What did we learn? Lots of fascinating things – but in particular that within a large organisation the success of a project (or indeed a career) is as much down to internal lobbying as it is to the value of the work itself.
Finding the common ground
Many documentary films are inspired by, conceived of and driven by academic research in a collaboration between creative filmmakers, institutions and eminent researchers. This can only enrich and progress the filmmaking process – providing valuable insights, reliable statistics and evidence, and expert advice on complex ethical issues.
With our feature-length end of life care documentary, we hope to have a powerful social impact – engaging the public in the UK and globally, and lobbying the highest powers for change in many controversial areas. Through a potential collaboration with Glasgow University and Prof Clark, we aim to help to boost the impact of his Wellcome Trust research, using it as a solid reference point and inspiration for the film (not to mention supporting REF 2020).
And if Prof Clark can get the right people on board within the University and the wider academic community, then the expertise, research findings, ethical guidance and access to contributors he may be able to provide will be incredibly valuable to the film.
Preparing for the best
Over coming months, our main focus is developing the film for financing – producing treatments, budgets and material that will help to convince a range of potential funders and funding bodies that this is an important film, that now is the right time to make it, and we are the right team to do it.
In preparation for working with people living with a terminal diagnosis, our Creative Director Clare is also training and volunteering with the Marie Curie Helper service – providing emotional support and companionship to people in need within their homes in the South Wales area.
Top documentary films with their roots in research
The Act of Killing
“The International Centre for Documentary and Experimental Films-DocWest at the University of Westminster are the executive producers/producers of The Act of Killing in the UK after securing a very large scale research grant from the AHRC and additional funding from the University Of Westminster toward the production of the film.”
The Age of Stupid
“We worked closely with respected climate expert Mark Lynas to ensure that all of the scenarios shown in Stupid represent a credible view of the future which is drawn from mainstream peer-reviewed climate science.”
“Castaing-Taylor and Paravel collaborate as anthropologists, artists, and filmmakers in the Sensory Ethnography Laboratory, based in Cambridge, USA, at Harvard University, and in Paris, France. Their work conjugates art’s negative capability with an ethnographic attachment to the flux of life.”
Clare Sturges, Creative Director