There is a little bit of a shortage of physics teachers in the UK which leads to a lack of physics graduates, and completing the vicious circle a greater lack of physics teachers in schools. To combat this problem the government, the awesome Gatsby foundation and the brain boxes at the IOP have been developing courses which allow clever clog teachers without physics specialisms to be retrained so they can confidently teach physics. These films show the two routes teachers can take – PEP – Physics Enhancement Programme, which allows teachers to learn a little more physics before they go to teacher training college, and SASP – Science Additional Specialism Programme, which takes lovely biologist and mathematicians and gives them physics lessons so they too can enjoy teaching lovely physics! I know its a lot of acronyms but once you’ve got your head around them, by watching our films, you’ll agree this is a great solution to the dirth of physics teachers in our schools! And we need physicists to work on lovely renewable energy solutions, design cool little gizmos that make our Ipads work, and on occasion reveal the mystery of the universe to us. Hope you like the films.
Archive for the ‘Done’ Category
We were fairly busy the first weekend in April, having taken the challenge to complete a Sci-Fi film in just 48 hours. The basic rules were get a small team together, in our case 2 – Dave and me! Collect the elements for your film (a prop, a line of dialogue and a title) from the Apollo Cinema, Piccadilly and make a film. We had asked 3 wonderful actors to work with us James Alper, Liz Boag and Michael Quartey, and when we opened the title ‘All that Remains’ we knew we were going to make an end of the world story.
Lots of films are made about the world ending, but Dave and I are really interested in what would happen next, we have avidly watched series like Jericho, Survivors and a great doc. series called ‘Life after People’ (thanks History channel you are awesome!) and we have talked and talked about what would happen… and we reckon in the initial instance for any people left the world would be very quiet and very dangerous.. just think about all the things you don’t know and can’t do once the electricity has failed. Could you find clean water, warmth, would you fail to survive? In our film, the reason for the apocalypse is a virus spread by words/speech. Our survivors have survived because they have stopped talking after their daughter went missing. By mourning their missing child they severed links with society and sat in stony silence together and were spared by the virus. Our villain, Sy’s story is left to your imagination.
So, after the world ended what would remain? What are people like after the fall of civilisation? All that remains in our story is the chance to keep your humanity, watch it and let us know what you think?
It has been our pleasure to watch, and film the creation of a new business on our high street. See the film here –
For those of you who don’t know Brentford – we are just up the river from Chiswick, and across the water from Kew Gardens. In the Heathrow flight path, we are blessed with two beautiful stately homes, Syon Park and Osterley House, we’re on the Thames and have the River Brent and the Grand Union Canal. A little run-down, loads of lovely pubs, struggling in the shadow of the M4 but full of unexpected charms – I’ll show you around if you are interested!
Read on »
We did a music video for Jurojin, and it will be broadcast on MTV and Kerrang – so look out for it! We are really pleased with how it came out, its great fun working with the band, they’re really talented and hopefully 2011 will be a big year for them! Shot on Canon 7D and 550D in a music studio in London Bridge. Get in touch if you are a band needing a vid and we’ll see if we can do you a deal!
We have started a new documentary of our own, inspired by the work of Dr. Bob Bury, consultant radiologist at Leeds General. We enjoyed a brilliant weekend in Leeds with unfettered access to the radiation departments of Leeds Teaching Hospitals. Thanks Bob!
This is where our DSLR journey began. Simples…. buy a stills camera that shoots HD video, take it to Kenya and shoot a film. What an opportunity, and how naive were we to even try it!
Please watch this film and if you like it then please donate here – http://www.justgiving.com/mombasachildren and let the charity know what you think of the film.
So we had a 7D, no rig, only a kit lens, and the charity said would you like to come out to Africa with us and make a film. We were like yes, and we even have a camera to shoot it on.. So a month before we went, we were like how do you actually shoot on a 7D, how do you do handheld work, how do you record sound, which lenses are right, and aaaaaaaaah why is everything so expensive. We started an extensive period of research on the web, which culminated with us making a mad dash to Simon Beer at Production Gear to buy the last redrock rig left in the UK. Sitting in their show room off the north circular, we had everything we needed in our hands – and were keeping our fingers crossed that Simon wouldn’t sell it to any other customers in the showroom.
So next stop Tottenham Court Road, and another £1000 or so later we had a Sigma 30mm lens and a Donke bag to put it all in.
After an overnight delay at Heathrow when our flight failed to leave, we were on the plane with our kit split between me, Dave and a very reliable (we hoped) 16 year old called Matt who was travelling as part of our group. Unwieldy, awkward and so valuable we and our kit arrived in Nairobi. Chris Azzaro, blagged the customs officials by being wonderfully boring about the educational nature of our trip, and we were again seeing our kit disappearing through an X-ray machine and hoping, hoping, hoping it would appear at the other end. We’d already managed to break the jack on our brand new and shiny Sennheiser headphones, and had to replace them with a very nasty consumer pair of Sonys (yeuck!).
Matt was still carrying our £1000 worth of redrock gear, and I was in two minds whether we should tell him how much it was worth, but we arrived in Mombasa with kit, ready to shoot and were met by a Matatu and the wonderful Joash Obento.
So the 7D overheats!
The 7D overheats the whole time, the slum we are in outside Mombasa is in excess of 40 degrees in the middle of the day, and the camera will run for about 8 minutes at a time. Then you have to take the compact flash card out of its slot and fan it, to the raucous hilarity of all the locals, who are already laughing a lot as you have been trying (mainly unsuccessfully) to shade the camera with a multicoloured umbrella we brought with us. We spend much of our time with the headteachers of the schools, and they are brilliant, we see everything in the slum, including an unscheduled trip into a pub, where I think I’m the only woman, who doesn’t work in the sex trade, who has ever entered! We soon exit. We film in the children’s one room homes, meet their mothers, witness the absence of fathers, meet a beautiful little cat and play a lot of football. Filming is slow going, with the camera stopping, but it means we are taken into a 7th day adventist church, and are serenaded by a stunning performance on a casio keyboard mainly performed through the pre-recorded settings. We can’t get any GVs, ever! As the whole neighbourhood comes running everytime we put the camera down but we are happy.
Each night, we get back to the villa the charity have booked and have to start backing up and syncing up our rushes on our trusty little macbook – takes about 2 hours a night, and then we eat, and then we sleep.
It was trial by fire for the little 7D, but save its overheating problem, which may well not have been any better on a larger camera, it worked a treat.
One of the strange little issues we had was that the Redrock gear didn’t work very well with our Manfrotto tripod. Very difficult to get it on and off, the head would get stuck everytime. To be honest this is still an issue we haven’t addressed!
Anyway enjoy the film, thanks for reading – Nell
Canon 7D, Sigma 30mm, Canon 18-135mm, Redrock Eyespy Deluxe
This is one of my favourite films that I made for Teachers TV (RIP), a lovely project where the girls get to design and have made their very own prom dress. Something every girl would love to do! Seema Izaiah is a massively talented dress designer, with the patience of a saint as she works to interpret the designs of a group of teenage girls, most of whom have never even worn a proper dress before.
If you fancy a look at her webpages find it here http://www.izziizaiah.co.uk/index.asp
Shot by Harry Freeland, HDV – Sony -Z7
Oxford, July, 2010.
We were really lucky to meet NaturalMotion the computer games designers responsible for the Euphoria engine that powers such games as GTA 4 and Red Dead Redemption as well as their first title BackBreaker. The Euphoria engine does not rely on canned animation techniques but is a series of rules that teaches the animation how to comply with the laws of physics. When you see it in action, which you will if you’ve played Red Dead Redemption, you’ll know this means that the gameplay feels real, the characters can surprise you and move like humans.
Matt, Chris and CEO Torsten Reil talk us through the importance of physics in creating realistic game worlds and enhancing the games playing experience. Torsten Reil started the company following some academic research into the bio-mechanically accurate modelling of animals. When we first approached Torsten to take part in this film, his motivation for saying yes was that he was fed up with young graduates applying to his company for jobs with the wrong qualifications. To work in the gaming world you need a degree in maths or physics.
Matt and Chris show us the power of their physics engine, and to prove how effective it is, they switch off some aspects of the physics world to see what its like if the gravity doesn’t work. We see first hand the hilarious results when you adjust the laws of physics.
This film has animation created in-house explaining the physics of forces and motion.
Filmed on Canon 7D & 550D with Sigma 30mm, Tokina 11-16mm, Canon 18-135mm.
Like a cartoon super hero, David Richardson delivered flashes and bangs to 500 students in Walthamstow on Thursday – 15th July.
We were there to film him lecture, and to interview him for his Ever Wondered Why roadshow. David is touring the UK in a white van, with the number plate PII YSK and has already worked with 15,000 school children to enthuse them about physics.
We filmed his lecture in full HD using the Canon 7D, Canon 550D and Sony PDW-700 XD-Cam. We were delighted with the footage we got with the 7D and 550D, less so with the much more expensive XD-Cam (making its final outing for us I think!). We shot some beautiful slow-mo with the 7D at 60fps, and were really amazed at the level of detail even though its only 720p. You can see so much more detail with these slow-mo shots, much more than you could with doing the effect in post. The Institute of Physics have been really pleased with the film too and we had a great day out as well!
So if you have Ever Wondered Why… then we’ll post the links to the film as soon as they are ready.
If you can’t wait till then why not look at David’s ASE performance, we filmed this as well.
Melanie Windridge is a plasma physicist who is touring the UK giving lectures to school children about future possibilities of Fusion power. We filmed her at the Royal Institution in London, as she talked of the future hopes for Fusion and its potential as an energy source. Currently the biggest experimental Fusion station, JET is in Oxfordshire at the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy which is where Melanie completed her PhD. During the lecture Melanie explained to her audience of 500 children how Fusion works, and why we aren’t able to do it, yet!
For us, having just completed filming with solar scientists in Hawaii, Melanie’s lecture was fascinating. Her enthusiasm for the possibilities of Fusion is very infectious, and she made it seem very practical. A conventional coal powered station needs truckloads of fuel every day, if we could get Fusion power stations online, they’d only need fuel equivalent to a large bag of sugar to run for a day. But the major, and unavoidable drawback of Fusion is that although people have got fusion reactions to work, they haven’t yet had them generate more energy than pumped into them to get them working. A bit like a farmer saying they planted more potato seeds than they harvested potatoes. Not a great business model. But, with more and even bigger experimental stations being built in Europe who is to say that the scientists won’t crack the problem, and give us clean and convenient energy in the near future.
Thanks Melanie for being a pleasure to film with!
To find out more about Melanie Windridge please go to her website at www.melaniewindridge.co.uk