For the fourth year in a row we’re running the EGU Communicate Your Science Video Competition – the aim being for early career scientists to communicate their research in a short, sweet and public-friendly video. Our judges have now selected 4 fantastic finalists from the excellent entries we received this year and it’s time to find the best geoscience communication clip!
The shortlisted videos will be open to a public vote from now until midnight on 27 April; – just ‘like’ the video on YouTube to give it your seal of approval. The video with the most likes when voting closes will be awarded a free registration to the EGU General Assembly 2018.
The finalists are shown below, but you can also catch them in this finalist playlist and even take a seat in GeoCinema – the home of geoscience films at the General Assembly – to see the shortlist and select your favourite.
Please note that only positive votes will be taken into account.
If watching these videos has inspired you to try your hand at using videos to communicate your research to the public, but you aren’t sure where to start & how to finance the whole enterprise, then why not come along to the finding funding for your science film short course during the 2017 General Assembly? Professional outreach and science filmmakers Dan Brinkhuis (Science Media.nl) and Saskia Medler (77th Parallel Productions) will take you through three different outreach video projects and funding scenarios of varying qualities and their associated costs. They will also give insights on whether the investments paid off by assessing the success of each film in terms of how many views, likes, or even awards they garnered, or how much publicity they generated. Join us in the GeoCinema room (0.90, Yellow Level) on Wednesday the 26th April from 10:30am (CET) onward.
The EGU General Assembly is taking place in Vienna, Austria from 23 to 28 April. Check out the full session programme on the General Assembly website.
Planning your first trip to the General Assembly can be overwhelming - let us help! Credit: Credit: EGU/Pfluegl
Will this be your first time at an EGU General Assembly? With 13,650 participants in a massive venue, the conference can be a confusing and, at times, overwhelming place.
To help you find your way, we have compiled an introductory handbook filled with history, presentation pointers, travel tips and a few facts about Vienna and its surroundings. Download your copy of the EGU General Assembly guide here!
Meet Beatriz, who's short film was voted the winning entry of the 2016 Communicate Your Science Video Competition. Credit: Jordi Cortés.
If you’ve not heard about ourCommunicate Your Science Video Competitionbefore itgives early career scientists the chance to produce a video up-to-three-minutes long to share their research with the general public. The winning entry receives a free registration to the General Assembly the following year.
Before we get started, could you introduce yourself and tell our readers a little more about your research?
I am a seismologist mainly studying the Earth structure. I did my PhD on Mexico and its vicinity using a novel approach developed in the last decade. Before, seismologists used to study earthquake signals to infer the inner structure, but now we can also study seismic ambient noise, which is everything on a seismic record… except the earthquake signals! This means we now analyse what used to be thrown away, once considered useless. In this sense, it is like recycling. This has revolutionised the field and opened multiple applications, not only for imaging the Earth interior, but also for monitoring landslides, volcanoes or climate change effects.
Some of our readers may yet not be familiar with the competition, can you tell us a little more about it and what made you decide to take part in the competition?
Yes, the EGU video competition consists on explaining your research to a general audience through a three minute video. Once ready, you submit your video to EGU and disseminate it as much as possible to get people to vote for it . I decided to take part because I was fascinated with the bunch of applications developed from seismic ambient noise and aware of the importance of communicating science to society. This cocktail of thoughts inspired me to create the video.
Watch Beatriz’s winning film, Subtle Whisper of the Earth
Had you filmed any science videos prior to producing ‘Subtle Whisper of the Earth’?
No, never. Only as a teenager I recorded some short, home-made videos for outdoor activities, but nothing related with science. However, in the production of Shubtle Whisper of the Earth I was helped by two professionals: Jordi Cortés, the journalist in charge of the communication at the Institute of Earth Sciences Jaume Almera, ICTJA-CSIC, who filmed and edited the video, and Daniel García (@rocambloguesco), an Earth Sciences communicator who helped me with the script.
What inspired you to make a film about your research and submit the entry to the competition?
Since I finished my PhD I was thinking about making a documentary to show how seismic ambient noise was such a big evolution for seismology. Indeed, I already had some script ideas bubbling in my mind. Then, I found out about the competition through the recently created communication department of my center and, after thinking about it I went for it. I thought it [the video competition} was a great opportunity to make my ideas real.
We can’t go into too much detail here, but how did you go about collecting the footage and turning it into a film?
First, I adapted my original ideas to the length of the video competition specifications. After several iterations, I got the main idea. In parallel, I thought on the story: I needed something common to people, like recycling. I made a script, then Daniel helped me to simplify it from the research realm to society, and I organised it in sequences, duration and film resources. All these steps were the most time-consuming part. Jordi and I organized the “field work” dividing the filming on indoor and outdoor. Since we organized the sequence planning in advance, it took us only one morning shooting indoors and one afternoon outdoors. Jordi’s experience behind the camera and in production helped a lot to get the final video, but we only used user-level material and software for producing and editing.
What’s your top tip for aspiring science filmmakers?
Have a clear idea of the message you want to communicate. Also, you need a story to catch the attention of the audience. Once you have the idea and the story, the next step, how to visually express them, comes easily.
Beatriz preparing materials to be used in the making of her film. Credit: JordiCortés
Which part of the filming process did you enjoy the most?
I enjoyed the whole process, but especially two parts: first, the beginning of the creative process, thinking what, why, and how I wanted to communicate the story, imagining the screenshots in my mind. And second, shooting with Jordi was really fun, I enjoyed it a lot, it was like a game.
Would you recommend filmmaking as a way for scientist to reach out to a broad audience?
Sure! When I started I did not think that the video would reach as many people as it did. I was really happy when some friends told me ‘now we know what you do’. Even some colleagues told me that now they understood pretty well what we get from the seismic ambient noise. It is worth it. A short video is a good way to reach a broad audience globally. Being short, specific and visual are good ingredients to grab attention.
Would you recommend others taking part in the Communicate your Science Video Competition?
Yes, of course. It is an enjoyable exercise to communicate your research. The hardest part of the competition is the self-promotion to get votes, but that’s a different story 😉
Has this interview inspired you to go forth and produce a science video? The Communicate Your Science Video Competition is currently open for submissions.
If you are pre-registered to attend the General Assembly in April, go ahead and produce a video with scenes of you out in the field, or at the lab bench showing how to work out water chemistry; entries can also include cartoons, animations (including stop motion), or music videos, – you name it! To submit your video simply email it to Laura Roberts (firstname.lastname@example.org) by 26 February 2017.
For more information about the competition take a look at this blog post. For inspiration, why not take a look at the finalist videos from the 2015 and 2016 editions? For more tips and tricks on how to make a video to communicate your research read an interview with vlogger extraordinaire Simon Clark. We also spoke to Zakaria Ghazoui, winner of the 2015 video competition to as his thoughts on how to make a great video.
Want to communicate your research to a wider audience and try your hand at video production? Now’s your chance! The competition is open to early career scientists (ECS) who intend to register for the EGU General Assembly.
The aim is to produce a video up-to-three-minutes long to share your research with the general public. The winning entry will receive a free registration to the General Assembly in 2018.
Your video can include scenes of you out in the field and explaining an outcrop, or at the lab bench showing how to work out water chemistry; entries can also include cartoons, animations (including stop motion), or music videos, – you name it! As long as you’re explaining concepts in the Earth, planetary and space sciences in a language suitable for a general audience, you can be as creative as you like.
Why not take a look at the finalists and winner of the 2016 competition for an idea of what makes a winning entry?
Subtle whisper of the Earth, by Bbeatriz Gaite was the 2016 Communicate Your Science Video Competition winner.
Shortlisted videos will be showcased on the EGU YouTube Channel in March – April 2017, when voting opens! In the run up to the General Assembly and during the conference, viewers can vote for their favourite film by clicking on the video’s ‘like’ button. The finalist videos will also be shown at the GeoCinema during the conference. The winning video will be the one with the most likes by the end of the General Assembly.
What are you waiting for? Take the chance to showcase your research and spread great geoscientific facts with the world!