Within every department in every university there are countless fascinating stories waiting to be told, but few of them break out from the confines of academia.

At Preston Street Films we have extensive experience working with academics to tell their research stories not only through film, but also through audio, photography, graphic design and a range of other creative techniques. With this approach we can work with you to enhance your research, deepen its impact and reach a wider audience.

These creative outputs can be shared not only on the university’s own channels, but can also be developed with external partners including broadcasters such as the BBC. 


Documentary Films

Within your department there are undoubtedly many fascinating projects and people with stories waiting to be shared. Documentary films can be a powerful way of sharing and promoting your research projects. As well as Research Stories, films can also include Faculty Profiles or Student Stories to raise the profile of your entire department.

Case Study: Bell House

A 10-minute branded documentary telling the story of Bellhouse, a playful, interactive sound sculpture translating non-verbal climate data into the chimes of 35 bells.

By bringing together all the people behind the project, at a time when climate data is more important than ever, Bellhouse challenges the ways in which scientists communicate critical pieces of information to the general public.

Watch the whole film here
Phoebe Smith Dwayne Fields


Whether it is a remote location or a budget constraint, we understand that sometimes you cannot hire professional help to create the content you need. Building some basic creative capacity within your team will give you the confidence to capture interesting moments in high quality.

We can provide in-depth and bespoke training in a number of areas to help you and your team capture important moments as they happen. These include: shooting video, photography, video editing, sound recording, and audio editing. We can provide training on high end professional equipment, or help you make the most of the equipment you already have such as your mobile phone.

Creative Workshops

Having a creative professional in a room of academics can help facilitate a different way of thinking that is outside the academic box. We can arrange workshops in a range of creative disciplines including graphic design, collage, drama and more.

A recent example is a Poster Workshop for The Department of Archaeology and History at the University of Exeter. We ran a one day design workshop with academics into how they could approach creating research project posters in a different, more creative way. The results were fantastic; the posters they created have been exhibited in the university and the creative techniques they learned will inform their approach to academic future communication.

“it was great to see the conversations and creative process in action and we are very pleased with the result”
Workshop participant,
University of Exeter
Bodies in Time

Podcasts and Audio

A powerful way to generate impact is through audio productions. Whether it is an ongoing podcast or a one-off documentary story, audio is an effective way to engage audiences with interesting research projects and the people of your department. It’s also relatively easy, cheap and quick to produce.

Through a series of conversations, a podcast series can create a body of work that highlights interesting research stories/findings. The potential here is vast, for example: behind-the-scenes insight into a project, exchange of ideas between academics, cross-discipline exchanges with other departments and many other formats.

Case Study: Strandings

This is a one-off audio documentary for BBC Radio 4 inspired by the work of academic and author Peter Riley from the University of Exeter English Department.
When Peter was thirteen, a blue-haired woman asked him to lift a freshly-hacked sperm whale jaw into her Volvo 245. That night in Norfolk marked the beginning of his lifelong bond and obsession with whales. Twenty-five years later, we join a group where Peter is learning how to re-float a two-tonne life-sized model of a pilot whale. As we follow this rescue in real time, Peter narrates a very different story: what happens to whales and to us when they breach the boundaries of the human world and how whale strandings entice a bizarre subculture of mystics, fetishists and scavengers.
Strandings, Radio 4 documentary commission.
close up female fingers using phones

Social Media

We can create content specifically for social media to drive audience engagement. However, creating interesting content is all well and good, but what do you do with it once you have it ready to go?

We can offer a Social Media Strategy – a bespoke approach that will maximise the impact of your content once it is published.

We can also offer Social Media Management – executing your strategy according to a planned schedule and targets.

Find out more about our social media services here

As you can see, the possibilities of academic collaboration with Preston Street Films are limitless. Do have a look around the website and get in touch to see how we can work together.