Film says action on the climate is needed for children to follow in our footsteps

Our children have some big shoes to fill when it comes to guiding the world through the coming century, but a new short film suggests it’s incumbent on the current generation to ensure there’s a world left for them to inherit.

With support from several major environmental organizations, “Shoes of Tomorrow” was developed and created by Victoria-based CrackerJackFlash, a one-person video production agency led by Jack Adamson—a former agency creative whose career has included both Canadian and international stops with the likes of DDB Edmonton, Saatchi & Saatchi in Wellington, NZ and McCann Singapore.

Adamson created the film for Bloomberg Green Docs, a juried competition focusing on documentary shorts that is taking place in Los Angeles next month. The competition was developed by Bloomberg Green, a division of the news brand focused on climate change news, analysis, and solutions.

He took a synopsis and outline of the film to Greenpeace, the David Suzuki Foundation and The Climate Reality Project, each of which gave him permission to attach their name to the film.

“I just figured the more of those [organizations] behind us, the better,” said Adamson. “I didn’t just want to have one entity backing us up, and they all approved being part of it.”

While there is no paid media behind the film, it currently resides under a dedicated section on each climate organization’s website. Adamson is also working his contacts in an attempt to get the film into the IMAX theatre at the Royal BC Museum in Victoria, and he may run some paid advertising on Facebook.

Accompanied by an original song called “Holding the World” written and performed by 14-year-old singer-songwriter Aya Laforme, the film opens on drone footage of majestic snow-capped mountains, a forest swathed in a blanket of fog, and waves crashing on a rocky shore before transitioning to a pair of firefighter boots standing empty on a hill overlooking the ocean.

A young boy steps into the oversized boots as the super “what do you want to be when you grow up?” appears, and he holds up a sign reading “fireman.” The film then cuts to an adult version of the boy, who has realized his childhood dream. The spot continues with other young children stepping into an adult-sized pair of shoes and holding signs revealing their hopes for the future (“engineer,” “architect,” “developer” and “dancer”) before transitioning to them having accomplished their goal.

The film ends with a shot of the five children holding their respective sign, accompanied by a super reading “How will they ever fill our shoes without a healthy planet?” before directing viewers to each climate organization’s website.

Adamson said he made a conscious decision to avoid the “fear-mongering” that has become commonplace in climate change communications, with their emphasis on denuded forests, trash-filled oceans and melting ice caps, focusing instead on what kind of world will be left for future generations if real change around the climate crisis doesn’t occur soon. “I don’t have kids, but I kind of fear for people that do,” he said.

Chris Powell