POND SCUM
by Sally Warring - USA


We discovered a great movie to inspire other young people to get involved with microscopy.
This was made by Sally Warring in the USA. (Copyright American Natural History Museum).


Sally Warring produced the great video above. We held an email interview with Sally to find out more about the film and her work...

How did you become involved with making the video?
I am a protistologist at the American Museum of Natural History. For the last few years I have been running a science communication project called Pondlife, that is mostly Instagram based (@pondlife_pondlife) and documents microorganisms that I find in New York City. Last year I was lucky enough to get some funding to make a three part miniseries about microbes based on Pondlife, and this video is the fist in that series. The American Museum of Natural History kindly contributed to the project as producers and distributors of the series.

What issues did you encounter (problems, environment, resources)?
Iím a scientist, and there is a lot to learn when it comes to making narrative and documentary video content. I had many fantastic people to work with, all who had much expertise, but I was still responsible for writing, directing, and presenting the project. I had to learn a lot about working with video and work flows for making video content with a small team. I had access to microscopes and lab space through my work, I own my one DSLR camera that I use to make the microbial footage, and the people I had working with me on the project had their own equipment in terms of video cameras, sound recording equipment, software, and talents in animation etc. Video work can be expensive because of all the equipment and work needed to put something like this together, and I would never have been able to make these without the funders, AMNH, and everyone else involved in the project. Its a team effort!

What was the goal of the video?
The goal of the video was to get microbial content on screens in a natural history documentation form that could be enjoyed by a wide audience. Microbes are under represented in this medium. I want to share the wonder of microbial life that can be observed all around us!

What equipment did you use (cameras, microscopes, sound equipment)?
I used an Olympus BX50 microscope, a Canon 5D Mark IV camera with an adapter from Martin Microscopes to make all the footage. In the video I also use a [Newton] Nm1 portable field microscope and an iPhone adapter by iDu optics in the field.

How long did it take to make?
It took about one year to make three 10 minute episodes!

Did you edit it?
I edited the microbial sections, all the rest of the footage was edited by Serena Kuo.

What is your background?
I have a PhD in biology, my PhD thesis was on the biology of the protistan parasite Trichomonas vaginalis. I also have a BSc with Honours, with a major in Botany.

Will you be making more?
I hope so! I would like to make Planet Earth style content, but for microbes.

www.pondlifepondlife.com

Instagram: @pondlife_pondlife

Twitter:@sallywarring

Sally was awarded our small monthly prize of £20.00 because we loved her video and thought it would inspire others to become engaged in Amateur Microscopy. Well done Sally. Part 2 of her video Trilogy can be seen on our front page.

See below to have your photo or video published on Mic-uk and possibly win a small thank-you of £20.00.

 

A lot of microscopists post their images and movies of the small scale world on Facebook. A good social group for microscopists is Amateur Microscopy Group.

What do they get in return other than a few likes from Facebook: nothing! We would like to change that. Starting now, for members of the Amateur Microscopy Group on Facebook only, you can send us images and thirty second videos (or shorter). The ones we like best will be published here, but the one we like best out of all them, will receive £20.00 - paid via Paypal. Send an email and attach one image only (one per month) to: Microscopy-uk monthly photo prize 

Please include your name,  a description of the contents of the photo or video clip, your Facebook user link, and your Paypal email address. Note: the quality, length and detail accompanying the image or video will be part of our consideration with regard to our publication decision and awarded monthly prize.

For thirty second videos or less, please email us a link so we can see your video. Include similar information requested for a photo above. If we like it enough, we will send you a link to transfer it to us for publication. All entries must be received by the 6th of each month for publishing on the 13th.
All pictures and images sent in must be your own original work. We will verify that is true before publishing.

Note: The prize money is awarded from Onview.net Ltd so we don't dip into the kind donations sent in by generous visitors to help fund our presence on the web.

Any questions, ask us here.

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Published in the July 2019 edition of Micscape.

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