creating stories about

things that matter.


what we do

your brand, your mission.

We're storytellers. We help explain what you do and why, and we're passionate about creating the right content, stories, films and photography to connect with your audience and make your message memorable!

A behind-the-scenes look at the making of this landmark exhibition about Hampshire's very own Mysterious Miss Austen as it is being planned and built. The film was written and created by Annalisa Russell-Smith, and installed as part of the exhibition itself alongside works by Grayson Perry, The BBC and of course, Jane Austen, at the Winchester Discovery Centre in the south of England. Six portraits of Jane Austen, brought together from private and public collections for the very first time in history, form the centrepiece of the exhibition designed to pose the question "Who is Jane Austen to You?" Includes interviews with curators Kathryn Sutherland and Louise West, and exhibition designer and manager, Ioannis Ioannidis. A must-see for Austen fans and anyone curious about her popularity which continues to grow 200 years after her death.

Prop and costume maker, Claire Isbester, explains how the copies she is making of Jane Austen's silk pelisse, a type of light coat that actually belonged to the much-loved author, will be used in the landmark exhibition "The Mysterious Miss Austen". 

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Branded storytelling case studies

2017 gold award winner | Awareness and education | nonprofit

Connecting with the people whose stories you are telling is so important. Alice's story almost didn't happen because on the day of filming, she changed her mind once she met me, or so I thought. But actually, she decided she'd better get her hair done so she'd be at her best to explain why Meals on Wheels are such an important part of her life. CW Resources, Inc., a nonprofit based in New Britain, Connecticut, creates more than 2.5 million meals a year for delivery to seniors like Alice at home or at senior center cafes. The Elderly Nutrition program exists to ensure those over age 60 have access to good nutritious food, but the human story that unfolds beyond the food is not what you might think.

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2017 Gold Award winner | AWARENESS AND ADVOCACY CAMPAIGN | nonprofit

We wrote and produced this series of short films for CW Resources, Inc. to take to Washington DC to raise awareness among legislators of the 14(c) Special Minimum Wage Certificate, a provision under the Fair Labor Standards Act that has been up for repeal, which allows those with significant disabilities to work and earn at their own pace. It's a contentious subject because it raises questions about some basic human rights. Our job was to put a human face on a difficult issue and to create a deeper understanding overall by telling some very personal stories alongside the story of the organization.

CW Resources Inc. is a national nonprofit organization based in New Britain, Connecticut, dedicated to providing meaningful employment and training for people with intellectual and physical disabilities, and protecting the rights of the most significantly disabled who choose to work.

award-winning awareness campaign | nonprofit

Community Mental Health Affiliates (CMHA) hired us to help them showcase the importance of their comprehensive behavioral health and addiction services to legislators, potential employees and to funders. They wanted to do it through the eyes of their clients and employees to show the longterm value and effectiveness of their work helping people from all walks of life.

We developed a plan, identified individuals willing to share their stories, and got to work crafting a series of profiles and a short film about the organization as a whole. These are real stories about people who have worked hard to overcome some of life's most complex problems, so respecting each individual’s honesty and willingness to share them was paramount. We named the campaign "The Spirit of Caring" and we're proud to say it won highest honors, a platinum at the 2016 Hermes International Awards and a gold in the International AVA Digital awards."

Annalisa at Local Planet Productions, took the snippet of an idea that we had to tell our agency’s story and created a powerful and uplifting message of hope, empowerment and recovery.
— Ray Gorman, President and CEO, Community Mental Health Affiliates, (CMHA), New Britain, Connecticut

award-winning marketing and awareness | small business

Shawn Hoar of Shawn's Pianos was very excited to hire us to tell his story, because unless you visit his showroom and workshop in person, it's really hard to understand what he does to bring a vintage piano back to its former glory. Shawn has spent a lifetime uncovering the 100-year-old secrets hidden in the work of the master craftsmen and builders of world's most beautiful pianos, so this was a perfect opportunity to showcase his work and his business to new and existing clients all over the world.

In "Chasing Perfection", we follow the restoration of a baby grand Steinway over the course of several months as Shawn works his magic to bring it back to life in his state-of-the-art workshop. We wanted to show how, as a Master Craftsman, he is always chasing perfection as he restores these complex instruments from the beams up. We also wanted to show off his beautiful showroom filled with pianos, vintage and new, for pianists, piano lovers and collectors of all levels.

The film won a platinum in the 2016 AVA Digital International Awards and a gold Hermes award. We continue to create films to promote Shawn and his unique business.

Awareness and education campaign | nonprofit

This film was made for the Prudence Crandall Center in New Britain, Connecticut to raise awareness about domestic violence and the comprehensive services available to those who have been affected by it. Lynda and Sarah both suffered years of domestic abuse at the hands of their spouses. This short film tells their stories and how the Prudence Crandall Center in New Britain, Connecticut, helped them get out, get safe, and start new lives without violence. Made for the Prudence Crandall Center with funding from the Petit Family Foundation, it is the first in a series detailing the work of the Prudence Crandall Center, which provides help to women, men and children experiencing domestic violence, and education and resources for the community to raise awareness of a widespread problem hidden away behind closed doors.

Still Photography

Professional still photography is an essential part of your organization's online presence and can make or break that all-important first impression you have only seconds to create. As news photojournalists, we specialize in documentary-style photography to give you meaningful images that capture a moment in time.

About local planet productions

Local Planet Productions, LLC was founded in 2009 by photojournalist, Annalisa Russell-Smith, to help organizations use storytelling to create a better understanding of their mission or services. We are small and nimble, our knowledge of the world is deep and we understand what it takes to survive in business because we are living it too. We work with people who are passionate about what they do: nonprofits, foundations, museums, craftspeople, organic farmers and all kinds of small businesses. We understand the need to work with an agency that really gets what you are doing. By creating custom media, we help our clients market themselves, fundraise, create awareness and recruit the right kind of staff. 


 Photo: ©2016  Al Malpa

Photo: ©2016 Al Malpa

Annalisa is an adventurous soul who has been exploring and traveling the world all her life, always with a camera in one hand, and a radio in the other. Early on, her passion for motorbikes led to the exploration of the obscure roadways and country lanes all over the British Isles where she grew up. Later, she learned to fly hang gliders before deciding she'd be better off with an engine and started exploring the countryside from the air in a single-engined Cessna.

She's a self-confessed food snob who put her money where her mouth is, literally, by starting a farmers' market and running a small organic farm complete with a flock of heritage-breed chickens.

Curious and passionate about her work, she fell in love with storytelling as a way to connect with people, recognizing early on that throughout the ages, people have relied upon stories to keep their cultures strong.

In her mid-twenties, she sold everything she owned, and embarked upon a trip around the world armed with her camera and a small backpack. She spent time exploring eastern and southern Africa, China, Australia, New Zealand, The Pacific Islands, America and Canada. After that grand, educational adventure, she settled in Canada before moving to the United States in 2003. 

Her mission is to tread lightly on this earth while inspiring others to do the same, to enlighten people from all walks of life about things that really matter to help them have a deeper understanding of the world they live in whilst lending a voice to those who may not otherwise be heard.

She has been in demand throughout her career as someone able to develop projects from the ground up with style and attention to detail, and the ability to execute with perfection. 

"What I love the most about the work I do," she says, "is being able to put a human face on some very complex issues. The best compliment I can receive is "She gets us!" because then I've really done my job. " 

A native of the British Isles, Annalisa is based in Connecticut and is available for assignments anywhere in the world.

Annalisa’s attention to detail is impeccable and the quality of her work is phenomenal.
— Sandie Lavoy, Sr. VP of Community Rehabilitation Services , CW Resources Inc., New Britain, Connecticut.

Let's talk about your project!

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Phone: 203.909.2850

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