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Film-making for scientists (425)


29, 30 June 2017 COMPLET/FULL

Lang EN Workshop language is English

Dr Samer Alasaad Angelone


A major challenge for us as scientists is to communicate complex concepts and detailed content in ways that are appropriate for a wide audience. Films are powerful tools of scientific communication and can be used in a number of different contexts: for example in ethnographic research, for the multimedia thesis and the public defence, or in outreach, to bring the general public into closer contact with scientific research. And hence scientists can benefit from the inspirational, educational, and motivational power of films to communicate their knowledge and expertise.

The technical skills for filming and editing, as well as developing a strong narrative, lie outside our training as academic scientists. In this workshop, participants will learn about camera, audio, lighting equipment, and how to use film editing software, together with how to write, design and carry out the basics of making a documentary. This practice-focused workshop will include filming a short documentary film.


Workshop content

  • Camera and lighting (using different Canon and GoPro cameras).
  • Screenwriting and storyboard (using examples from fiction and documentary films).
  • Film editing (using Premiere Pro CC program).
  • Filming a short documentary film.

The topic of the short documentary film will be decided by the participants (following their interests) under the supervision of the trainer

  • Optionally, participants can prepare short films (within 2-3 months) after finishing the workshop and send them to the trainer to improve them and give his feedback.
  • Note: If participants decide for this option, they may use the cameras that they have available. Today's low budget commercial cameras are semi-professional, and usually give very good results (this will be discussed with the trainer). The most professional editing software (like Premier Pro CC 2014 from Adobe) are available for one month free, which is more than enough to edit the shot films.

Learning outcomes

At the end of the workshop, participants will be able to prepare their own films, including script & storyboard, camera & lighting and editing.


Pedagogical methods, logistical aspects

The workshop will be based on preparing a short film. The whole workshop will be working together to prepare this short film, and the participants will learn all about filmmaking while they prepare this short film.Specialist equipment (including professional cameras, lighting materials, computers and software) will be supplied by the trainer.


Intended Audience

The workshop is intended for all PhD candidates, in Social Sciences, Humanities, Exact and Natural Sciences.
Even when participants come from different backgrounds, the chosen subject to be filmed will include all possible scenes which the scientific filmmakers may face, including filming in the laboratory, during fieldwork or interviews, and in time-lapse. The aim of the workshop is to learn "the language of filmmaking" which is universal for all fields of knowledge.


Université de Lausanne


Date: Thursday 29th and Friday 30th June, 2017

Schedule: 9:30 to 17:30 (to be confirmed)

Location: University of Lausanne


Dr Samer Alasaad-Angelone is interested in the use of audiovisual tools for the communication of science. He believes that we, as scientists, should benefit from the inspirational, educational, and motivational power of film to communicate our knowledge and experience. He teaches filmmaking workshops in different institutes, including Life Science Zurich (University of Zurich & ETH).

Dr Alasaad-Angelone holds a PhD in Biology (Genetics) and Masters degrees in Film Direction and Cinematography.

To learn more about his research and films, see:


Participants are eligible for reimbursement of incurred travel expenses by train between the town of their university and the location of the workshop (half-fare card, 2nd class). Lunch costs will be reimbursed upon presentation of original receipts. A reimbursement form will be supplied to all registered participants for this workshop.



Deadline for registration 22.06.2017
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