s parents were able to take the audience, step by step, through their daughter’s attack, the effect would be a suspenseful narrative that left the audience clear that this tragic incident can happen, out of the blue, to anyone with asthma. Empty shots of Olivia’s home would strengthen this identification with the family as viewers projected their own thoughts onto the images.

Crucial to the success of the video were Olivia’s parents whose bravery and commitment to telling their daughter’s story came through from the start. Realising this, the team quickly made the decision to enlist Olivia’s mother Lisa in the second half of the video. After her moving testimony, this became an opportunity to present viewers with an uplifting, hopeful end to the video as they saw Lisa witness the dedicated work going into asthma research and also ask the questions she wanted answering.


“I wanted to say a huge thank you helping us to create our fundraising video. I know without doubt that in choosing you and the Media Trust team we produced the best possible video for Asthma UK. This was the first video that I have project-managed so it was great to work with such a supportive and experience team. Your advice, creative ideas and enthusiasm made the process smooth while allowing us to feed in at every step of the journey.

Chris was great – lots of people say they are a ‘people’s person’ but he truly is. With Lisa and Lee’s story being so fresh we were keen that a sensitive approach was taken both with the story and interviewing and Chris nailed this with this approach. In addition he was interested in both Asthma UK and Lisa and Lee and demonstrated this by taking the time to come and view the video at the Ball… in a nutshell he exceeded our expectations.

We previewed the video at our Fundraising Ball – the reaction from our 350 guests was just what we were looking for – total engagement in the video, shock that asthma can kill, and tears. Lisa said a few words after the video and received a standing ovation. In terms of the fundraising we more than doubled the funds raised from the pledge on the night from the previous year – a very clear indicator that the video stuck the right cord with our audience.

We are currently in the process of adding the film to our website – which we will use as a tool to explain our work to a far wider audience. Thanks again to you both and the whole team.