Elephants are just like us
Joseph Anthony is a multiple award winning photographer, filmmaker and photojournalist who has a passion for documenting wildlife and the natural world as well as for telling compelling stories. His work has featured globally in exhibitions, commercials, TV, newspapers and magazines. He also teaches photography and produces bespoke designed books as well as fine art prints.
A 60 second commercial I made for WWF Hong Kong about elephants. A campaign about elephants trying to create emotional impact with the audience driving a call to action with hope amidst the despair and deter the demand for ivory targeting the mainland Chinese market coming to Hong Kong during Golden Week Festival every year in October. They try to buy ivory products in Hong Kong where it is still not yet banned (2 years away) but is banned in China. It ran on multiple Hong Kong TV channels (in Chinese version) concurrently with a deterrent poster campaign as well as featuring on a donation website in both English and Chinese versions. There was also a 30 second version made for internet in both languages. I had to deliver a full service production taking on the roles of director, producer, researcher, ground fixer, camera operator for most of the footage (one carcass clip from WWF archive and one from Justin Sullivan), cinematographer/DOP, script writer, editor, voice over (English version), music director (for original music score composed specifically for this film by Karen Chalmers), sound director, design director and initial colour grading (advising a design and grading team chosen by WWF who also completed the GFX and VFX), consultant and even fund raising from my social media audience for topping up the budget so I could provide improved production values for the film. There was considerable deliberation about the animation of the elephant tear at 0:24-0:29 for authenticity reasons. WWF wanted one to align with an old tiger film they had made with a tear. I searched for elephants to film them with natural tears and the elephant in the scene has a natural tear but it flowed too slowly so it was decided acceptable to animate it as we wanted as impactful a story as possible within a 60 second time limit. It was very close to representing the real tear that was already there, contributing to the emotional impact of that scene after the carcass scenes.