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


Brighton's Green Councillors are among those who have slammed 'discriminatory,' rule changes that could see migrants deported if they become homeless, saying new rules will harm and undermine vital homelessness prevention work in the city.

A Sussex-based author fought censors, do-gooders, powerful unions, and corrupt business tycoons, and now the man behind Britain's comic book boom has told his story.

Fickle Friends ended 2020 on a high when they released Radio 1 playlisted Million, now they now start 2021 in the similar style by releasing new EP Weird Years (Season 1), alongside a new video for the EP track IRL.

Bulgarian artist Vera Hadzhiyska has been chosen to exhibit in the In Between Gallery - a temporary gallery in Fabrica's large window space, showing contemporary photography in the heart of Brighton's busy city centre for all who pass by.

This Thursday, Latitude Festival and international charity ActionAid will bring some of the best comedians together for a virtual stand-up comedy gig in support of women and girls leading change.

The experience of seeing actors live on stage is under threat during the present Covid restrictions. Simon Annand's Time To Act reminds us of what we are missing while theatres are closed. Through the eyes of this legendary photographer we observe how performers get ready to face their audiences.
Credit Andy Labrow

As part of a worldwide day of action organised by the Union for International Cancer Control to reduce the global impact of cancer, Mike Peters of Welsh rock band The Alarm's Love Hope Strength Foundation (LHS) has announced their Love Hope Strength Big Night In, an evening of entertainment on February 4th, World Cancer Day.

With more than three-hundred food parcels being delivered each week in Brighton, a local family support service has swapped single use carrier bags for bags for life thanks to a donation from a local co-operative.

Brighton Greens are among those who have spoken out regarding a last-minute change in guidance, which means that early years providers seeking to protect staff and children from covid-19 transmission will be penalised by Government.
Credit Antony McIntosh

Lighthouse has launched an online public survey and series of short films - Let's Talk Public Art - to encourage residents and communities across Brighton & Hove to voice their opinion about public art in the city. 

“We are living in extraordinary times, I wanted to respond but had the urge to offer more than one voice, more than one perspective. Not an echo chamber.”

Pod Experiences - the team behind Pier Pressure, Brighton's escape room provider – will be opening a new experience visitor attraction in the centre of Brighton, in April 2021.

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