Media production in a virtual world

This time last year our Media Production team's calendar was filled with lectures, events, film projects and, of course, a summer of graduation ceremonies. This rapidly began to dwindle as the lockdown hit and, like most of our colleagues around the University, this small team has worked hard to meet the challenges of online working. 

So, what have they been up to over the last few months while their cameras have been gathering dust? The team sent us an update to share with you - read on.

Helping Oxford embrace the virtual world

Although not a new concept, webinars and virtual events quickly moved to the forefront of people’s minds last year and this continued into 2021. We worked non-stop to help and support our University colleagues with moving many of their planned public engagement events, training courses, research conversations, conferences and workshops into the virtual world. 

Teams Live Events and Zoom were completely new to us, but drawing on our experience of delivering live-streamed events, we were able to navigate them with relative ease and confidence. This meant we were able to provide invaluable training, advice and technical support in this often confusing and unpredictable environment, where stakes can be high, and nerves are shredded! These sessions have been extremely popular with event organisers, communications officers and IT staff around the University, and look set to continue in the future.

As people are becoming more familiar and at ease with virtual events, we believe that even when life goes back to ‘normal’ (whatever that will look like) there will certainly be a place for them going forward. Many customers have told us they are impressed by how easy it has been to connect with audiences around the globe and have seen the potential to widen their outreach programmes.

High quality productions continue

Despite lockdown, many new topical series and episodes have continued to be submitted to our Podcast Service, providing an insight into many of the research projects that are happening around the University.  Many of these have been specifically produced for lockdown. One example is Back Garden Biology - a fantastic series for all ages produced by Dr Lindsay Turnbull, designed to get viewers outside in their garden to discover and understand the theory behind every day biology. 

We filmed and livestreamed the Vice Chancellor delivering the Matriculation Ceremony in the Sheldonian for new students – this was the only live filming we have done in the last year!

We also continue working closely with our colleagues in the Maths Institute and Public Affairs Directorate, live-streaming pre-recorded lectures for their popular public engagement lecture series. The highlight looks set to be a forthcoming event with Roger Penrose in conversation with Melvyn Bragg (16 February at 5pm), celebrating his recent Nobel Prize win.   

Staying in touch

We have received kind messages from the public to say how much they have enjoyed watching or listening to the podcasts during lockdown – these mean an awful lot to the team and keep us all motivated.  

To celebrate Valentine’s Day, we have collated a few of our ‘love inspired’ podcasts into a series for your enjoyment and hope to see you at an online event soon. In the meantime you can contact us by email or visit Educational Media Services for further information.