Screentest Festival: Freelance Panel

March 10th & 11th 2017 saw the UK’s national student film festival; Screentest host a weekend of film screenings, panels and workshops at the University of Greenwich Stockwell Street building. For students wanting to get into the film festival circuit Screentest is a valuable event.

During the weekend, Screentest hosted a Freelance panel which involved four young freelancers from various aspects of filmmaking discussing their personal experiences as freelancers in today’s film industry.

Panellists:
Taz Fairbanks (@tazfairbanks) Freelance Location Sound Recordist and Boom Operator
Zak Harney (@zakharney) Freelance Director and Assistant Director
Ciaran Obrien (@ciaranobrien) Freelance Director of Photography
Zoe Alker (@zoealker) Freelance Director and Writer

Top Tips for Being Freelance:
Although the following tips revolve around freelancing in the film and television industries, the advice can be applied to other professions in the creative industries.

  • As a freelancer you need to be a person who isn’t satisfied with a nine-to-five job. The hours will be long and you won’t get typical holidays or a specific amount of working hours a week. You will be flexible, able to work early mornings, late nights and weekends.
  • Don’t be afraid to try your luck when it comes to making contacts and working on a particular project. Make sure you call [a production company etc.] and talk to the person you want to work with. It is better than letting your email get stuck in an unread inbox.
  • It takes sacrifice and determination to be a freelancer but there is a potential to have a very rewarding career.
  • Don’t be afraid to sell yourself as a service. Make sure to tell people what is great about you and specifically say what you can provide if you work for them.
  • Figure out your day rate and stick to it. When you are studying, it is a great time to get work experience and learn technical skills. However once you have graduated and possibly have begun to invest in your own kit, it is time to figure out how much you are worth so you don’t get exploited! If you are using your own kit for a shoot, make sure you are charging for the use of your kit on top of charging for your working hours you will be putting in. Remember that kit would cost a certain amount from a kit hire facility so look into their rates and bare this in mind when working out your day rate.
  • Face to face interaction is very important as busy working professionals don’t get time to look at their emails all of the time, so ensure you make an impression on people when you can. A way to do this could be by supporting fellow filmmakers at industry events or getting involved with local events and projects. If you go out of your way to support people, it won’t go unnoticed. Supporting projects, events and people is a great way of networking too. You are more likely to be remembered if you meet and talk to people rather than emailing or calling.
  • Value your own work. Enjoy what you do and take pride in your work.
  • Don’t let people expect you to work for free. Working for passion projects may be an exception but consider how much time you can allow to give up for free before making commitments.
  • Don’t underestimate yourself. Respect your own technical skills and talent. Use your instinct when making business decisions.

How Should We Publish Our Research?

The Creative Conversations Project has been hosting events & panel discussion since 2015 and have decided to publish a series of books based on our findings. Our first publication will be a curated collection of articles expanding upon our research into The New Space of Publishing, which we aim to bring out this summer. One concern for the publication began to take the full attention of the team, how do we disseminate our research to the widest possible audience? To answer this question I composed a mini-project entitled Digitising Academic Publishing, which aims to:

  • Understand the best way Creative Conversations can publish our findings.
  • Contrast traditional and contemporary publishing models to provide a comprehensive understanding of the market.
  • Identify key milestones in the history of academic publishing.
  • Better understand the future of digital academic publishing.

Our publication will take two forms: a physical print (limited print run), which will allow us to explore & understand the particular logistics and aesthetics involved in producing a book as a physical commodity. From this we will gather first hand insight into traditional academic publishing models. The findings will also be published and distributed online allowing us to explore the advent of digital & hybrid publishing models, self-publishing & distribution, as well as digital design & formatting. Publishing online will also present new challenges when trying to reach the widest possible audience.

What Is Academic Publishing?

Academic publishing is the field of publishing which distributes academic findings and research. This can be done in a number of ways (for full description see the appendix at the bottom of the page).

The purpose of academic publishing is attributed to its conception. Now over 350 years old the first academic journals, The Royal Society of London’s Philosophical Transactions and the French published Journal des Sçavans aimed to capitalise and document the scientific revolution that was occurring[1]. The widespread dissemination of knowledge provided the foundation for the industrial revolution and widespread growth, fueling the overall keen interest in science, history and the arts, that preceded it.

Modern academic publishing provides much the same purpose, allowing for the growth and continued development of learned professions. However, publishing increasingly has become a symbol of status for academics. Those with a higher publishing status considered themselves to be more academically viable. This problem has seen a recent spike in journal subscription costs[2].

The Big Five?

Within any capitalist market, the reliance on continued growth and prolonged market sustainability eventually leads to dominant market powers who consist of huge conglomerates. The big five in international academic publishing are Reed Elsevier, Springer Science+Business Media, Wiley-Blackwell, Taylor & Francis, and Sage, which now control over 50% of the academic markets, with some publishers owning up to 70% of specified academic areas as of 2015[3].  In contrast, in 1973, market share of the five largest publishers was only about 20 percent. Open access was proposed as early as 1994[4] as an attempt to prevent this oligopoly, but was not immediately implemented. The ensuing result was that journal prices increased substantially and, since research institutes required access to multiple subscription services, poorer academic institutes were priced out[5].

The creation of market dominance has occurred in similar fashion to the music[6] and commercial publishing markets[7]. The sudden drop of physical consumption of academic journals in favour of digital publications caused the market to restructure and those able to offer subscription services prevail. This, twinned with a boom in research institutes and outputs, saw prices increase six fold since 1990[8]. However, a 2012 article argued that the statistics were inaccurate with regards to the rising costs of publications, due to the changing dynamic of sales within the market[9]. The article provided key areas to consider when identifying if publishing costs are really increasing at such a rate:

  • Purchasing Patterns – The application of subscription services and how these will be affected by fair usage.
  • Price Per Journal – The Increase of one journal adjusted for inflation.
  • Cost Per Article Download – Globally an article cost £0.70 in 2008[10].
  • Growth in Content – In 1990 there were 16,000 academic journals, and 26,000 by 2010[11].
  • Growth in Research – Ever increasing funding for research outputs.
  • Growth in Usage – In 2011 the number of cited references per article in major scientific disciplines had gone up by 1/3 to 1/2 from 1990[12].

Similar to the music and commercial publishing markets, the digitisation of articles has left the commodity worthless, while access to a large collection of articles is of great value. The push will leave article reservoirs to continue to grow in significance as the market overall continues to stutter.

The Future?

Regardless of the current state of the academic publishing market, the recent application of Open Access in the UK has seen a sudden opening up of the market with the introduction of new university presses and legitimately ranked self-publishing platforms. We have seen a resurgence in independent market control and competition.

Things we’ve covered:

  • The different types of academic publishing models.
  • The importance of academic journals to human development.
  • The effects of dominance in the academic publishing market.
  • How information reservoirs will become more significant.

http://blogs.gre.ac.uk/creativeconversations/2017/03/09/introduction-two-new-mini-projects/

 

Appendix – Types of Academic Outputs


Monographs:

A study of a single specialised subject or aspect of it – usually highly detailed on a limited area of a subject or field of enquiry.

Research Papers:

A written record of insight into a particular academic discipline. Research papers follow strict formatting. They rely on the referencing of other papers, books or original source materials.

Academic Journals:

A specific area publication intended for professionals. Usually compromised of multiple writings from several academics, they are published regularly and are regarded as one of the main sources of authority in academia. The academic journal was created to help academics disseminate research to a larger audience in a coherent and competent way. Peer review provides that the development of knowledge remains consistent and competent. Journals are now distributed through a mix of physical and digital subscription services. Journals are normally numbered to allow professionals to easily refer back to.

Magazines:

A magazine is a collection of stories, articles or news on particular academic studies. They are produced periodically to keep their readers updated with breakthroughs and the latest news in their specific fields. Usually available through subscription services.


Did you know that before the 19th century books were referred to as ‘magazines’?

The original origins of magazine referred to storage of a ‘collection’ of goods and materials, hence why people called books magazines.


Books:

An academic book is an extensive publication. Normally a collection of papers by one or more people, or collection of papers & other materials. The scope of a book can range from area introductory texts to advanced understandings, which deconstruct specific academic areas.

References –

[1] C, Costa. The Participatory Web in the Context of Academic Research: Landscapes of Change and Conflicts. (2013).

[2] Mabe, Michael. Ware, M. The STM Report (2015)

[3] Larivière V, Haustein S, Mongeon P. The Oligopoly of Academic Publishers in the Digital Era. (2015).

[4] Harnad, S. A Subversive Proposal. (1995).

[5] Habib, A. How Academic Journals Price Out Developing Countries. (2011).

[6] IFPI. Digital Music Report. (2015).

[7] Wischenbart, R. Global Trends in Publishing 2014. (2014).

[8] Bosch, S., Henderson, K., & Klusendorf, H. Periodicals Price Survey 2011: Under pressure, Times are changing. Library Journal. (2011).

[9] Gantz, P. Digital Licenses Replace Print Prices as Accurate Reflection of Real Journal Costs. Volume 11, No. 3, (Summer/Fall 2012).

[10] Research Information Network. E-journals: their use, value and impact final report (2011)

[11] International STM, ALPSP and the Publishers Association. Scientific Technical and Medical (STM). (2010).

[12] Research Information Network. E-journals: their use, value and impact final report (2011)

Creative Hubs in the Digital Age

What is the Value of Creative Hubs in the Digital Age?

In 2015 The British Council’s Creative Economy Team released a Creative Hubkit [1] as part of a report into Creative Hubs. The kit highlights the fundamental ideas used by existing creative hubs and how these can be used to establish new ones:

10 key elements of a creative hub:

  1. A creative hub is flexible. The hub can take form as an online platform or alternatively in a variety of physical spaces.
  2. A creative hub promotes collaboration
  3. A creative hub nurtures idea growth and networking.
  4. A creative hub engages together as a community and will positively impact the local community.
  5. A creative hub focuses on creativity, culture and technology.
  6. A creative hub has aims of creating social, economic and cultural value through enterprise and social innovation.
  7. A creative hub is diverse and involves people from a range of social, economic and cultural backgrounds.
  8. A creative hub can facilitate with practical spaces, hardware and tools i.e. work benches, studios, screen printing materials, 3D printers etc.
  9. A creative hub will be structured with a new business model. There will be a shared mission statement that works towards improving humanity or society.
  10. A creative hub is a supportive environment that strives for growth in creative practice, business and audience reach.

Makerversity is an example of a modern face to face creative hub, as highlighted by The British Council[2]. The business model revolves around using their work space to bring people together. It boasts a variety of creative and technical expertise in order to encourage work, inspiration, and most importantly community. According to The British Council’s Economy Team “these [kinds of] spaces promote community spirit, vital to local and global economic and social development.”[3] Interestingly Makerversity is a members only scheme. In order to acquire a membership there is a monthly fee. The fees are in place to ensure all users have access to quality facilities and also to provide social networking events.

However not all hubs require membership. The business models that are more inclusive are the ones that don’t require membership payment. In being able to offer unlimited free access, they are able to provide access for all and are consequently diverse. Ultimately, and understandably, all hubs need donations or funding for running costs, especially when they intend to expand.

Hubs such as HackSpace are non-profit and are specifically community-run. They provide workshops and shared spaces for work, learning and teaching. Membership is an option but there isn’t a specific payment amount required. Their members help to run the organisation and will pay only what they think is fair.

2017 marks the launch of Europe’s largest creative hub. Officially launching June 17th 2017; Plexal will be located at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The hub will be the first of its kind, emulating a mini city. With the latest creative technology hosted in an environment created by architects and designers, it aims to be the next innovation of creative hubs. Plexal membership prices are estimated to start from £200 for a basic co-work space and over £400 for a premium private office. The scope and size of the creative hub will being a diverse range of creatives with varying business models.

According to Claire Cockerton CEO of Plexal, the new hub could potentially create a new definition for what constitutes a creative hub and the scope of its environment. Claire explains [4] that the difference with Plexal is that “the whole focus of our space is on connected devices and we’re focusing on sport, health, fashion and IoT technologies.” Plexal’s name derived from plexus meaning, “A complex structure containing an intricate network of parts.”[5] Cockerton has said Plexal is, “very much trying to embody the concept of connectivity and also humanity.” If other creative hubs follow Plexal’s lead, integration of state of the art technology and in house specialists such as lawyers etc. could impair the efficiency of standard practical spaces.

With any creative hub there is a need for a purpose and drive. Value is derived from the members that make up the community, sustainability derives from the hub. As discussed in The British Council’s Creative Hub Report [6] creative hubs hold strong shared ‘value and values’ with their ethos and work practice, for example; promoting social change, improving education or gender equality etc. With these values at the forefront of the hub, a positive impact will be made on the identity of the hub, its members and the networks it builds. As a combination of talented people working collaboratively in a positive social environment, the individuals gain confidence and as a team are more likely to succeed. “…these shared values are powerful motivators for the often precarious and risky lifestyle of the creative economy.” [6] This is what makes creative hubs valuable to other sectors, businesses and authorities.

Additionally The Creative Hub Report [6] also points out that “success is not defined in the same way in every hub. Understanding the unique proposition of a hub, and its relation to the local creative community, underpins a successful outcome.” With this in mind it would be interesting to monitor if and how non-profit creative hubs are able to keep their values when faced with economic pressure from profit driven creatives.

In conclusion it is extremely important to understand the current digital climate of the creative industries. The Creative Hub Report states “the development of a creative hub is an ongoing process, and it points to the need to continually review the relevance of the governance to practice and to the stakeholders if a resilient hub is to be sustained.”[6] With the opening of Plexal and potentially similar hubs to follow in the future, it is likely that we will see a gradual change in the way that creative hubs work and how collaborative production takes place. Although technology may currently empower creatives to connect in an instant, it is the creative hubs with their focus on ethical values that are driving working dynamics.

 

[1] “Creative Hubs”. British Council |Creative Economy. N.p., 2017. Web. Jan. 2017. http://creativeconomy.britishcouncil.org/projects/hubs/

[2] “In Focus: Makerversity”. British Council |Creative Economy. N.p., 2017. Web. Jan. 2017. http://creativeconomy.britishcouncil.org/blog/15/01/04/focus-makerversity/

[3] “Creative Hubs”. British Council |Creative Economy. N.p., 2017. Web. Jan. 2017. http://creativeconomy.britishcouncil.org/projects/hubs/

[4] “PLEXAL: The Quirky Innovation Centre With A ‘High Street’ That’s Being Set Up In London’s £150 Million Tech Hub”. Business Insider. Sam Shead., October 2016. Web. Jan. 2017. http://uk.businessinsider.com/plexal-here-east-london-olympic-park-2016-10

[5] “The Definition Of Plexus”. Dictionary.com. N.p., 2017. Web. Jan. 2017. http://www.dictionary.com/browse/plexus

[6] “The Creative Hubs Report”. The British Council, 2016. Web. Jan. 2017  http://creativeconomy.britishcouncil.org/media/uploads/files/HubsReport.pdf

An Introduction to Two New Mini-Projects.

Local in a Digital Age

What does it mean to be local in a digital age?

This research sets out to examine confluences between the types of communication and exchange networks and constructions of personal & community identity that are enabled & encouraged by digital technology, on the one hand, and physical proximity and location on the other.

Its particular context is the creative industries, taking Greenwich as the overall case study, and, within Greenwich, five more specific case studies, relating to different creative sectors.

Principal Research Questions:

What significance do creative practitioners / businesses / customers / audiences ascribe to their location in Greenwich?

What is the role of face to face interaction (between creative producers and customers/audiences, other practitioners, members of the wider community etc.) in creative arts and events? What significance (personal, social, economic, logistical etc.) do they ascribe to this interaction?

How do creative practitioners / businesses / audiences use digital technology to produce, promote and participate in creative arts and events? What significance (personal, social, economic, logistical etc.) do they ascribe to this technology?

As part of this research we are conducting a short questionnaire. If you are local to the Greenwich Borough and have a couple of spare minutes,  please feel free to tell us your opinion.

Click here: https://goo.gl/forms/jeQkJdAKLJRK3Ac33.

Digitising Academic Publishing

How has the digital revolution changed academic publishing?

This research aims to examine the changing shape of academic publishing; contrasting new and old academic publishing models and identifying how digital publications have affected the way in which the public, scholars and students access information. The crux of the research is to present the best possible way for academics to disseminate their work to the widest audience.

The work aims to understand the effects of Open Access on academics, publishers and academic institutes. It will include, examine and assess business models used by publishing companies, university libraries/ presses and distributors, and identify how these entities have adjusted in the digital market place.

 Principal Research Questions:

How should an academic publish their work? – Identifying if traditional publishing has become synonymous with reputation and how quality can be maintained within new publishing models.  

What is the future of the academic publishing market? – A look at worldwide programmes to create universal dissemination of knowledge. 

Should an academic self-publish? – How self-publishing has become an integral part of the industry and why it should or shouldn’t be considered for academics.

How has the digital market redefined conventional publishing tropes? – With the majority of reading conducted on digital devices, how has the market adjusted to maintain consistence and ease of use?

 

Notes on ‘A Dialogue with Billy Williams OBE, BSC and Vanessa Whyte’

Study Life … Study Portraiture … Study Light … Study Human Behaviour …

On Wednesday 22nd February Creative Conversations hosted A Dialogue with Billy Williams OBE, BSC and Vanessa Whyte as part of the Film and Television Production programmes at the University of Greenwich.

Billy Williams OBE, BSC is an award winning cinematographer with a distinguished career in film. Best known for Women in Love (1969), On Golden Pond (1981) and the Oscar award winning Gandhi (1982). Vanessa Whyte has had her drama projects screened worldwide, winning awards at various film festivals. She is part of the new UK female cinematography collective illuminatrix and has featured on Women’s Hour and Broadcast Magazine discussing female cinematographers.

Vanessa Whyte opened up the conversation by asking Billy Williams OBE, BSC to discuss his beginnings in the film industry. As an audience member, it was immediately clear to me that he worked extremely hard in order to get all the opportunities to travel the world and shoot the films that he did. The four years working alongside his father as a teenager gave him a certain discipline. The camera had to be cared for attentively because a damaged camera would have meant no more work.

As Vanessa continued to ask Billy insightful questions about his career and the way he worked, there was a great understanding that students and practitioners could use Billy’s wisdom to encourage new learning, to make new practical and creative considerations in their own works. Here are some of the most interesting insights from the evening:

“Shooting in black and white film is a discipline that teaches an artist to study light.”
Light and shade is incredibly important consideration when shooting a film in order to achieve the desired aesthetic. In a mostly digital practice, where colour is almost always used, it can be easy to forget that monitoring the tonal values (light and dark/highlight and shadow) will help a cinematographer shoot the best possible image. It is not necessary to shoot on black and white film to pick up this skill. It is about being able to observe the amount of light vs. the amount of shadow. Billy pointed out that the majority of master painters, such as Rembrandt, predominantly painted in colour but would have focused on strategically placing highlights and shadow in their paintings in order to add depth and drama. The same can be done by cinematographers.

“Study portraiture.”
One of Billy’s top tips for students who attended the talk was to study portraiture. Portraiture in cinematography means being able to tell the audience something about the character, it’s much more than simply recording facial expressions. A cinematographer must be able to put across a character’s identity in a way that will also enhance the storytelling in the film. It is worth noting that more often than not, portraiture is flattering. In order to flatter a subject, it is necessary to relate back to the study of light. Knowing how light and shadow will fall on the contours of a face is crucial. If a shoot is going to take place at an exterior location, it is the cinematographer’s responsibility to think about what time of day the shoot is going to be and again consider how this will affect the contours on the actors’ faces. From there it will be possible to know what lighting decisions will need to made regarding equipment and set up etc. The role of the cinematographer (especially in Hollywood and commercials) has traditionally been to ensure that the subjects on camera always look good, whether that be beautiful and/or strong.

“Make the actors feel welcome.”
An interesting subject that came forward during the dialogue was how to work with actors. With cinematography, the actors may not be the first element that is considered. Especially with lighting, camera angle, camera movements being at the foremost. However, as Billy advised, it is crucial for all crew to make the actors feel welcome on set. When the actors feel confident in what they have to do, their body language will be more natural and this in turn will influence more natural camera movements and framing. The rehearsals don’t need to be a long process, Billy suggests thirty minutes for a main scene, so that the cinematographer can focus on framing and positioning before the performers are in full hair and makeup. Rehearsals also give the cinematographer the opportunity to ‘study human behaviour’. Knowing what is a natural action, reaction and movement enables the cinematographer to develop better camera fluidity and overall a better understanding and connection between actor and camera. Billy stated he has never worked from a storyboard before. Storyboards are unable to allow for movement, the actors’ proportions or speed etc. and tend to be restricting in comparison to live rehearsals with actors.

“Be committed. Be prepared.”
The film making process is a collaboration and relies on making decisions and working seamlessly as a team. A cinematographer has many responsibilities but must be able to communicate with the rest of the crew. Billy spoke about how it is important to read the script and have discussions with the director, production designer, costume etc. All elements come together in a big way, with small considerations affect lighting and camera decisions in terms of practicality and also aesthetic. For a cinematographer on location, the smaller the light unit, the quicker and easier shooting is going to be. For Billy this was difficult because technology was limited. However, for Vanessa, she was able to work with Panalux to develop her own LED light unit, in order to adapt to the needs of a demanding remote location shoot. Being limited on weight and space, she needed the most flexible and reliable kit possible to enable her to capture the story in a limited situation.

“How to focus the audience’s attention is a skill vital to the cinematographer”
Ultimately all image making is for an audience. To successfully engage an audience, storytelling is key. Storytelling revolves around creating drama and to demonstrate this, the event audience were shown clips from Women in Love (1969) and Gandhi (1982).The scenes from Women in Love that were shown included; the cattle scene with Glenda Jackson, the evening lake scene and the wrestling by the fireplace scene. The use of lighting (in some cases lack of lighting) and camera movements all contribute to the deliberate focusing of the audience’s attention.

“Don’t over-cover as this takes time”
Interestingly, Billy mentioned that, when he shoots, he considers where the cuts in the edit may go. Making this consideration doesn’t restrict the editor’s options but instead presents more. Allowing enough time in the shooting schedule to get enough coverage is key, however over-covering takes away valuable time, so there needs to be a balance. Continuing with the topic of Post Production, the colour grade is a process which should have the input of the cinematographer. As a DoP you will have spent many hours, possibly even weeks or months, trying to shoot a certain aesthetic. If it is possible to be there for the colour grade then it is important to discuss what you want to be enhanced or taken away.

All of the above was demonstrated with clips from Women in Love (1969) and Gandhi (1982).

Designing Death: Panel Discussion

Designing Death: Challenges and Aesthetics for the 21st Century

Date: Wednesday 15th March 2017
Time: 18:00 – 21:00
Venue:  University of Greenwich, Stockwell Street Building, 10 Stockwell Street, Greenwich SE10 9BD

RSVP here.

Death is personal.
Death is social.
Death is constructed.
Death is meaningful and meaningless.
Death is ritualised but also intuitive.
Death is annihilation and transcendence.
Death is art and science.
Death is human.

Dying is one of the most personal experiences we will have in our lives and yet there are still norms for what bereavement and funerals should look and feel like.

This panel will consider the growing movement which questions whether any models or systems of categorisation still speak to our contemporary understanding of death. Funerals in the UK now have more scope then ever to be a richly personal occasion and design is contributing to this movement. The funeral industry is adapting to the contemporary need for more individualised rituals and people’s desire to use funerals as a creative opportunity to further embody or understand the lives of the dead in an individual way. These shifts challenge what the dead mean to us and how bodies and environments merge to create new associations and experiences of death.

As people begin to identify themselves as non-religious or explore incorporating a plurality of religious identities that combine and augment existing rituals and practices the question of what to do with the dead, both literally and socially, becomes ever more complex. Contemporary design methods are uniquely placed to contribute to the development of new rituals and practices around death and bereavement. As design has been opened up beyond the world of products and has begun to intervene and work within systems under labels such as service designer, experience designer and co-designer, the idea of designing for a purpose that puts emotion and experience at the center of the design is establishing its place for a range of companies and services.

The Design Council’s May 2015 post Reinventing death for the twenty-first century reflects this shift by detailing some of the challenges and ways that design could intervene within end of life care, both in terms of the appendages linked to dying at home but also in terms of new rituals, breaking taboos and the introduction of new technologies where appropriate. Additionally design competitions such as Designboom’s Design for Death, the Future Cemetery Project and OPENIDEO’s Reimaging End of Life have opened up this topic for discussion within the design community.

Panel Speakers:
Ivor Williams

Ivor Williams is a designer who specialises in death and dying, through his work as Senior Design Associate at the Helix Centre and his research and consultancy group Being and Dying. He explores the use of technology-for-good as co-founder of the design company, Humane Engineering. Their first product, Cove, is a music-maker designed to support grieving adolescents.

Website: ivorwilliams.info
@ivorinfo | @beinganddying | @helixcentre

Louise Winter

Louise Winter is a writer and the founder of Poetic Endings – a modern funeral service offering ceremonies of style, substance, relevance and meaning. She’s also the editor of the Good Funeral Guide – the only independent resource that exists to help the public get the funeral they want.

Website: www.poetic-endings.com
@poetic_endings | Poetic Endings Facebook | Poetic Endings Instagram

John Troyer

Dr. John Troyer is the Director of the Centre for Death and Society at the University of Bath. His interdisciplinary research focuses on contemporary memorialisation practices, concepts of spatial historiography, and the dead body’s relationship with technology. Dr. Troyer is also a theatre director and installation artist with extensive experience in site-specific performance across the United States and Europe. He is a co-founder of the Death Reference Desk website (http://www.deathreferencedesk.org), the Future Cemetery Project (http://www.futurecemetery.org) and a frequent commentator for the BBC.

Website: www.bath.ac.uk/cdas
@DeathRef | @FutureCemetery | @CenDeathSociety

Dr Ros Taylor MBE DL

Ros is Clinical Director at Hospice UK. She combines her role at the charity with her work as a palliative doctor at the Royal Marsden Hospital in Fulham, London, one of the world’s leading specialist cancer treatment hospitals. Ros joined Hospice UK as a director in October 2014. Prior to that she had been a trustee at the charity since 2009 and was also the Director of the Hospice of St Francis in Berkhamsted, a position she held from 1996 until 2015. She has a special interest in medical education, medical humanities, ‘whole person care’ and has lectured widely, both nationally and internationally. Ros is also a Deputy Lieutenant in the County of Hertfordshire and was awarded an MBE for Services to Hospice Care in 2014.

Website: https://www.hospiceuk.org/
@hospicedoctor

Chair
Stacey Pitsillides

Stacey Pitsillides is a Lecturer in Design at the Creative Professions and Digital Arts Department, University of Greenwich. Her research considers how technology and design shift our understanding of death and bereavement. As part of this research she has curated events for public engagement that question legacy and aesthetics. These include Love After Death for Nesta’s FutureFest (https://www.loveafterdeath.co.uk/) and Material Legacies for the Stephen Lawrence Gallery (http://www.greenwichunigalleries.co.uk/material-legacies/). In addition to this she is on the standing committee for the Death Online Research Symposium and has been the co-facilitator of three unconference events discussing issues of death and digitality.

Website: http://www.digitaldeath.eu/
@RestInPixels | Digital Death and Beyond Blog

The Material Legacies exhibition will be running until 25th March 2017 at the Stephen Lawrence Gallery Greenwich.