Merredin College students are ready to create their own short science films after a recent workshop in preparation for the inaugural Sci Film competition.

Year ten science students were selected for a free workshop with multimedia producer Adrian Gaspari and science communicator Anna Gardiner. The workshop was facilitated locally by Wheatbelt Science Hub (WSH).

The workshop explained how film-making has moved relatively recently from a physical process based on ‘film’ to a digital one.  These days most people own smart-phones which are capable of capturing high quality footage.   It also highlighted that research is just one part of science, with communicating science just as important. Anna shared her top tips for incorporating science messages into film- make it relevant, memorable and smart.Students were then engaged in story-boarding before a lively session filming and editing. Everyone was given a set topic based on a new six-step hand washing technique which is being recommended by the World Health Organisation as the most effective at reducing bacteria, superior to previous three-step recommendations. The team were very impressed with the creativity the students showed in their approach. Feedback from the students was that the event was fun and educational.

That evening a community workshop was also held at Merredin Community Resource Centre where the team helped create a practice short film and shared some tips. This film used the same topic with an approach using a woods light to uncover hidden hot spots for bacteria spread.

Sci Film is calling on regional Australians to show why science matters to them in under three minutes by entering a short film. “We encourage people across the wheatbelt to have a go at making a Sci Film. There is plenty of amazing science in our region and it would be great to uncover this and show it to a wider audience,” said Rhiannon Bristow-Stagg from Wheatbelt Science Hub.

Films should communicate science, tell a story, and inspire.  Entries for Sci Film are open until July 22 2016 and there are resources available on the website at www.scifilm.com.au.  A special screening of the finalists will be held in cinemas in Geraldton, Kalgoorlie, Merredin, Albany and Busselton during National Science Week in August.

HOW TO SUBMIT A FILM FOR SCI FILM
The competition is open to individuals, groups, and workplaces of all abilities. All you need is a smartphone and a free editing app to create a short science film.

TOP TIPS:
Contains both audio and vision (stop motion also ok)
Must be 3 minutes or less (minimum 60 seconds)
Make it relevant, memorable and smart!
Tell a story (have a beginning, middle, end)
Features science
Must be “family-friendly”
Use royalty free music (see www.scifilm.com.au for resources)