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Learning about science filmmaking

By Hannah Thurgur

Film coming out of a reel.After hearing about the fantastic Wellcome ISSF funding scheme from a colleague, I plucked up the courage to apply for funding to attend a science filmmaking course.

It's great that the scheme is available for PhD students, as it is hard to get funding to aid professional development courses.

The course presented an exciting opportunity to develop my filmmaking skills in a way that would have meaningful and long-lasting impact.

I attended a three-day science filmmaking course with a company called BlueFire Films in Somerset. The course leader, George, had previous experience working for the BBC and was an expert in scientific storytelling.

It was an intimate group of eight attendees, which facilitated easy discussion and sharing of tips.

The first day focused on pre-production: storyboarding, film development and planning a shoot. The key learnings were the importance of having a clear objective, audience and take-home messages you wanted to deliver in the film to achieve your goal and tell your scientific story effectively.

The second day focused on the hands-on experience of using a camera, while the third day focused on editing and promotion of the film.

Learn more about and apply for the Wellcome Institutional Strategic Support Fund (ISSF): Public engagement funding scheme calls.