Show and tell: Exploring short-film for health communication

Sylvia Hartmann is pictured holding a microphone.

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Who I am: Sylvia Hartmann, Research Assistant at Charité 

What I created: Over the summer, I delved deep into the realm of science communication through short film. I participated in two workshops dedicated to this field and have been refining my own short film style. In July, I took part in the ComSciCom Flagship workshop, a student-organized science communication event spanning the U.S. and Canada. Over three days, we engaged in talks, panel discussions, and crafted our own pieces. And in August, I joined a science communication summer school organized by the German Academic Scholarship Foundation. Collaborating with art school professors, I began creating science communication short films. These experiences helped me to explore various video creation techniques, from speaking directly to the camera to filming action sequences and crafting clay stop-motion videos. All told I produced more than 40 short videos, and I continue exploring this type of health communication to find my personal style. 

Why it matters: This work is crucial in today’s digital age as more people rely on web and social media for health information. At a time when we are all watching TikTok, Instagram Reels, and YouTube Shorts, communication of health facts must adapt. Short videos serve as entry points, guiding viewers to deeper resources. This approach ensures that vital health information reaches a wider audience and empowers individuals to explore topics further. 

What I learned: Make science communication engaging, relatable, and enjoyable. Simplify complex concepts and connect them to everyday life for wider appeal. And when getting started with social media communication, it’s a lot about experimenting and figuring out which topics and styles you feel most comfortable with.