Case Study: The Secret of Change

Better Bristol Campaign

The Secret of Change is part of our Better Bristol campaign, which aims to work with the cities people and projects to create a low carbon environment and a high quality of life. Together with The Bristol Green Capital Partnership we want to raise over £1 million for projects that will make Bristol an even better place to live.

The project aim was to create a six part web series. It follows Zoe and Chris’ journey as they explore the positive steps communities in Western North America are taking towards a more resilient and localized future.

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Transition Movement

The Transition movement started out here in the UK over ten years ago. The grass roots movement was created to empower people and their communities to build a better, more sustainable future for everyone. Since its humble beginnings, the Transition movement has inspired countless villages, towns and cities in over 40 different countries.

Motivated by the movement, newbie filmmakers Chris and Zoe wanted to explore it further by meeting the people involved, capturing it on film and spreading the message even further. They headed off with the aim of finding successful examples and filming their stories to share and inspire others.

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The filming begins

Channelling the grassroots spirit of the movement, Chris and Zoe simply got out there and cracked on, despite not having years of experience in the film industry or a large budget to play with. They started out in the UK before travelling to Canada and then making their way down to South California. The journey was entirely self-funded and they travelled with just their filming equipment and two rucksacks.

Bill Darnell, Member of Vernon in Transition & Founding Member of Greenpeace said of their project:
The Secret of Change is very timely. It’s inspiring, not only by connecting the organizations together but by example. What Chris and Zoe are doing is very grassroots, they don’t have a lot of resources behind them, but they do have commitment and inspiration.


The aim was to make a series of videos to inspire others and unite those already working towards a more sustainable world. In order to be able to professionally edit the series and then promote them to as many people as possible, Chris and Zoe decided to crowdfund.

They created a fantastic video (as expected from these keen filmmakers!) to promote their Crowdfunder campaign. They also offered up a host of relevant rewards which they packaged into enticing bundles. For example, those who pledged £250 would receive an ‘educational package’ aimed at putting on a local film group or school viewing, it included a PDF educational pack, digital download of the complete series, a Skype Q&A with Chris and Zoe, access to teaser material, limited edition digital frame and a personalised message.The duo managed to raise £7,019 from 84 backers in 28 days and we wish them all the luck with their new series!

We’ll leave you with the Socrates quote that inspired the name of the project:
The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.

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To find out more about The Secret of Change click here.

Support other #BetterBristol projects here.


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