Project Overview

Create a collective film with us: Call to contribute video footage and sound

"Like a forest, Treeline spreads horizontally. The film has not one, but many viewpoints: those of all the different cameras and people holding them around the planet."

We would like to invite you to help create a collective film, Treeline. This film will feature forests from across the world, and depict the unique features of each forest while highlighting the impact of the climate emergency on the world’s forests.

The film is being commissioned by Film and Video Umbrella and Forestry England. Created by artist Ruth Maclennan, the new work will be presented online, coinciding with COP 26, the UN’s climate change summit being held in November 2021 in Glasgow.

During the COP 26 summit, world leaders and policy makers will gather to discuss and decide on action to address the climate and ecological emergency. The arts have a vital role to play in bringing home what is at stake and imagining alternative futures. 

Ruth Maclennan is looking for recent video footage of forests, and recordings of sounds in forests to edit together into a film.

The film aims to allow the audience to experience the rhythms of forests – lines, shades, and patterns – and witness the lives of inhabitants, human and otherwise, who dwell near the ‘treelines’ of the film.

You do not need to be a professional cinematographer to contribute.

Here's how to gather your material:

How to film

Set your camera or mobile phone at the highest resolution possible. Hold the camera horizontally and find a central horizontal line. This central horizontal line is very important for editing together the wide variety of images that will be collected.

Holding the camera steady, slowly pan from left to right, or right to left (or both). Begin and end your clip with the horizontal line you are featuring visible in the middle of the shot.

What to film

Your 'horizontal line' could be anything, for example:

 - a horizon line of trees viewed from afar against the sky or a mountain

 - a panning shot within a forest clearing

 - the edge of a forest –  where the forest ends at a road or coastline, at a fence or river

 - a line along the charred remains after a forest fire

 - a visible line where trees can no longer grow

 - along a fallen log, a horizontal branch, a stream or a shadow thrown across the forest floor

Recording sound

Please record the ambient sound – this might include birdsong, foresters’ conversation, the sound of an axe or leaves rustling. If it is windy you can record using a sock or glove over the microphone.

Length and file size

 - the sound file can be up to 4 minutes long

 - video clips should be no longer than 60 seconds

 - you can submit up to five video files and five audio files

 - each video file should be no larger than 500MB  and all audio files must not exceed 100MB

How to submit your contribution:

Footage should be submitted by 10 September 2021 via an online form. The form will ask you for the following:

 - full name and contact details

 - location where footage was shot, including GPS coordinates if available

 - short description of the footage

 - to formally give your consent to the footage being used in the film and your name to be used

You can submit your contribution here

People in your film

If any people feature in the footage or audio who are clear enough to be identifiable you will need  to complete and sign a release form for each person, showing they agree for their image to be used. To do this, you must upload the signed form to the online portal as you submit your work.

If people under 18 are identifiable in the footage or audible in the audio recording, then they and their parent or legal guardian will need to sign the release form.  

Download the adult release form here

Download the under 18s release form here

If people who feature in the footage or audio aren’t identifiable, then no release form is required.

Thank you for taking part.


Lead image: Ruth Maclennan, Horizon (Eleventh Lap), 3’ 31”, still, 2021.


See more


Nature Gatherer | ‘This artist wants you to gather videos in the woods’

27 July 2021
Link to article
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