How do you get people to open their minds to nuclear power, a subject as vexed, emotional and filled with misinformation as any? How do you accelerate awareness of the only energy source with the potential to restore balance to our climate while serving a growing world?

45 minute presentations like mine are good when you get the opportunity, but the opportunity doesn’t come every day… you need something fast, engaging, enjoyable, and easily passed on.

That was the challenge. Here is the result. I’m proud of this collaboration. If you like it, please make it available through your channels: Facebook, Twitter, email the link, everything.

Some background. A few months ago, while en route to deliver our presentations on nuclear power to the Alternative Technology Association, I mentioned to my friend Barry Brook (Brave New Climate) that I had tentative plans for making a film. Barry replied that he wanted to create a short video with some (well deserved) prize money that he had received for being such an excellent science communicator. He had a film maker in mind, and asked would I like to jump in to the making? Jump is exactly what I did; what a great opportunity.

A few weeks later our resolve had hardened that video was an essential medium to communicate our concerns about the planet and the facts about nuclear energy to a wider audience. We had a great laugh at the Armstrong and Miller sketch that I have posted here, which is actually a phenomenally effective, one minute bit of communication. So we sat with Ron Furner of Fury films to work out the idea. Taking inspiration from Hungry Beast, we settled on animation. My thoughts of a five minute effort were quickly, and very wisely I believe, voted down to 2 minutes. We then literally timed Barry reading for two minutes to get an indicative word count… hmmmm, not many words. Ok, that’s the challenge then: few words, maximum information.

We scripted and re-scripted, marking up animation ideas as we went. A session at the recording studio with guidance from Ron and our work was mostly done. From there, huge credit must go to Fury Films. The very first cut was even better than I had expected, and it was minor changes from there (the biggest one being to work out how many elephants!) to come to the finished product you have just seen.

We knew we would not be able to cover everything. Some common issues are not touched on at all. So we are emphasising the conversation; I am happy to hear from all new comers to nuclear power through this site. Challenge me. Tell me what you thought of the video, and what else you would like to know. I have a page of resources here that are great if you think you need to understand nuclear power better.

I really hope you like it and will help me spread it. I hope to arrange a hard launch of the video in Adelaide soon, to provide an opportunity for in-person Q & A.

Finally, a big thank you to Barry Brook for providing the opportunity to assist with this project.

12 comments

  1. I certainly thought “hungry beast” when I saw it. Which is no criticism, it’s pretty effective and graphically interesting.

    I’ll spread it around.

    1. Ta. It was the Woolies/Coles Big Friendly Giants video from Hungry Beast that really grabbed us. The combination of dialogue, words and images just gets so much information across in so little time.

  2. Great job, Ron, Barry and Ben!

    I have already posted the video on my Futuro Nucleare blog, I think it’s very effective, and visually appealing… too bad for the aussie accent! 😀

    Cheers, Luca

    Luca Bertagnolio
    Futuro Nucleare
    Milan, Italy

      1. Yes, absolutely! But it has to be both the visuals and the audio track to maximise effect, in my opinion.

        How hard would it be to change the on-screen visuals and create a version in italian? Or I should say, how expensive?

        Let’s move this offline.

        Ciao, Luca

  3. I was going to comment on the BNC post, but I thought I’d get drowned out with the fuel size debate.
    You asked a question on BNC about the impact upon non-BNC/DSA followers. Well I have showed my wife (I normally show Nuclear opeds/articles to get her to give a non-technical persons point of view). She thought it was fantastic! Really informative and easy to understand. Next I’ll be showing my parents where the acid test will be with my father who really doesn’t take an interest in Sustainable Energy etc.

    When I saw Hungry Beast’s Beast Files (the same format) I though they were the best piece of informative media there is. One commentor said that they manage to put more facts into 2 minutes than you would ever hear on the evening news. This format is the best way to convey a message accross. Now to get some airtime in primetime on TV…..

    Well Done.

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