Meet the Team – James Ellwood
How did you come to work at Fotonow?
I knew Matt from my time freelancing as a filmmaker in Cornwall and got involved with Fotonow in its formative years, initially on an ad hoc basis. Then in 2011 I decided to take the plunge and have a go at adding filmmaking to Fotonow’s offer in a more complete sense. Things developed and in 2015 the opportunity to step into a Directorship role came about, which I’ve been working out ever since!
How do you use your spare time?
My fifteen month old daughter takes up most of my time away from work! My partner Lily and I also keep an allotment, so we’re up there as often as we can. For me, it’s a really important break from looking at computer screens in work.
What are the big issues driving your work?
I guess like a lot of people I came to social enterprise because they want to make a difference, and it’s taken me some time to figure out what kind of difference that is. Right at the top for me is the climate emergency and my concern for the lack of proportionate action in tackling it – though the climate crisis is so all-encompassing I’m not sure it’s an ‘issue’ exactly. Our response to the crisis now and in the coming several years will, I believe, define our generation. Ultimately, all other social goals rest upon us having an inhabitable planet, so for me action on climate ought to underpin every socially-minded organisation’s work.
What’s inspiring you right now?
Since discovering the work of the Frameworks Institute earlier this year I’ve been totally absorbed by their research. ‘Framing’ concerns how the media present a new story or issue, and the work of the Frameworks Institute is all about applying social science research techniques to better understand what ‘framings’ can leverage behaviour change – having an evidence-based approach to this is incredibly useful for social change organisations like Fotonow, to ensure the way we talk about our work has the maximum impact.
What are you enjoying working on right now?
I recently worked on a crowdfunder video for Art and Energy CIC and Plymouth Energy Community, for their amazing ‘Moths to a Flame’ project. The shoot itself was just a lot of fun, and the project, a mass participation artwork which will involve taking thousands of handmade moths to the COP26 climate summit next year is brilliantly conceived. So having made the film I’ve been enjoying following their fundraising campaign, which ends on the 3rd of December – so there’s still time to donate!