AHRC Filming at De Montfort University

3d Filming at Trinity HouseLast month the Digital Building Heritage Group (DBHG) were “on-camera” when representatives from the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) came up from London with their film crew (Brickwall Ltd) to film some of our 3D printing and laser scanning work and interview team members and members of our AHRC Connected Communities, Community Heritage Partners the Haywood Society from Staffordshire who we have been helping with a digital reconstruction of their lost Tudor bay window. The day started with an early morning tour by the film crew and the team from the AHRC around DMU’s state-of-the-art 3D printing workshops. Tom (Brickwall’s cameraman) set up a miniature time-lapse camera actually inside one of the 3D printers to film the 3D printing process close up and we moved on to the main business of the morning – doing the interviews. We held them in Trinity Chapel, the 14th century historic heart of De Montfort University’s campus. Jess Henderson from Brickwall guided us gently and professionally through the filming process so that it was really much less painful than any of us anticipated. Bea Holden the production manager from Brickwall and Emmi Spinner and Hattie Alsop from the AHRC made sure the right questions were asked and the right shots taken. The day was made very special by the unveiling in the DBHG’s offices of the large 3D printed model the DBHG has made of the Tixall Tudor bay window for the Haywood Society. The moment was captured on film as was the debate and questions which followed about the reconstruction and as expected it prompted a lively debate about the wider physical and cultural context of this lost historic building. This has to be one of the best parts of this kind of research, showing a finished digital reconstruction of a historic building to a community heritage group and seeing the delight, excitement and curiosity it generates. As researchers we spend a lot of time very close to technology but we never forget that our overall goal is to change people’s attitude towards historic buildings by helping them to understand and appreciate them in ways that are meaningful and engaging. If we can produce delight and curiosity then I think we’re getting it right. The day also involved filming out and about on the DMU’s historic campus. Fortunately the weather was perfect and it gave our AHRC visitors an excellent impression of how fortunate De Montfort University is to have a campus in the historic heart of Leicester. It was a great pleasure to have the AHRC, Brickwall Ltd and the Haywood Society with us and we look forward to the film being released next month – we’ll post a link as soon as it is.

About Douglas Cawthorne

Reader in Digital Heritage at De Montfort University.
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