Workshops & Conferences


Making Films for your Research: Innovative Audio-Visual Practices – A CHASE Doctoral Training Day.

10.00-17.30 on Saturday, November 17, 2018, Birkbeck Cinema

Joanna Callaghan, University of Sussex
Catherine Grant, Birkbeck

In this event, we will screen examples of innovative audio-visual filmmaking research practice, or research practice involving innovative filmmaking methods, and have presentations by filmmaker-researchers about their work, and also hold round tables and q & a’s.

This training event arises out of the research undertaken by the AHRC funded Filmmaking Research Network (FRN). The FRN seeks to improve understanding and consolidate filmmaking research through sharing research, clarifying methods and approaches and providing resources to improve capacity and infrastructure.

All materials generated by the event will be documented and form part of an online resource to ensure that students at other CHASE institutions also have access to these materials, ideas, and discussions.

Open to doctoral students, researchers, filmmakers and the public held at the Birkbeck Cinema.


ASPERA Conference Panel 2018

Describing the scope and scale of Filmmaking Research in the Academy

Victoria College of the Arts, June 27-29, 2018

Susan Kerrigan, James Verdon & Joanna Callaghan

Abstract: The Filmmaking Research Network (FRN) was funded by the UK’s Arts Humanities Research Council. One of the projects aims has been to better define filmmaking research in the UK and Australian sectors and to share information about how filmmaking researcher’s conduct their activities. The FRN began in 2016. Activities included two workshops, conference panels and presentations, film screenings and an online survey collecting qualitative and statistics data about filmmaking researchers’ activities. The purpose of this presentation/paper is to discuss the survey results and provide details around the capacity, that is the scope and scale of filmmaking research, which Australian’s call screen production research.

The survey received 168 responses from 112 Universities across 24 countries with the majority being from the UK (63%), followed by Australia (17%) and the USA (9%). An overwhelming majority (85%) agreed that their filmmaking is a research activity with two thirds (66%) declaring over the last decade the status of filmmaking research has improved inside their universities. One of the online survey components was to collect information about research films for a Film Register. There were 152 films made by 130 filmmakers. Most filmmakers registered only one film, with a third of the contributors registering a second film.

This preliminary data, briefly presented in this abstract, indicates the sector is small and more capacity is needed across most research areas but the results do show research activities are being conducted. The purpose of this presentation/paper will be to drill into these qualitative results to draw out a detailed description around what can be learnt about the capacity of the screen production sector. This qualitative information should be useful for filmmaking researchers who are in need of other ways to describe the sectors activities to their university research offices.

Film Screening: Filmmaking Research Network Screening and Discussion
Susan Kerrigan, James Verdon, Sean Maher, Craig Batty
Victoria College of the Arts, June 27-29, 2018

Abstract: Five films from the Filmmaking Research Network (FRN) register of films have been selected for screening and discussion. The screening and presentation of each film along with a discussion around the research statement provided an opportunity to analyse the research filmmaking research presented. The filmmakers agreed to have their films screened.


Making Films for your Research: Filmmaking Research Methods – A CHASE Doctoral Training Workshop 

Wednesday 30th January – Friday 1st February 2019, University of Sussex

This event will be led by Andy Lawrence from Filmmaking for Fieldwork, an organization that trains researcher in using film as a research method.

It will be suitable and beneficial to doctoral students at any stage of their project’s development though will be of particular use to those seeking to clarify research methodologies and approaches.

This training will cover all core practicalities when using filmmaking for fieldwork methods and techniques to answer the following questions: how to develop an efficient workflow and convert academic ideas into cinematography; how to acquire good quality images and sounds that will contribute to an engaging narrative; what are the best ways to manage your media and what codecs to use in order to export your final film; how to make use of online tools to successfully distribute your filmed fieldwork and to increase your academic profile.

Filmmaking for fieldwork uses a combination of cinema craft and ethnographic method. It answers practical questions, such as how to examine human behaviour and how to develop a more theoretical understanding of the research subject through the editing process. This ethnographic approach has its roots in philosophical considerations about human experience as well as in the relationships researchers form with their collaborators in the field.


MECCSA 2018 Conference Panel

Filmmaking in the Academy – Panel Presentation from the AHRC Funded Filmmaking Research Network

London South Bank University, January 10-12, 2018

Susan Kerrigan, Charlotte Crofts, Catherine Grant, Felicity Coleman

Abstract: Over the last 15 years the academy has struggled to agree on the nomenclature of ‘practice as research’, ‘practice based research’, ‘research through practice’, ‘applied research’; (Crofts, 2007 p. 2). In spite of this practice research has consolidated its status as equal to traditional research outputs at research assessment level in the UK Research Excellence Framework report, though Australia is still arguing for similar recognition (2015 p. 112). Filmmaking Research is one form of practice research, enquiring into production practices, techniques, modes and genres used in cinema, television and online and produces film outputs that may include fiction, documentary and hybrid forms. Filmmaking research pushes at the boundaries of both traditional filmmaking and traditional research methods by adopting unique approaches to professional and critical practices and pursuing forms of content creation that might otherwise fall outside of industry production modes and dissemination. The AHRC funded Filmmaking Research Network was established in October 2016 to develop understanding and consolidate the field of filmmaking research through sharing best practice internationally and developing resources. In this panel members of the FRN will present research from the project and issues arising.


ASPERA 2017 Conference Panel

Panel Members:
Susan Kerrigan – University of Newcastle,
James Verdon – Swinburne University of Technology
Sean Maher – QUT,
Craig Batty – RMIT University
Trish FitzSimons – Griffith University
Alison Wotherspoon – Flinders University

Members of the panel addressed how filmmaking research generates new knowledge and what resources or research infrastructure are needed to improve research capacity. Discussion will focus on case studies of best practice and FRN register of films.

Presentation Outline

FRN Update of Activities – Susan – Developing multiple strands of Filmmaking Research (workshops, survey, online screenings, JMP Special Issue for 2018)

FRN Membership Participation – Sean – Summary of online discussions (Jiscmail audit)

FRN Methodologies – Craig – Creative Practice Research Degrees and the Forming of New Identities

FRN Genres – Alison – Tensions within Interdisciplinary Research (having your filmmaking research recognised)

FRN Research Frameworks – Trish and James – How Australian universities currently express and reward research priorities, how disciplines like filmmaking should best respond to this.

Discussion (15 minutes)


Sightlines Conference

RMIT Melbourne
29th November 2016

Workshop notes and transcripts are available here

University of Sussex Workshop

Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts
7th December 2016

Workshop notes and transcripts are available here



Papers and panels have been presented at conferences and events including:

NAHEMI, London College of Communication, July 2017
Learning on Screen, British Universities Film and Video Council, November 2017
Journal of Media Practice and MeCCSA Practice network symposium, Lincoln, June 2018