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Pitt’s 4-day film bootcamp helped researchers expand their audience

People sit in class in a computer lab

Pitt’s Film Boot Camp: An Introduction to Audio Visual Practice in Research is back after a three-year hiatus. The four-day video production workshop teaches faculty, graduate students and staff how to communicate and promote their research in video format.

The program, held last spring, was a joint effort of the Derek Jarman Lab, the Center for Creativity, Film and Media Studies and the Office of the Provost.

“Many of our researchers publish in academic journals with a narrow audience, but their work conveyed in a short video can have a different kind of impact,” said Jeanne Marie Laskas, founding director of the Center for Creativity and distinguished professor of English. “A video can reach a million people in the broader community.”

The workshop’s 12 participants developed their skills in shooting on DSLR cameras, sound recording, scriptwriting and editing, and their final products reflected a range of styles and approaches — from informative, didactic videos to ones with a more artistic bent. Watch one example below by history doctoral student Paula Orozco-Espinel.

“From a communications and marketing perspective, video is becoming more important. The film bootcamp is building the University’s internal capacity to elevate our expertise,” said John Wallace, vice provost for faculty diversity and development.

Laskas emphasized that anyone, regardless of their academic background, can benefit from learning video production.

“We are all creators no matter what discipline we're coming from or our jobs,” she said.

Interested in joining this year’s cohort? kit [at] pitt.edu (Email Kit Ayars), director of the Center for Creativity.


— Nichole Faina, photography by Bartek Dziadosz

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