We’ll leave this here for the sake of continuity, but more frequent chapters of our tale will now be found at the StoryCog blog.
The SciCast submission deadline at the end of April looms large, and in the nick of time we completed a major revamp of the project’s website. We had a terrific time exhibiting at Maker Faire UK in Newcastle earlier this month, and are excited about the support and excitement SciCast continues to generate. We’ve finally made some progress with finding new funding for 2012 onwards, too, though there’s a long way to go and it’s too early to say anything publicly yet.
Also for Maker Faire, we made this film for Newcastle Science City’s Community Engagement Team:
This marked our first full DSLR shoot, which in places shows – we were learning fast, but we also reckon the occasional scrappiness suits the content rather well. It was a fun workshop, and we think the film reflects the tone of the day; the client is delighted, which is always nice. We’re also pleased to report that the group’s game went down a storm at Maker Faire. It pretty much survived, too, which tells you everything you need to know about the Maker Faire audience.
In February we ran a lighting workshop for the inaugural meeting of a Science Film-Makers’ Forum. A terrific group in the making, we were delighted to help set an informal atmosphere. The Wellcome Trust’s contribution of beer might have helped too, come to think.
Meanwhile, the physics demonstration films we made last year have gone down a storm with teachers, and we’ve been recommissioned to film another batch over Easter. Exciting!
Finally, we’ve been taken on by Ignite! to mentor one of their humblingly smart and motivated ‘bright young things,’ through an adjunct to their Creative Sparks project. We met up at an outrageously creative weekend workshop on the shores of Rutland Water, where amongst other things the group took lots of photographs like this:
Time to take the wraps off our latest project: demonstration films for the National STEM Centre and the Institute of Physics. You’ll find the first batch of films at the STEM Centre’s eLibrary, and in due course they should be linked up with PracticalPhysics.org too.
The films are intended mostly for teachers, and are straightforward, short, and as clear as we could make them. We’re pretty proud of the results – apart from the bits we cringe at – and it’s looking likely that we’ll make a bunch more during 2011. So please, leave comments at the films’ pages, and help steer the development of what could be a vast resource.
We also did the conference trail late last year: Jonathan presented at Media & Learning in Brussels and at Engage 2010 in London for the Beacons for Public Engagement. We’ll be at the BIG Event in Bristol later in 2011 if you want to catch us there.
Busy. Busy busy busy. Since the last update:
- SciCast was bigger and better than ever; the Awards event was a hoot. We’re still clearing up the aftermath, and working through the details for continuing SciCast into 2011.
- Jonathan’s working with the National STEM Centre, the Institute of Physics, Alom Shaha and the National Physical Laboratory to produce a batch of films about demonstrations, for teachers.
- He’s also continuing his work with the Beacons for Public Engagement and BBC1’s Bang Goes The Theory, helping a huge group of academics answer questions sent in by viewers of the TV series.
- We’re wrapping up a few smaller projects, and have a couple more afoot. More on these later.
- We’re hiring! See the jobs page.
Watch out for Jonathan’s session about writing science shows at next month’s BIG Event, to be delivered with Paul McCrory of Think Differently. We’re both over-excited about it, and on reflection might have accidentally written a week-long residential course rather than a one-hour seminar.
Meanwhile, SciCast continues apace, and we’re keeping everything crossed for what could be a pivotal project, which we’ll hear about next month.
Last month, we signed up our first two clients; we’re taking over the running of science video competition Planet SciCast, funded by NESTA, and we’re working with a consortium of universities to film a schools’ maths engagement project.
The maths filming starts in early March, but most of our time, for the next five months, will be taken up with SciCast. This is the third year of the project, and there’s a huge amount still to do.
This may not qualify as news where you are, but it’s pretty big in our world.
Don’t worry, we’ll rejoin society soon, and start paying attention to what else is going on. But in the meantime, we think that forming a new company is exciting, and we intend to enjoy it. Just for a little while.