Man stands with his back to the audience, in the middle of a hospital room. A large camera is on the left hand side

Filming a Training Video

I was in the field today! Today’s the second of two days filming our training video to promote the use of our public health intervention.

I co-wrote the script with colleagues from another organisation, who are coordinating the video shoot.

Getting the script approved by senior executives and communications managers from multiple agencies was a mammoth task.

Day 1: Demonstration of our intervention

On the 20 May, we filmed the demonstration of our behavioural intervention, as well as interviews with executives involved in our trial.

I chose the professional actor playing a patient who gets a COVID-19 test. I wanted a man of colour, because the other person on screen during the demonstration of our intervention is a woman healthcare worker (she’s also a woman of colour). I wanted the other people in the video to be experts who were involved in our trial. The healthcare worker is one of the nurses who ran one of the clinics involved in the trial. The executives in the video are all terrific leaders who partnered on the project. They are giving testimonials of the positive impact of the trial on their staff.

We shot at a hospital; specifically, at a COVID-19 clinic. The area we shot in is not open to the public. We had strict COVID-safe measures in place.

We had professional filmmakers directing and shooting the material. Every detail about what is shown onscreen is meticulously discussed, from the tubes in the background, to whether or not there should be tissue boxes in the frame, to the order in which testing is carried out. It took the crew over one hour to set up the equipment. I showed up at 9am. It took us almost three hours to shoot one scene, which is the most important: the demonstration of our behavioural intervention. In the middle of the day, they filmed establishing shots, such as people walking into the clinic. In the afternoon, we shot two interviews with the executives from our trial.

I was on set to ensure everyone sticks to our script (our intervention literally involves a behavioural script of what to say to patients!). I was also on hand to answer any questions about our trial, to brief the executives being interviewed, and to make sure we get the material we need.

Day 2: executive testimonial

Entrance to 1 Reserve Road, a state government building with glass doors
Filming site

Today, we were ecstatic to have an esteemed public health official provide a testimony of the impact on our public health trial.

Everyone was lovely and the filming was swift and efficient.

When I introduced myself to our guest, he said: “I know you, Zuleyka, I was at the presentation you gave of your study [about the current trial, for which we’re filming the video]. It was very interesting.” I was blown away and super pleased that all those presentations to senior executives had made an impact.

I was very proud of our work today.

Visual sociology

This is just one part of a huge scaling plan, to ensure our trial is scaled across the state. Can’t wait to share more!

This gives a whole new meaning to visual sociology – collecting visual data to interpret or analyse social phenomena. Never in my wildest dreams would I have dreamed that one day, my research would become a training video used in public health.

Lighting and filming equipment in a large room. Two men sit across from one another in an interview
Shooting day 2: executive testimonial

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