trees by the water's edge
Photo credit: Ruth Maclennan

Treeline - create a collective film with us

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.

Call to contribute video footage and sound

Deadline 17th September 2021

We would like to invite you to help create a collective film, TreelineThis 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 Forestry England and Film and Video Umbrella. 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. 

We'd like your help

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.

Trees and a river in Kazakhstan
Photo credit: Ruth Maclennan

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

More help

Watch this video: How to film your Treeline footage

How to submit your contribution:

Footage should be submitted by 17th 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

Submit your contribution

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.  

Adult release form

Child release form

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

Thank you for taking part.

Questions you may have

Will the material submitted be credited?

All footage featured in the final work will be properly credited using information supplied in the submission form. In the form we ask for details of the location where the footage was shot, as well as for a short description of the footage. We will also credit the maker of the footage, and there is a tick-box in the form to opt in to having your name credited. Otherwise we will assume that you want to remain anonymous. If an organisation has coordinated the submission such as an academic institution or charity then please state this in the short description of the footage, so that we can be sure to include this too.

What will the artist do with any income generated from the work?

The artist wants to share any profits if the work is sold, by including a royalty that will be shared among the charities that are involved in making the film. Also, any screening of the film that is paid for after the initial launch (for instance a museum or gallery, other than the partners that are already contributing financially) will include a screening fee for the artist, and a royalty for the  charities contributing to the film. 

Can contributors screen the film for free in their own communities?

Yes. Every non-profit or charitable organisation that contributes or helps with the production will be able to screen the work for free. 


Keep exploring

Nissen Hut sculpture through the trees
21 March 2019
We believe that woodlands and forests are vital places for contemporary artists to engage with, to make and present new work.
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Founded in 1986, the sculpture trail is a partnership between Forestry England and the Forest of Dean Sculpture Trust.

Some of the sculptures are temporary, while others will last for years. They have all been designed to evolve over time as the forest changes around them. Over the years, artists at all stages of their careers have been invited to create artworks for this unique context.

Small stream running beneath tree trunks and roots
30 April 2020
Forest 100: a year in the life is an online exhibition featuring the photographs of Scarborough-based editorial photographer Tony Bartholomew, and celebrating last year’s centenary of Forestry England, formerly the Forestry Commission.