Follow the Money

Organization Name:
Talking Eyes Media
City & State:
Describe your creative piece – what is it and what has it been used for, and why is it innovative?
Talking Eyes Media, a non-profit production company, produced this 1-1/2 minute animation for Oxfam America with design work from LeftChannel. Our goal was to capture people's attention by using innovative visuals and a compelling storyline that would bring to life a tough issue. The story follows the flow of money from a gas pump in middle America, to a big city where major deals are made, under the ocean past gas pipelines and oil tankers, past an African government center and corrupt middle men, to the village where the gas originated. At every step of the journey, money is siphoned off by the various interests involved in oil distribution, until only one dollar is left for the villager where the oil came from. We chose to mix video, photographs and illustrations, which we used in a seamless transition from reality to animation to get our point across. Follow the Money was created using Adobe After Effects, Photoshop and Illustrator.
What issue or problem were you working to address with this piece?
In resource-rich countries throughout the world, the people who live in communities where oil, gas and minerals are mined rarely share in the wealth that comes from their land. Oxfam America's campaign, Open the Books, is designed to educate local communities about their rights and to force corporations and government officials to open their books, so the value of contracts for mining and drilling are transparent. Oxfam's latest tactic is to support legislation in the United States that would force U.S. corporations to make their contracts public.
How has your submission successfully impacted your organization’s ability to solve this issue/problem?
Follow The Money was launched on YouTube with a direct appeal to link to Oxfam's Open the Books campaign. Viewers who followed the link were asked to support legislation requiring U.S. oil, gas and mining companies to publicly disclose the payments they make to governments. Through this policy shift, communities that supply our natural resources will know the value of what comes out of their land and their right to demand a fair share of the profits. By empowering local communities, they will have a greater ability to improve their their infrastructure, education and health services.
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