The Age of Stupid and its many offshoots were created by more than 1,000 people. It all began in September 2002, when Franny Armstrong from Spanner Films decided to borrow the structure of Steven Soderbergh's movie Traffic for a documentary about climate change. In May 2003 John Battsek from Passion Pictures foolishly agreed to be the Exec Producer and then Lizzie Gillett was promoted from posting out VHSs to producing the whole kaboodle.
The caped crusaders Lizzie and Franny are the Batman and Robin of independent documentary film-making, the Frodo and Sam of media activism, the Torville and Dean of climate change communication, the - OK you get the idea.
In December 2004, they launched their crowd-funding model, which led to more than 300 funders investing £450,000 for the film and £350,000 for the distribution. Filming kicked off in January 2005 with seven documentary stars in India, Nigeria, New Orleans, France and England, who were later joined by Oscar-nominated actor Pete Postlethwaite playing the sole fictional character.
Technical/Video/Equipment Chief Andy Moore works on the dark underbelly of the Stupid Mothership, processing and uploading videos, making sure all the plugs are in the right holes and trying to find batteries.
Over four long years, 104 crew worked on the filming, editing, research, music and animation, supported by some generous post-production houses who forgot to send their invoices. On 15th March 2009, the Guinness World Record-beating People's Premiere launched The Age of Stupid from a solar-powered cinema tent in Leicester Square. Also kicking off that night, the Not Stupid action campaign, supported by bigwig NGOs like Greenpeace, ambitiously aimed to turn 250 million viewers into climate activists.
Batman had Alfred: Team Stupid has Rhiannon Roberts, thank god. She's a one-woman office dynamo.
Next came the revolutionary Indie Screenings distribution system, which coordinated more than 1,000 independent screenings worldwide in its first six months. Team Oz & NZ prepared for the Australia & New Zealand premiere on August 19th 2009 and then on 1st September 2009, the Not Stupid crew launched their 10:10 climate campaign at London's Tate Modern. "Ten Ten" asks everyone to commit to cut their emissions by 10% in 2010 - and within 48 hours 12,000 people, 300 businesses, 50 schools, all the Cabinet and the Prime Minister had signed up.
Alessandro, Pascale, Gordon and Berenice from Celluloid Dreams persuade TV stations to broadcast Stupid
Meanwhile, more than 62 volunteer translators finished translating the film into 31 languages ready for the Global Premiere on September 21st/22nd 2009, when Stupid was launched from New York to more than a million viewers in 63 countries at the world's biggest live film event*.
Team Stupid Batcave Dept: Leo, Dan and Tom
In December 2009, 12 places on the ferry to Copenhagen were booked for the crew to head to the UN Climate Summit to produce their daily web TV show, The Stupid Show. The aim: to make the talks comprehensible to ordinary mortals.
And then the job was done and Team Stupid said their goodbyes and headed into separate sunsets.