Brighton Magazine

The Brighton Magazine

Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Friday 01 January 2021

Brighton Videomaker Offers Lifeline To Charities Struggling In The Pandemic

A Brighton-based videomaker is offering to create a two-minute animation for a struggling charity to help promote their work, completely free of charge.

Charlie Southall is the founder and creative director of video production company Dragonfly, which he set up in Brighton fifteen years ago with the help of a charity loan from the Prince's Trust.

Charlie, 41, who lives in North Laine, said: 

"My business was helped into existence thanks to a charity, which is something I'll always be grateful for. It's only right that I do something to give back.

"It's heart-breaking to see so many charities facing cuts to services and significant losses in income, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

"For a small charity that might be struggling right now, a two-minute animation that can be shared online is a powerful way of reminding existing supporters about the charity"s mission, while also reaching new audiences.

"These emotional connections with supporters are needed now, more than ever."  

Dragonfly – which has since expanded to London – now produces hundreds of videos a year for the likes of Google, Honda, Dior, Amazon and Sony Playstation – as well as names such as Oxfam, Carers UK and Save The Children.

To take part in the competition, entrants will be asked to describe the purpose of their charity, the impact they make on people's lives and one key message they'd like to communicate through the animation.

The production team at Dragonfly will provide the winning charity with the necessary expertise and equipment to produce the two-minute animated video, within the charity's brand guidelines, on a fully pro bono basis.

For Charlie, the motivation to support charities is deeply personal.

Dragonfly has its roots in the charity sector and was started by Charlie when he first moved to Brighton in 2005 with the help of a Business Start-Up Loan from the Prince's Trust.

Charlie said: 

"When I launched the company fifteen years ago, I was 24 years old, without a penny to my name. 

"At that point the loan from the Prince's Trust was the most amount of money I had ever had – and it genuinely turned my life around.

"It helped me grow a fledgling idea into a thriving business that"s expanded to London and created thousands jobs for freelance directors, producers, camera operators, stylists, drone pilots – and more.

"Those jobs have made a huge difference to many people – helping them buy homes and start their careers in the media. 

"We've even had staff members meet in the office and start relationships – I know of at least one marriage!"

Dragonfly employs a staffing model used in the film industry, whereby it works with a bespoke team of freelancers for each client, including producers, video editors, animators, camera operators, drone pilots and more – which allows them the flexibility to work with the perfect team for each client.

Charlie said: 

"Charities change lives, and I'm living proof of that.

" But with so many organisations now struggling for survival, it's time to show our support. 

"If this opportunity can help just one charity get itself back on track, then that's got to be a positive step."

All the work will be carried out remotely and the competition is open to any registered charity.

Charlie added: 

"Retail giants such as Apple and John Lewis already know the power of branded video content. 

"But research also shows that video is a proven way to communicate a charity's brand message, boost visibility and ultimately boost income.

"As a nation, we are increasingly turning to digital channels and social media to keep entertained and informed – and charities who don"t have video content of their own could be missing out."

The deadline for entries is 5pm on Sunday 31st January 2020. Please visit the Dragonfly website for full instructions:

by: Mike Cobley

Related links

Dragonfly Competition


The First Release of Brighton Fringe events will feature comedy from Paralympic, World Championship and European Championship dressage medallist Ricky Balshaw; Love and Money, a play by internationally-acclaimed writer Dennis Kelly and the return of award-winning comedy actress Joanna Neary with a show based on her comedy podcast Wife On Earth.

On the 21st December hundreds of people will walk 5k to support the NSPCC. Landmarks across the UK, including the BA i360 in Brighton and Lancing College Chapel are also supporting the charity by lighting up and turning the NSPCC's trademark green colour.

Creative Learning at Theatre Royal Brighton runs a programme of workshops, performances, talks, tours and events alongside the shows on its stage. 

Mr Bruce - former frontman of The Correspondents - marks the start of his solo career in spectacular style with the release of Race To Nowhere [Part One], and a date at Brighton's Green Door Store.

Following last year’s virtual sing-along, Brighton Festival Chorus (BFC) returns to the stage for its annual Christmas Concert at Brighton Dome on Sunday 12 December at 4pm. 
Credit Vicki McManus

Budding young circus performers are preparing to take to the stage at Brighton Dome this December, with help from professional artists from Circolombia.

When the lights go up at the start of the performances of Riverdance: The New 25th Anniversary Show at The Brighton Centre next month, the excitement will be palpable, not just from the audience but very much from all the performers too.

The Beatles famously turned their back on touring towards the end of their career but The Bootleg Beatles, due to Covid, as with the rest of the industry were forced into an unwanted hiatus. 
Credit David-Geli

Komedia has teamed up with leading independent comedy promoters Little Wander for a fresh take on their weekend stand-up comedy offering.

After years spent living on opposite sides of the Atlantic world events threw Laura Mary Carter and Steven Ansell of Brighton's Blood Red Shoes back together into what has become the must fruitful era of their 17 years together. 
Florin and Charlie

Over one-hundred Brighton residents have been offered full or part time roles on-site at the £120 million Edward Street Quarter development as part of an ongoing social value commitment to support the local community.

The South-East's largest charity supporting vulnerable young people, YMCA DownsLink Group, has launched its Christmas fundraising appeal
Credit Vic Frankowski

Brighton city centre will once again be filled with a sea of colour and creativity as thousands of school children, teachers and volunteers celebrate the return of the Brighton Festival Children's Parade after a two-year gap on Saturday 7th May 2022.
Credit Rosie Powell

This year, Towner Eastbourne invited members of the LGBTQIA+ community in East Sussex to take part in a unique creative project, exploring personal responses to artworks in the Towner Collection, through a queer lens. 

Organising a conference or event in Brighton?
See our Brighton Conference section.
Brighton web design by ...ntd