Tejopala Rawls

Climate Change Comedy Videos - Global Heart Warming

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Renowned master of clown and improvisation Giovanni Fusetti and comedian and climate advocate Tejopala Rawls are are making a series of five short comedy videos about global warming for use on social media in the lead-up to the climate negotiations in Paris this December.


As we all known, climate change is a very serious issue. But does talking about it have to be dramatic? Good comedy can reach beyond belief systems, political affiliation and even personal opinions. So, why not open the space to the fact that comedy might also be a way to go to address this gigantic problem? While we laugh we are all equal and that is a feeling, a physical experience not a debate. We want to make people laugh and open more space for feelings. 


The plan is to make videos that are funny, moving, poetic and on-message, but which avoid being preachy. They will be one of the means by which pressure for action is applied. They will trigger humour and compassion. 


We people are stupid and loving, careless and powerful, we can do real bad but also real good. We care for our veggie garden and lawns and we deforest entire regions of the planet. We are addicted to oil and to the quest for happiness... We are a funny species.


Our aim is to make something that can be used by environmental campaigning organisations during the lead-up to Paris climate negotiations in December. In particular, the intention is to try to get the video used by the Climate Reality Project (Al Gore's organisation) which has a worldwide social media reach of seven million people and from then go viral on the net.


This year may well be the make-or-break year for a meaningful deal on climate change. This year's negotiations could well be the last time that all world leaders will be present soon enough to implement the kind of change needed. Worldwide pressure is growing for a deal that will do the job. All major environmental organisations are putting their efforts behind this. Presidents Obama and Xi and Prime Minister Modi are all making the right kinds of noises at the same time for the first time ever. Pope Francis is due to issue an encyclical to all 400,000 Catholic priests to take action. It is the stated number one priority for UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon. Media interest will therefore be very high as the year goes on. Social media interest will, if anything, be higher.


We have an excellent cast and crew willing to donate their time. We are in discussions with a couple of major environmental organisations about hopefully using the videos once they're made, meaning there could be a very large ready-made audience. We also have assistance from Te Henga Studios in West Auckland. We just need your help.




  • Video Four - Superhero Time



    Here is our fourth video of the five.

    This one comes out just as, for the first time, the world has an agreement for tackling climate change together. We would like to share with you some thoughts on this huge event.

    This is both a massive achievement and yet something that falls a long way short of what is needed. Politicians and negotiators are happy, climate scientists are cautious, some even skeptical or very critical.

    The situation is probably best summed up by Bill McKibben from 350.org:
    "This agreement won't save the planet. It may have saved the chance to save the planet (if we all fight like hell in the years ahead)".

    First we can recognise and celebrate what the achieved, which is really considerable.
    We have an agreement at all. That's a big improvement on where we were.

    There is finance for the transition to clean energy and for developing nations to adapt to the tune of $100 billion a year. This, like other targets in the agreement, will be reviewed every five years and is regarded as a floor - the figure can only go up. This will provide considerable momentum for the transition towards clean energy. However, there is no obligation on any one country to provide a specific amount towards this total.

    There is a much more ambitious goal than expected of keeping temperature increases to under 2C and doing everything possible to keep it to 1.5 a essential if island nations are to survive. The language is a bit vague here. Lawmakers, the climate movement and each of us citizens will have to work hard to hold our leaders to the 1.5 maximum.

    The current individual pledges of each nation are insufficient: they would put us on track for a roughly 3C increase or more, which would be a catastrophe. Why the contradiction? These pledges are due to be reviewed every five years and the intention is that they will be improved to get us closer and closer to the actual aim of a 1.5C maximum. Whether the reviews and the finance and the grassroots pressure actually gets us on this track is now up to us.

    The Paris agreement has improved the strategic position of the climate movement. The clock is still ticking as the world continues to dump carbon into the atmosphere. There is still a lot of work to do.

    Perhaps most crucially this agreement sends a clear signal to investors as to the way the world is heading - and the smart money really isn't on fossil fuels now. It is the first time that the world as a community agrees, at least formally, on the perspective of moving towards the end of fossil fuel era and into a renewable energy future. Now, this is great news, worth to celebrate and to drink and toast to all those we have worked so hard on this.

    The YouTube link is here: http://youtu.be/DtxKTuDWOoU

    The Facebook version is here: https://www.facebook.com/498842380265579/videos/574144946068655/

    Many thanks indeed for supporting this project. Please do send us your thoughts on the videos on ghwarming@gmail.com. The last one will be out soon.

    Giovanni and Tejopala

  • Third video out now - Address to The Nation



    Here is our third video. Again, many thanks to you for making this possible. It is exciting and very satisfying to be able to get these out online while the climate summit is happening in Paris.

    This video touches on a difficult subject: the political response to terrorism. For this reason we thought we’d give you some of the context in which it was made and the reasons we decided to put it out now.

    We wrote and shot the piece in April and the editing process took place in the northern fall / autumn, before the terrorist attacks in Paris.

    Our writing deliberately refers to a tendency of political leaders to address complex and scary problem with simple, brutal, inaccurate and tragic solutions like war. The reference to Bush after 9/11 is self evident.

    After the Paris events we wondered about the timing of the release and the danger of being insensitive to people’s feelings. And then we watched in horror the rhetoric used by President Hollande invoking war and revenge and the response of Prime Minister Cameron, urging bombing Syria. And we realized that, if released now, the video is addressing two big themes at the same time, Climate Change and World Peace. The two are obviously linked, Including in the specific context of the genesis of IS in Syria, which some analysts connect with social and political unrest provoked by regional climate change events.

    These are intense times and we feel that satire can give an important contribution to the debate.

    Here is the link to the YouTube version: https://youtu.be/ld5C6scRyWw?list=PLS3cyIjBitz9iHRzLBAF1qZpDKd0evwrN

    And here it is on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/498842380265579/videos/569686583181158/

    We would be happy to hear your feedback.

    Best wishes,

    Giovanni and Tejopala


  • New video out now!



    Here is the second of our five climate change comedy videos. Many, many thanks for helping to make these. This one was tricky to film as it was set on a beach and the wind was blowing. This created real challenges in terms of sound. I’m really happy with the result. Our sound recordist and sound editor have done a great job, as has our camera operator who managed to capture some great shots in rapidly changing light.

    Please do share this far and wide. It is on YouTube here: https://youtu.be/GWdVQ2yVugQ

    And on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/Global-Heartwarming-498842380265579/?ref=ts&fref=ts

    Yes, there are wetsuits under those costumes. On the day Giovanni was running up and down in a wetsuit in and out of the water giving direction and looked truly in his element.

    Many thanks to everyone who worked on this: Luke, our amazing Assistant Director, Zoran behind the stills camera, Paige behind the camera, Chanelle on sound recording, Clayton who was everywhere at once on the day as our Production Assistant, Akasadaka who made the food late the night before and who made sure everyone was warm and looked after, Paul who edited it together, Andrew who did the sound editing and my wonderful fellow cast members: Gill, Lucy, Lisa, Ruth, Ash, Ben, Siri and Zack.

    Exciting times. The Paris negotiations start on Monday. May they succeed.

    With many thanks indeed,

  • Update on climate comedy videos



    I am writing to update you on the global heartwarming comedy videos you have helped us make. There are more coming, and very soon.
    Please keep an eye out for these over the coming days.

    We have been busily trying to get the videos ready in time for the climate change summit in Paris and we are nearly there. We’re just putting the finishing touches on them now. Despite of a steep learning curve in the whole business of making videos, we’re very happy with what we’ve come up with.

    We are looking forward to your feedback on the upcoming videos.

    Thank you for your help in making these. Every donation, big or small, has been invaluable.

    We will email you as soon as each one is finished. We’d love your help in sharing them far and wide. Please do share them with your friends. Thank you.

    The climate summit is nearly upon us.
    These are crucial and exciting times.

    With many thanks indeed,

    Tejopala and Giovanni

  • Next four videos still coming



    This is a quick update to let you know that the remaining four comedy videos about climate change are still on their way. We have had a few unforeseen delays along the way. Sorry for the lack of communication about this.

    We wrote and shot five comedy sketches and we are very happy with what we shot. Unfortunately our editor was unable to continue beyond completing the first video as he became overloaded with other commitments and was kindly working on this project for free. He very reluctantly and very understandably bowed out.

    Giovanni and I are still looking for an editor to work on the remaining four. The plan is still to get these out on social media by November 30th when the Paris climate summit starts.

    I’ll keep you posted as we go. Many thanks indeed for your kind support!



  • First video is live!



    Today is launch day. The first of our five comedy videos is now live. We really wanted you and the cast and crew to be the first to know. Thank you so much for being part of this and helping us to make this happen.

    Here is the link to the first video I’m very excited and proud of what we’ve made. I hope you like it. Please let me know what you think be emailing me.

    The other four videos will come out, as planned, every few weeks between now and December 1st, when the UN climate summit starts in Paris.

    Please have a look at our brand new website – www.globalheartwarming.org Our web designer, Akasadaka, has been working long hours to get it ready. And please visit our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter too.

    This first video was also the first one we shot. I'll never forget the day we shot it at the Thirsty Dog pub. I'd been flat out organising for days and Akasadaka had been up the night before making sandwiches until 11 pm for the cast and crew while I made up the fake crude oil beverage out of chocolate sauce and black food colouring. I was exhausted before we even began shooting, and so was Giovanni. And that morning I sat there with all of three hours of sleep in my body and watched while Giovanni called "action" and a team of people far more talented than I am started making it all happen. All I had to do was let them do it.

    This is a dream coming true seeing this go out there. So, thank you. Thank you.





    Dear crowdfunders,

    I am very happy to announce the release of the first of our five videos of the global heart warming project.
    I want to express again all my gratitude for your contribution. Your support has allowed us to cover the basic expenses of the production.

    It has been a very interesting process: coming from live theatre and with no experience of video making or film-making, I have discovered a new artistic landscape. Full of very different potentials, and with its own challenges.

    The role of the actors is very different than in movement based theatre and many other aspects of the production become crucial to determine the final result: from storyboarding to the actual shooting, from light to sound, to the unbelievable amount of options that digital editing now allows. I have been in times completely excited and in times totally overwhelmed, in ways that I did not know before.

    And what a feeling to watch the final result on the screen !

    And what a collective experience this has been !

    If you take a look at the ‘Behind the scenes’ images in our website, you will get a glimpse of our journey as a cast and crew.

    So here we are, launching our first video, the Crude Ad.

    Please let us know your feedback.

    Thank you so much for becoming co-producers of this vision.

    With gratitude and many wishes



  • We have reached our target - thank you!



    We have reached our crowdfunding goal!

    Many, many thanks indeed to everyone who has contributed to this project. Neither Giovanni nor I have ever crowdfunded for anything before, so just doing so has been a real adventure into the unknown. We both really appreciate your support and help in making these videos.

    As you may know, we have now finished shooting and we are in the post-production phase. It will take us a while to edit everything together. But we are very happy with how the shoots went. And you will get a link to each of the videos of course as they go out on the net. Their release will be staggered over the coming months between now and the start of the climate negotiations in Paris in early December.

    Here is a photo, taken by Zoran, from one of the sketches.

    Everyone involved in both the cast and crew have been wonderful – not only talented but positive, flexible, and understanding all the way along. Their will be full credits posted on the website we will be building over the coming weeks. In the meantime, you know who you are – thank you!

    We have in fact exceeded our goal and we still have until midnight at the end of Monday New Zealand time to keep raising money. The people running the crowdfunding site tell me that we can keep raising money as long as it goes on this project, which is only reasonable. We could certainly make good use of a little more. So, if you know anyone who would like to give a little more then please point them our way on https://www.boosted.org.nz/projects/climate-change-comedy-videos-global-heart-warming

    But mostly, please just accept our thanks. And stay tuned for the when the videos come out! 

    We have reached our target - thank you!
  • Shooting in progress!



    Tonight is the end of day two of three of filming. We have shot three of the five videos and we are half way through the fourth. We finish shooting tomorrow. On Tuesday and Wednesday we edit. 

    So tired. So happy. And very pleased with the work we've done so far. I love this photo from the shoot on Cornwallis beach yesterday. Giovanni, the director, was running around like a mad happy genius getting shots of us all in suits in the sea. But I don't want to give the plot away for that sketch...

    We have just over a week until the crowdfunding ends. If we don't reach the $5000 target we don't get to keep any of the money and it gets refunded to our donors. Please, could you share the word with people you know to help us get there in time? Thanks!

    And check out our interview on Radio New Zealand's Nights show from Wednesday with host Bryan Crump.


    Thanks heaps for your support with this.


    Shooting in progress!