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How we made Climate Change Catastrophe! – Brad McCormick

May 17th, 2021

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‘Climate Change Catastrophe!’ has always been a collaboration between Cap-a-Pie and three groups of people. 

In the first phase of the project, we mostly worked with two of those groups:

Engineers at Newcastle University who are studying climate change; and primary school-aged children. 

Through working with these two groups, we were able to generate material for 6 short films that cover a wide range climate change science: the greenhouse effect, carbon capture, heatwaves and more. The research and expertise of the researchers was poured into a series of lesson plans that were brilliantly delivered by teachers in the classroom and parents at home (all of this happened when schools were closed at the beginning of 2021). Students created characters, scripts, scene ideas, drawings and more to help us make the show.

April 2021 is when we started to work intensively with the third group – our amazing creative team of freelance actors, designers, production managers and filmmakers.

Hannah Goudie-Hunter and Liam Scarth will be the two faces you will see on-screen when the films come out – they play all the characters and do a brilliant job of interpreting, enhancing and performing the children’s ideas. 

Katie Doherty wrote all the music that you will hear in the show – from jingles to instrumentals to incidental music as well as three unbelievably catchy songs that you will be humming along to in next to no time. One of the songs, ‘Who’s Gonna Stop the Rain?’, includes a rap in the middle and we were very fortunate to have this performed by local rapper Kema Kay.

Verity Quinn designed the sets and costumes. Our set is a beautiful classroom space – the warm colours and sharp geometric lines that you’ll see on the film makes the set great to look at, but what is also brilliant is that the space is also incredibly versatile. We cover a lot of ground in these films – classrooms, newsrooms, arctic landscapes, cities underwater – and the set allows us to do all of those things.

Dan Saggars is the lighting designer – as well as providing lighting on-stage to cater for all our different settings, Dan had the idea to install special lighting panels behind the windows of the set (you’ll see what I mean when you see the film). They were so versatile and allowed us to really use the window space in our classroom set.

Production Manager Rachel Glover is a regular Cap-a-Pie collaborator, making sure everything is running smoothly, keeping us on track and on time – not an easy job when there is so much to be done.

Finally, Lindsay Duncanson, Marek Gabrysch and Dan Wallder were the filmmakers behind capturing all these scenes on film and putting them together – consulting on angles, laying tracks for tracking shots and making sure everything can be seen and heard. They even indulged us with some stop-motion animation!

Now that the films are all finished, we’ll be working with another group of people – our audience – who we’re hoping will watch, learn and even change their behaviours based on the combined work of young people, engineers and creatives who put together ‘Climate Change Catastrophe!’

You can watch the show on our website. We’d love to hear what you think. Tag us on social media @capapiecreative on Facebook & Twitter.

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