Responses by Fred & Farid Los Angeles
Background: After much talk about climate change, everybody knows it’s a problem, but many people still aren’t doing anything to change it. Greta Thunberg’s global climate movement and activist organization, Fridays For Future, needed to get humans to care—really care—and motivate them to start fixing climate change on Earth, now.
Reasoning: The mission to colonize Mars is gaining momentum. In 2020, NASA launched its Perseverance rover, the United Arab Emirates launched its Hope orbiter, and China launched its Tianwen-1 orbiter and rover duo. These were all efforts to further explore the Red Planet. Elon Musk has also said he’s “highly confident” SpaceX will land humans on Mars by 2026.
Recognizing this, the solution was to create “1%,” a satirical two-minute tourism ad for Mars that illuminates the ironic and startling fact that government-funded space programs and the world’s ultra-wealthy one percent are laser focused on Mars. Yet, most humans will never get a chance to visit or live there. With 99 percent of the world’s population remaining on Earth, we’d better fix climate change. We simply have no choice. The film was launched to sync up with the February 18th landing of NASA’s Perseverance rover on Mars.
Challenges: Creating a film about climate change, a topic that’s been discussed at length, and to do so in a way that wouldn’t cause people’s eyes to glaze over; to instead, create a surprising piece of content that would capture people's attention, wake them up and motivate them to action.
Favorite details: “1%” manages to wake people up about climate change in a new, surprising, unexpected way—through the lens of Mars. The film excites people about the prospect of escaping to the Red Planet where there is “no war, no criminality, no pandemics and no pollution”—only later to reveal the startling truth that 99% of humans will have to stay on Earth.
We’re also proud to say this initiative marks the third collaboration between Fridays for Future and Fred & Farid. “1%” follows short film “House on Fire,” based on Greta Thunberg’s famous quote, and a series of satirical tourism posters under the line: “If You Don’t Believe In Global Warming, How About Local Warming?”
Visual influences: The team was influenced by the retro-futuristic propaganda genre. We found inspiration in space films and documentaries, in order to create a piece of creative that would be both provocative and impactful.