Tag Archives: film

People Count by Erinma Ochu

Over the last few weeks I’ve been doing phone call interviews to find ‘people stories’ behind what motivates researchers to get involved in designing these technologies. When I looked at most of the researchers websites, it talks about the technology, but not about the people behind it. It has been insightful and inspiring to hear why researchers came up with their ideas.

Each project seems to address a social need by providing simple, technology and skills to provide an innovative solution to the problem. The researchers clearly engage with potential users to design and test the solutions. Techniques include creating networks, spaces (e.g. virtual platforms and maps) to help people to communicate, relate and share information.

So for example, Aberdeen researcher, Edoardo Pignotti’s GetThereBus app (http://www.gettherebus.com/), crowd sources information from bus users to provide real-time bus schedules in rural areas where travel information is often sparse or out of date.

Common themes seem to be emerging in making low cost, simple solutions to enable skills development, communication and access to information, often in remote areas.

The other projects I’ve been in touch with, include Mike Santer and Blupoint (http://www.blupoint.org/), Mike Wright and Anna Kronenburg who worked on Cloudmaker (http://www.fact.co.uk/projects/cloudmaker-making-minecraft-real.aspx) and I visited Pat Langdon who is working on the Upland Rescue and Resilience project.

It will be interesting to discover what else people have learned as a result of being involved in their projects – but that might be beyond the scope of a ten minute film.

Filming is scheduled for the two weeks in June and includes, weather permitting, a visit to the Lake District to see the Upland Rescue team in action with the Coniston Mountain rescue team and volunteers, doing a field test.

Sense and sensibility by Erinma Ochu

Caroline filming

Caroline filming

After an initial meeting with Steve and Jeremy in Southampton I got started quickly. The goal is to screen the film at the annual conference in June.

In order to scope out the film’s vision and get a sense of how things work, I wanted to understand how the network works in practice. I visited the ITaaU team in Southampton and sat in on a May workshop about Healthcare apps with my cameraperson, Caroline Ward, who also filmed the Everyday Growing Futures film.  We filmed some of the workshop, interviewed Jeremy Frey, the lead investigator and got some voxpops from network members.

Whilst we might not use all of this footage in the film (the film is only going to be ten minutes long!), it’s helped us to scope out the film, think things through in pictures and understand in simple terms what we mean by IT as a Utility. Jeremy and network members helpfully come up with some simple metaphors, to explain the term.

We also thought more about the kind of locations we needed for filming the projects.

Sky through plane window

Sky through plane window

Now, with a sense of how the network works and getting our heads around the jargon and buzz words, our ideas that were a bit up in the sky, can come back to earth as we hit the ground and start interviewing people about their projects.

As yet – no title for the film…. Ideas welcome! The current favourite and working title is: “The social life of data”.