Have you ever had an idea that would make a good science documentary? Or wondered what is needed to make one? If you answered “yes,” the Monday pre-conference workshop “So you want to do science documentaries? Tips and tricks for journalists willing to tell their story in film.” is just the right place to be!
Broadcast journalism is a different world from print journalism. The cornerstone of broadcast journalism, and of a good science documentary, is a good narrative story. Producers are continuously searching for good stories and powerful characters that appeal to the public. Science documentaries are also a good way to bring scientific research and scientists closer to a broad audience. However, the visual nature of broadcast journalism strongly affects the way the story is built. It is very important to make the documentary visually pleasant and appealing. After the story has been planned, the journey of the documentary has only just begun: writing a script for the story differs greatly from writing print material, and funding is needed to turn the script into lively onscreen images.
Workshop chair Chiara Palmerini is a journalist for the Italian news magazine Panorama, for which she has written about science, health, and medicine for the past 12 years. She is also a co-author in an upcoming film project about a man who lost his memory. The invited panelists – Valentine Kass, Sue Ellen McCann, Pasi Toiviainen, and Julianna Photopoulos – all have experience in making science documentaries in various fields of science. In this workshop, you will receive advice and information on how to transform your idea into a story, find the right people to send it to, think creatively in visualizing your story, make a trailer, and where to apply for additional funding.