DIY Filmmaking at the University of Edinburgh: Imagining future teaching through a smartphone

Notes from a recent Near Future Teaching event at the University of Edinburgh

I had been looking forward to the Near Future Teaching DIY Film School event since I first saw Stephen Donnelly give a demonstration of some of the very cool mo-jo (aka mobile journalism) kit that Media Services at the University of Edinburgh have invested in for staff and students to make use of in their work and study, and play.

The equipment generally allows a mobile phone to magically morph into a pimped-up fully functional hand-held video camera. Items such as the BEASTGRIP give you a more stable base and allow you, if you wish, to attach to a tripod, and then you can pop on a RODEVideoMic and a portable Commlightand you’re ready to go.

Stephen talked us through all the equipment, some top tips for how to get started on your first videos, and showed us some examples of really stunning short films made with iPhones such as this beautiful film commissioned by Bentley Motors.

Then the teams were sent out with the equipment and they each had about an hour to make their first film. To our surprise one group even managed to do some editing of their interview, and you can take a look at it here.

We were so impressed by the participants who jumped right into the process and not only explored this remarkable, empowering and accessible high/lo-tech equipment, but who also managed to incorporate Near Future Teaching-inspired questions about the future into their vox pop interview.

If you work or study at the University of Edinburgh and are interested to learn more about and use this equipment and to get involved in the Near Future Teaching vox pop conversation, get in touch!

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