Studio Silverback launch Open Planet, a free footage library for global impact

We’re excited to reveal our new project, a ground-breaking new footage library, Open Planet, announced today (18 Sept) at the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in New York.

Launching globally in early-2024, Open Planet aims to revolutionise the way we tell stories about our changing planet by enabling everyone, everywhere, access to high-quality, scientifically accurate footage – free to use for educational, environmental and impact storytelling. This unprecedented storytelling toolkit will support changemakers, educators, content creators, organisations and decision-makers to tell stories that will drive the changes needed in the next decade.

Studio Silverback is making world-class environmental footage freely available to content creators all over the world. We have worked in collaboration with a global network of industry-leading experts, and in partnership with Carnegie Mellon University’s CREATE Lab, creators of interactive, data-driven stories about our planet using the EarthTime platform, to create Open Planet. 

The fast-growing library features powerful footage and data-led visuals produced exclusively for Open Planet, as well as incredible cinematography contributed by world-leading filmmakers and producers, helping to build the most comprehensive free library of climate and nature footage in history. 

Colin Butfield, Executive Director of Studio Silverback and Director of Open Planet, said: 

“As filmmakers, we know stories can be powerful agents of change, and with the window for action rapidly closing to address the planetary emergency, there’s never been a greater need for compelling, authentic storytelling. Open Planet will not only present the causes and impacts of climate change and nature loss, but also the incredible ingenuity of those driving innovation to keep crucial sustainability targets within reach.”            

Gabriel O’Donnell, Principal Programmer for EarthTime, said: 

“EarthTime is excited to partner with Open Planet because we believe the combination of compelling on-the-ground video narrative coupled with the best of insightful data visualisations can make the state of the world undeniable. We believe that visually convincing evidence of change, both micro and macro, will move people forward from questioning reality to embracing the fact that we all have an immediate responsibility to act in the best interests of our one planet.”

The announcement of Open Planet coincides with the critical halfway point for implementing the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as political leaders gather in New York this week to review progress and accelerate actions towards the crucial 2030 targets.      

While the damaging effects of climate change and nature loss are already being felt across the world, credible and inspiring footage documenting the major environmental problems and solutions is scarce, and often rights-restricted or expensive to use. Open Planet was created to change that, unlocking existing barriers faced by global storytellers in scaling up communications about the planetary crisis. 

Caroline Petit, Deputy Director for the United Nations Regional Information Centre for Europe (UNRIC), said: 

“At this halfway point of the Sustainable Development Goals, it is crucial to provide all possible tools to supercharge the breakthroughs needed to achieve them. Capturing hearts and minds to motivate action is one powerful way to do so. We welcome this free access to quality, accurate footage that will allow everyone to work together towards a cleaner, healthier planet, and dignity for all.”

An early version of Open Planet is now live, with over 3,000 clips already available for use. The full public release of Open Planet will follow in early-2024. 

For more information and to explore Open Planet, please visit: