Produced by Rocking Horse Pictures, Recycling Lives manages to lift a heavy double load. Narrative weight and purpose driven messaging work hand-in-glove to platform its namesake’s expansive vision, providing us with a surprisingly effecting snapshot of what could have otherwise been a simple waste management promo.
Film remains crucial in fostering meaningful connections between brands and their audiences. But the communications sector, the shadow hands who mediate those relationships, is both ever changing and often time poor. As soon as a brand’s campaign is underway, the need for another strategy crops up in response to some outside trend or event. This is good news for our industry as the demand for impactful work rises year on year. However, this also means that a good brand film must do more than simply stand out. It must be dynamic yet systematic.
This is an important point to make if we are to understand why Recycling Lives works. Plainly put it is an outlier, meaningfully different. Yes, the production value is all here, peppered with some particularly effective cinematic shots. The visual presentation of a salvaging depot leaves you feeling both more informed and strangely invested in its processes. Where oftentimes the technique can so easily detract in brand film, the voiceovers compliment the depth of message. But it’s the sobriety that comes from being shown how people are repurposed here that stays with you.
If Recycling Lives (the brand) are an innovator in green renewable energy, then this piece spotlights how work and worthwhile purpose can be the renewal of people. The blend of dramatic action and docu-style filmmaking works to move us between 2 worlds, much like the before and after of those disadvantaged communities and individuals Recycling Lives look to enlist.
This is a piece that earns its keep by repurposing a well-worn storytelling trope typically seen throughout the engineering, energy, and support services sectors. It’s true that gaining an edge in brand film can deliver a mile, and Rocking Horse’s Recycling Lives brings a powerful question into sharp focus for audiences: If common objects, once a part of daily life, still hold a hidden value and cannot be discarded, then why should we not envisage human beings being saved from the same scrap heap with no hope for revival?
Whether this is considered in terms of mental health or sustainability, the very future of work may depend on it.