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Filmmaking

Communicating Chernobyl

Communicating Chernobyl

Over the last year, I've been working with Dr Mike Wood and Prof Nick Beresford on a NERC funded public engagement project, examining life in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, 30 years later. As part of this, I was in Chernobyl this semester making films about the research consortium behind the work. 

This week, the team had a meeting near Oxford at which the films were launched. You can find a play list of them all here, or simply scroll through to  see what we did.

In search of the Giant Anteater

In search of the Giant Anteater

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This is the first of a series of short films about colleagues in ELS I am making, profiling their research and sharing a bit about their lives. I'm delighted to have worked with Prof Rob Young to track this enigmatic creature. We got a lot more than we expected, even a mother carrying its young. Hope you enjoy the footage.

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IMG_6682e copy
Andy Miah Filming
Andy Miah Filming

Fieldwork in Brazil

Fieldwork in Brazil

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This month, I am out in Brazil for a few things, one of which is to work with Professor Robert Young to track and document the Giant Anteater. I'm currently working on a film about this, but it's my first time out in the field with a colleague from Salford, figuring out what they do and getting an insight into their research. All of this is enriching my skills as a film maker, but also as a theorist interested in biotechnological and environmental change. I'm hoping part of what I learn at Salford will inform my theories on posthuman evolution, drawing particularly on an understanding of biological precedents for  species adaptation and change. It is one of the main reasons I took the role at Salford. I tell people that I spent the first decade of my career with humans and I want the next decade to be with non-humans. It's not quite as clear cut as this, but certainly a lot of what I have been arguing about posthumanism over the last ten years has led me much closer towards non-human species to understand how we might think about our own biological possibilities, but also the implications on disrupting. species categories through technology.

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DSC07625

Rio 2016 #Falta1Ano

Rio 2016 #Falta1Ano

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This week, Rio marked the 1 year to go anniversary before the opening of the Olympic Games. I always try to get to an Olympic city ahead of the event and spent my time here attending the official press conference of the organizers in the morning, and the civic protest in the afternoon. Here's what the latter looked like. It was a small group and very peaceful. It was also not focused only on the Olympics, but instead a range of groups were present, all of whom have complaints that may be tied to the wider changes around the city.

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Project Daedalus London Showcase

Project Daedalus London Showcase

On 22nd July, Project Daedalus set up an exhibition space to launch our new toolkit for drone artists. Here's a bit of a glimpse into what took place.

Drone Society

Drone Society

Video essay, from my talk at #YorkFoi York's Festival of Ideas.

Drone Island #Bebopyourworld

Drone Island #Bebopyourworld

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I was out flying again yesterday and managed to capture my son playing in the nearby islands. I find it really wonderful that he will have such films about his life captured in this way and it's another reminder of how drone technology is providing new memories of our lives. In the end, the best drone cinema experiences may be those simple, personal movies that are made, which tell us more about what life we have had. Oblivious to my filming him, or the wider perspective on where he is located, the film situated him within the place far more effectively than he could ever hope to perceive from ground level. I have no idea what he will make of a film like this when he is grown up, but, as his parent, I am sure I will find it very moving to look back and know more fully that he had all of this around him growing up and I think drone film making has the potential to make us feel this way, one way or another, wherever we live. That wider perspective we have on the world around us is simply breath taking.

My First Dronie

My First Dronie

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We are half way through the 12 month Project Daedalus, a Nesta Digital R&D for the Arts creative technology research prohect in which we have been exploring the creative potential of drones. Over this period, I've been learning to fly drones and am at a point where I feel pretty comfortable with control sticks, the conventional way of flying. However, the new Parrot Bebop drone uses a mobile device for flight. It's a very differnt experiece. The interface looks like this on the screen of the iPhone I use. The camera of the drone is visible as the background, with the controls overlaid onto it, from which you can control flight and camera.

So, after spending a few flights practicing, including some quite hair raising moments, here you have my first effort at shooting a dronie.  One of the tricky things about the dronie is that controls are back to front, but this the first time I tried to think about film making while flying, which feels like a big step. Next is to choreograph an actual story.

ps. A Dronie is the new Selfie :)

Science Communication & Chester Zoo

Science Communication & Chester Zoo

Yesterday, I spent the day at Chester Zoo, filming with our Brazilian PhD researcher Luiza Passos, who is working with the Golden Mantella frog, a species under threat in Madagascar, under the supervision of Professor Robert Young. In the afternoon, I gave a talk for Heads of Depts at the Zoo, talking about science communication opportunities. It was such a refreshing and engaging discussion and we've got so much to do, not least of which is working to build a really exciting and creative documentary programme around the amazing science that is happening at the zoo!