Story-telling with film

a skill to practise

docsurfdogxCommunication is always a priority, and to cope with the challenges of COVID-19, lockdown with social distancing, we are all taking on new systems with many getting creative and learning new skills on-line.  We decided to learn how to tell stories through film-making in order to help more people.

Creating a channel with the aim to help more people by playfully understanding story-telling (filming, audio, adding stock footage & sound, editing, etc, etc…)

We set ourselves the challenge of telling our first simple story with a short film over a few evenings in halfterm, using a cameraphone, little time,  lots of online learning, a sprinkling of stock footage & sounds and a bit of fun.


Taking the principles from Austin Kleon’s books “Steal like an Artist” & “Show your work”, Film1 is mainly a sketching process to learn some skills, have some fun, get some feedback for the next film and grow. For this we aimed to chose a simple story.

We know that this 1st film will not be that useful for everyone by the time it is done, but rather see it as a creative, learning process for us.

Film1STORMY WATERSStorms come and go, here’s how do we can creativity nagivate some of these waves?

COVID-19 and lockdown has affected everyone if different ways.  For the NHS there have been so many changes.  We all need the NHS to be stronger, healthier & greener.  We also drew inspiration from a video of Dr David Lloyd talking about the Hothubs in Harrow (which helped the GPs feel less isolated).  With our connection to WMC, we wanted to initially document some of the local changes.

Two ways we cope with the stress of situations are to get help from the team and to frame problems as creative challenges.

The team has done great work under the circumstances.

What they have done has happened all across the country, but we feel that the whole team has creatively contributed & adapted to the changes made at WMC.

Having seen those changes, we felt that documenting them would be a useful way to help the team reflect and build on them, highlighting two in particular:

Online consultations & being more active (for example biking to work) to keep the whole team (the NHS staff and patients)  healthier & greener.

So, we have been practising (see Learn, Film, Repeat… below)…

…and then there appeared the need to share the Woodingdean Medical Centre (WMC) 2020 flu-clinic arrangements to help the community understand the changeable plans.  So with the help of the WMC team and the above & below filming practice, we put this together on the same day as the 1st day of the flu-clinic.

Sugggestions welcomed for the next films.

We’re considering an guide to online consultations, some around Healthy walks, something about the WMC team and something related to trainees and training.

There will be many more stories of people and communities creatively coping with the challenges.

Learn, Film, Repeat: sketching…

With very limited time we needed to practice whenever possible, playfully filming.  Hence much of the film learning was also directed to help reflect and learn other skills, see below for few examples of how rough and ready the learning process was.  As an artist, it really helps to be comfortable producing lots of sub-optimal sketches as part of a learning process.  This really helped when under time-pressure to succinctly tell the short story of the WMC flu-clinic below.  Very simple, but another step in the learning.


Backyard, lockdown rail-practice

Skatepark practice – Brighton

Wing – skate to ski practice

1st on-land board practice

4th on-land practice – feeling the asphalt waves


Social prescribing

The two items below aim to enable more people to access & benefit from social prescribing and reduce social isolation.

For more information follow the link to the recent social prescribing conference. We are working with Woodingdean’s patient participation group and looking for interested patients, groups or artists to help the community with problems such as social isolation.

Get in touch if you are interested.

Care navigation map

commission for Woodingdean Medical Centre waiting room – Brighton

Improving the experience in the waiting room, making it more interesting and useful.

Initially highlighting the Macmillan Cancer centre – Brighton  (appreciation tweeted by Macmillan GP).

With the help of patients, Care Navigators and the Public Health team, there are plans to regularly change the highlighted  sites and related leaflets based on particular Health themes/services.

  • Cancer services
  • Food
  • Activity: walks/cycling…
  • Sexual Health services
  • etc…

suggestions welcomed

Fabrica trustee

Arts, Health & Wellbeing.

darrenemilianos has just joined the team at FABRICA (Brighton’s Centre for Contemporary Art) as a Trustee.

Fabrica already does a lot of work with the community, take a look at Beyond the Gallery.

Here’s a little reading to get started:

All-Party Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health and Wellbeing

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health and Wellbeing (APPGAHW) was formed in 2014 and aims to improve awareness of the benefits that the arts can bring to health and wellbeing. During 2015–17, the APPGAHW conducted an Inquiry into practice and research in the arts in health and social care, with a view to making recommendations to improve policy and practice. Our partners in this Inquiry have been the National Alliance for Arts, Health and Wellbeing, King’s College London, the Royal Society for Public Health and Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity. We are extremely grateful to our funders, Wellcome, Paul Hamlyn Foundation and the Arts and Humanities Research Council.”

Brighton Health and Wellbeing Centre is already going some interesting work and promoting the benefits.

We are going to start some projects in Woodingdean.