“We are gradually killing our home and the world we live in.”
When the ‘Beast from the East’ brought dangerously cold weather to the UK in February 2018, Sam Carr took to the streets of London with his camera to capture the city caught in the middle of a rare weather phenomenon. He shared his footage in his short film An Unexpected Snow Day In London: an artfully shot time capsule of the capital covered in white as if encased inside a snow globe. Exactly one year on from the ‘Beast’ – and after an unexpected burst of unseasonably glorious sunshine – Sam has unveiled a response video with a similar style and an important central message.
An Unexpected Summer’s Day In London, In February draws on the cinematic beauty of its sister film despite the stark contrast of its content. Much like Snow Day, Sam takes the viewer on a journey around the sights of London with the camera acting as his eyes. However, the snow-covered streets shown only a year before are far removed from the images of Oxford Circus and Trafalgar Square now bathed in golden light. The hustle and bustle of commuters wrapped up in thick coats and scarves has been replaced with cyclists stripped down to t-shirts and pedestrians lingering a little longer to enjoy the relaxed atmosphere down on the South Bank of the Thames. The sky transitions from blinding white to strokes of soft blue and pink as the day ambles to a hazy close.
As the video seems to come to a pleasant conclusion, Sam takes a moment to chat with viewers directly. He looks back on footage filmed in the snow of February 2018 and shares a short epilogue explaining his motivation for responding to his previous film. “Climate change is real and it’s happening,” he says. “We all need to make a difference for the future.” His message to viewers emphasises optimism: “Our world is so beautiful, so let’s all come together and make a difference to protect it.”
An Unexpected Summer’s Day In London, In February carries the format of the response video to a higher level of significance through its ability to lull an audience into a false sense of comfort. The cinematography entices the viewer into a sun-soaked London many of us can only dream of as we trudge through grey winter months. The imagery is vivid enough that the sensation of gentle warmth on skin never feels too far away.
When the viewer reaches the epilogue, they lurch from this dream-like atmosphere into a hard-hitting awakening. It reminds us that the dangers of climate change are almost hidden in plain sight – we only need to look closer to find them. With footage juxtaposed against clips from winter past, there is no excuse to turn away from reality.
We think Sam has approached an urgent issue with style and careful thought. With some handy tips thrown in to help us reduce the impact of climate change on the Earth, all of us can join him to work towards a more sustainable future.