I am sure that I mentioned in one of my earlier blogs that our Department (Geological Sciences at Stockholm University) is currently engaged in a film project together with Plastic Buddha to create a short film illustrating the teaching and research at the department. Why are we doing this? To illustrate the teaching commitments we have, and our research, and to hopefully attract more students to enrol in our courses and in our education.
Plastic Buddha has followed us on excursions to Islay and to Iceland earlier this year, and last week was dedicated to the next stage of the film project – filming in Stockholm, at the department and interviewing students and researchers. As on Iceland, I was the assistant, and Nerys was filming.
We had a clear script from the start, so that we knew exactly what had to be filmed, and we had a detailed schedule so that everyone knew when he/she would be interviewed. But – being a scientist working with a filmmaker is like talking in two different languages and thinking in complete different directions! Nerys sees the story and knows which pictures she needs, and I see the science (exciting!), without realizing that no one except me finds it so terribly thrilling! Nerys talks about shot list, footage, GV’s, action, pre-production, sound bites, and voice-overs, none of this is included in my language package which deals with sediment cores, fieldwork, coring, ITAX measurements, carbon analysis, radiocarbon dating, past climate change, and, and, and.
Despite these difficulties we managed! We got most of what was needed in the script, starting with the landmarks of Stockholm and the beautiful surroundings of the city, and moving on to who we are at the department, who our students are, where we go on excursions, what our research is about, and what the future of a geologist may be!
My colleagues were initially a bit sceptical to the film project, but many helped and contributed to the film during the past week, and so did many of the undergraduate and graduate students. A big thanks to all of them!
However, had I known from the start how much work all this would involve from my side, i.e. the planning and scheduling of the project and of all the interviews, and finding the locations for all the GV’s (general views), plus of course doing the interviews and being filming assistant during six days, I might have thought twice before suggesting such a project. Or? No, not really. I won’t think twice should the next film project come up. It was a great experience, because I learned so very much!
And what a great possibility to being able to transmit the research we are doing in a way and with moving pictures so that everyone is going to be able to understand!
Am already planning for the next film project – a continuation of our Thailand research, but this time with heavy results on past changes in monsoon intensity.