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Reel Talk: Science & Film Newsletter

Filmmaker recording a video at a vet hospital
WUI Productions filming a documentary profile piece on Dr. Douglas Thamm at the Flint Animal Cancer Center. Photo by Sadie Stalker

Editor's Note

Welcome to the new WUI Productions newsletter, Reel Talk: Science and Film, a publication established to talk about all things WUI, science, research, and film. You can subscribe to our newsletter on LinkedIn. Our decision to create this monthly(ish) newsletter and take a non-video approach to communicating with you is twofold. 

The first is to keep in touch with our colleagues, customers, and anyone else who is interested in learning more about science communication and video production through the lens of documentary film, media production, photography, and more. 

The second is a way for us to communicate what’s new with us as a company, the work we’re currently producing, any news for films that we’ve been involved with, and to also recap our previous month in the Reel Wrap section, which can be found at the end of this newsletter.

In this month’s newsletter headline article, we decided to take a look at how scientists, researchers, and other organizations can use film and video products to communicate their science, research, or message, along with some examples of films that we’ve produced to highlight a variety of ways that using video is an effective science communication tool. 

Thanks for reading our inaugural issue, and we hope you subscribe to join us on our journey of communicating science and creating films for your enjoyment. 

Cheers, the WUI team. 

The WUI Proudctions team smiling with Smokey the Bear
The WUI Productions team at the From Burn to Bloom event this fall. Photo by Anika Pyle

This Month’s Topic: Elevating Science Communication through Film & Video

Over the last few years while working on a variety of video projects with scientists and researchers, there's one sentiment that's been repeated over and over - they want their work to reach a larger audience and have a bigger impact!

While we can all agree that writing research papers and being featured in science-based publications is incredibly important to communicate the hard work scientists and researchers produce, it does have limitations to the audience it reaches and the direct impact that it has - especially the general public. 

This is where sharing and communicating their work through video can be a more effective way of reaching and engaging a broader audience and having that bigger impact that scientists and researchers desire. 

Plus, communicating science can be a daunting task. However, it’s something that can be a fun and informative process when collaborating with a team of communication and film experts, such as WUI Productions.

Let’s take a look at some examples of video products that can be created to tailor-fit how you want to communicate with your audience.

Filmmakers recording a deer during a golden fall day.
WUI Productions filming some nature and wildlife content for its new YouTube channel. Photo by Sadie Stalker
  1. Documentary Series

Producing a documentary series can have a tremendous impact through in-depth and engaging narrative storytelling, stunning visuals, and immersive soundtracks that can not only educate an audience about its topic, but can inspire them to take action as well. 

With that in mind, let's take a closer look at how a documentary series can be filmed and edited to reach a targeted or specific audience. Documentary series can help audiences in making more informed decisions about the film's story and the information contained within. 

The Hold Our Ground documentary series on soil health, in which WUI was the field production team and was produced alongside the Center for Science Communication at Colorado State University, the Star Program, and the Colorado Department of Agriculture, was created with a specific audience in mind, ranchers and farmers. 

It also goes further into targeting specific audiences, as each episode has a more narrow scope. For example, the film below was created primarily with ranchers in mind, as it features how they are implementing and utilizing soil health sciences in the management of their ranch. 

Creating targeted documentary content enables stakeholders to take action through the education and inspiration presented in the film and shows your audience that your science team cares about making a difference. Similar methods of targeted storytelling can be seen in the work done by the Global Initiative for Childhood Cancer’s workshops that used films to engage with stakeholders and could be implemented for your project as well.

 2.  Organizational Overview

Having a video that highlights your organization's work is a great asset for communications. You could use it on your website as an eye-catching visual for your homepage or for a communications campaign to send out to new clients or those interested in what your organization does.

In just a few minutes of viewing, people unfamiliar with your organization can be introduced to what you do while also making a personal connection to your team. WUI has produced videos like these for organizations such as Working CircleAgNext, and the Radical Open Science Syndicate (Ross)

For this type of project, we typically conduct interviews with those directly involved and impacted by the organization and accompany them with footage of your organization in action. Examples of this footage can be employees or staff working in the lab or field, talking and meeting with collaborators, or at an event. This can all be created to match the organization's needs and the intended outcome of the film, which can have different goals, such as an explainer video, story, or campaign

 3. Event Promotion or Recap

Hosting an organizational or science communication event with partners, collaborators, or the public? Expand your reach with a promotional video, behind-the-scenes social content, or an exciting recap video to re-engage with your audience.

An event video showcasing the hard work that your organization does, such as one we created this fall for the ROSS Syndicate’s From Burn to Bloom Event, can be a fantastic marketing and social tool for anyone interested in what you do. 

This example takes on a long-form approach to provide a more in-depth story as it was published on Planet Forward, an organization that supports environmental communications. Even though this example is on the longer side, multiple edits of a video can be made, such as a reel for social media or a quick one-minute edit for a newsletter. Producing multiple edits from the event footage is a great way to reach your audience and can provide material for other videos like organizational overviews or documentaries.

If you or your organization wants to start sharing your science through video in one of the ways we profiled in this newsletter, please reach out, and we would be happy to discuss your project's vision and goals.

The Reel Wrap

This past month, WUI has been taking a closer look at how to grow our business and share some of the things we like most, specifically environmental videos. 

One element that we decided to add to our repertoire of visual communications was to start creating short videos, or Reels as the cool kids say, for our social media accounts. We feel this is a great way to showcase our love for nature and demonstrate that a short video (10-15 seconds) or short film (60-90 seconds) can impact our viewers and attract attention to our work. 

We also created a YouTube page (I know, welcome to 2011, right?) that we plan to use to increase our reach to a broader audience and an increased customer base. 

It’s also a great way to get feedback from our viewers in addition to our other social media channels, as we do like to engage with others over our videos and the messages and stories that they deliver and tell. 

So far, we’re enjoying it. It keeps us busy, gives us a reason to use some of the extra footage that we’ve shot, and opens us up to new people to connect with. We also plan on expanding this into more than just pretty and serene nature videos, with content like behind-the-scenes clips, instructional videos, gear reviews, and, of course, our new films. 

Ok, now it’s shameless plug time. If you’d like to connect and follow us on our new YouTube channel or any of our other social accounts, please click on the links below and hit the follow or subscribe buttons; we’d really appreciate it!  We’re also open to suggestions for new social content, so please let us know! 

Thanks for tuning in to this month's Reel Talk: Science & Film, and stay tuned for next month’s(ish) newsletter, where we’ll take a closer look at what the real WUI is and why it’s so important to us and you. 

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