Why should I make a film?


Have you ever made a film? If not, why not? In this blog, Haelo’s film team Ste Miller and Tom Harvey make the case for film as a unique way to tell your story.


You’ve already got the kit

Chances are there is a video camera in your pocket right now with image quality that only a few years ago would have cost thousands of pounds. We now have the ability to shoot, edit and share a film online all on the same device. When you have a simple message you want to share with a wide audience, nothing beats film.


The empathy machine

“We all are born with a certain package. We are who we are: where we were born, who we were born as, how we were raised. We’re kind of stuck inside that person, and the purpose of civilization and growth is to be able to reach out and empathize a little bit with other people. And for me, the movies are like a machine that generates empathy. It lets you understand a little bit more about different hopes, aspirations, dreams and fears. It helps us to identify with the people who are sharing this journey with us.” – Roger Ebert

Film is a quick and direct way to make people identify with your subject. Watch this clip from the film ‘Alive Inside’ which tells the story of Alzheimers patients who have been reborn through listening to music from their past.

There’s nothing flashy about this video, the camera has simply captured a wonderful moment. This clip went viral and the music tools and ideas that feature in it were soon being used globally. What unique emotional moments could you capture? What positive effect is your work having on people and how can you share it with the world?

Here’s a clip we shot featuring a woman talking about her father and the healthcare he has received. Can you imagine what a short written description of her feelings would look like? Would it have the same effect?

Getting creative

Another great way of transmitting your message is to get imaginative. In February, as part of our Improvement Science for Leaders programme, we surprised the teams with an express filmmaking workshop. Each group had just one hour to make a film about their individual improvement project using whatever locations, props and people they could find around the venue. That’s 60 minutes to devise an idea, film it using their own smartphone or tablet, edit using software they had never used before and get it online so we could all enjoy. Sounds like a challenge? Better get started!

Necessity is the mother of invention

Take a look at a couple of videos that the first-time filmmakers produced. Who knew that jellybeans and pastries could be used to spread healthcare messages? The lesson here is use whatever resources are available and experiment – creativity trumps production cost every time.

IS4L Film Workshop – Patient Safety Scone from Haelo

IS4L Film Workshop – Talk kidneys, think kidneys from Haelo

The groups had fun making these clips and that enthusiasm shines through in the finished product. If you have an energetic and positive team it will come across in your film and get audiences on your side.

Learn your craft

One of the advantages of living in the digital age is free access to high-quality learning resources, and filmmaking is no exception. Tutorials are available for whatever smartphone or tablet you have, and simple tweaks to your technique will give you much-improved outcomes. Now that all of our recording is done digitally there’s no worry about running out of videotape or paying for filmstock. If you film something and make a mistake you can do it again and again until you like what you see.

The proof is in the pudding

Haelo’s workshop Lights! Camera! Improvement! session runs as part of our November Festival of Learning. The film team worked with groups to create films in the session covering concept and planning, practical shooting, editing and uploading. It was a fascinating day which left the delegates prepared and excited to use their new skills to record and promote their projects. The session received excellent feedback scores for content and delivery and we were soon being sent examples of the films people had created with their new-found confidence. To find out when the next session will be available email info.haelo@nhs.net

1. Statistics taken from insivia.com

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