By Francesca Brooking and Nicole Luwaca
Back in July this year, we were part of a group of ten students selected to participate in a week long attachment at the Open University. Our aim at the start of the week was to produce two short films, exploring how scientists have been represented in popular culture. To do this, we split into two groups; each group produced one film.
Day 1 was about role playing, where we were divided into two groups and acted out different roles in an interview setting. Day 2 focused on “piece to camera” techniques.
On Day 3, we made a script and storyboard to be used in producing a video based on scientists under the supervision of a professional researcher. On Day four, we began filming, working on films about science fiction and research into the representation of women scientists in popular culture. Here is what we produced:
A novel approach to the life sciences
Science: white coats and laboratories
Day 5 centred on editing skills. In some ways this was the most enjoyed this part of the course as we were taught how to use special effects to make our clip look proficient. Lastly, we did a piece to camera, reflecting on what had been learnt and what it was like working with the professionals.
What did we gain from this experience?
We gained insights into working in a professional media environment, such as how planning towards your end product is imperative. We also learnt the vital importance of meeting deadlines. Before the trip, we didn’t realise how the outcome of the video relied on each member of the team fulfilling their role in the production.
More practically, we learnt about lighting, sound and editing techniques, and project management, all of which which will help us as I progress into Year 13 Media Studies. Overall, the experience was a fascinating eye-opener and we found the programme extremely useful to our media studies courses.
We were training in a workplace environment, working alongside experienced media professionals, including Janet Sumner (Producer), Tom Ryan (Assistant Producer) and Gerard Giorgi-Coll (Editor). April Tricker from Denbigh School supported our work throughout the week. We are grateful for their support.
We also worked with a group of Open University researchers, including: Dr Richard Holliman, Elizabeth Whitelegg, and Dr Jenni Carr from the Higher Education Academy.
We were given great access to film in laboratories at the Open University and we would like to thank The Biological Research Network, Department of Life, Health and Chemical Sciences and The Astrochemistry Group, Department of Physical Sciences for giving us access.
The Media Training workshop was organised as part of the OU’s RCUK-funded SUPI partnership with the Denbigh Teaching School Alliance. Mark Russell and Helen Brown from Denbigh School helped to organise the training for us. For further information about the project, select: Engaging Opportunities.
To find about more about RCUK’s School-University Partnership Initiative (SUPI), select: http://www.rcuk.ac.uk/pe/PartnershipsInitiative.