Creatives in the UK and Australia use Covid-19 to Challenge Pre-Lockdown Status Quo in Intense Film for Extinction Rebellion

Creatives in the UK and Australia use Covid-19 to Challenge Pre-Lockdown Status Quo in Intense Film for Extinction Rebellion

May. 28, 2020

London creatives Luke O’Driscoll and Marco Mollo and Australia’s Milos Mlynarik and Tim Arnold (a freelance photographer and filmmaker/sound designer, respectively) have created a one-minute film for Extinction Rebellion to announce the activist group’s ‘No Going Back’ campaign.

 Extinction Rebellion is once again giving voice to global dissatisfaction – this time around returning to ‘normal’. Stating that the challenge of addressing the pandemic is inseparable from the climate and ecological emergency – both must be addressed in tandem to secure a safe future for all. The activist group asks the public to take part in a series of silent protests on Saturday 30 May at 12 noon. The protest has been designed so that people are physically distanced at 3 metres apart, with Extinction Rebellion asking that everyone wear protective masks in order to take part and only travel walking or cycling distance.

Posing the question, ‘How Normal was Normal?’, the film was shot in Sydney, Australia during the lockdown and juxtaposes the beauty of empty streets, restaurants and offices with oppressive sounds of the madness of a pre-lockdown “normal” life. It examines everything from political lies to consumerism, excessive greed, the climate crisis, and advertising.

Marco Mollo says on the idea:

“We were questioning everyone talking about the new normal. And with that it implied that how we were living before was “normal”. But in many ways, it was anything but. 

My friend and photographer, Milos Mlynarik in Sydney was out of work, like many freelancers due to the corona crisis, and he had shot some really striking, almost haunting shots of the empty city. It got Luke O’Driscoll (my creative partner) and I thinking about using that and we came together to devise the concept. Milos then brought Tim Arnold on board as the filmmaker / sound designer. Tim had to work through hours of audio clips, everything from a 2010 Wall Street flash crash to Michael O’Leary of Ryanair talking about insane levels of flying and create the crazy soundscape to contrast the calming visuals.”


Luke O’Driscoll says on the conflict with advertising and Extinction Rebellion’s goals: 

“As people that work in advertising, we are aware that we can also be part of the problem. But I believe brands and a healthy planet are not mutually exclusive. That now, more so than ever, is the time for ad agencies to help guide their clients to a more sustainable, ethical future. And I think that’s really what this film is saying, that a better future is possible, and this is our chance to make that a reality.”


Extinction Rebellion’s Tamsin Omond says:

“We live in an era of global crises. Covid19 forced us to stop. In the people-led response to the pandemic we saw another world emerging. But vested interests will do everything they can to stop us from learning the lessons of this global pandemic. Our climate is being destroyed and our politicians and political systems will return us to 'normal' if we do not rebel.

Governments around the world have already begun putting together relief packages for high carbon industries amounting to tens of billions.

We need to make clear that there is no going back. We will not be silent as billions are rolled out to protect the most polluting and ruthlessly profiteering industries, while the most vulnerable are again forgotten. This is the moment to achieve the impossible.

This act of defiance will highlight a refusal to go back to business as usual. There has never been a more pressing time to completely reimagine the way we live, and with much of the mainstream media joining the call to “flatten the climate curve”, and a poll out today that shows even 62% of Conservative voters want a green recovery, it’s clear that we must use this moment to secure a safe future for all.”

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