Data, as we’re often told, rules all our lives. But while the digital age has yielded tsunamis of data like never before, actually fishing the relevant pearls from that sea represents a mammoth challenge.

One man who’s taking up that challenge is Dr Roberto Trotta – and to do so, he’s seeking answers not here on Earth but by looking to the heavens above.

Roberto is a Senior Lecturer in Astrophysics at Imperial College London, and a renowned expert on all matters astronomical. His acclaimed book, ‘The Edge of the Sky’, even manages to explain cosmology using just the 1,000 most-common words in the English language.

In 2012, Roberto realised the sorts of advanced statistical models he was creating to deal with data from space could also be used to deliver more accurate data analysis for real-world industries.

Since then – and with support from the consultancy arm of Imperial College – he has brought his insight to the financial and legal sectors, amongst others.

Spectrecom was recently asked to film with Roberto as part of the new Impact Acceleration series of online videos we have been producing for Imperial.

Each video showcases a different piece of world-leading research, all of which have benefitted from the university’s Impact Acceleration Fund, helping Imperial academics to maximise the social and economic impact of their work.

On research videos such as these, preproduction is always vital in allowing the Spectrecom team to get to grips with often complex topics. But it also allows us to spot potential creative opportunities which can go on to exert a strong influence.

In the case of Roberto’s video, producer Clemence Bartram and scriptwriter Paul Martin were struck by his tremendous naturalness as a communicator when they met him ahead of shooting.

They were determined to harness this charisma, and in conjunction with Dan Miles and Chris Karageorgiou (respectively shoot director and project director/editor), they decided to ask Roberto to carry the video in the manner of a TV presenter, as opposed to confining his contributions to interview sound-bites.

With Roberto having agreed to take on this extra responsibility, the remaining challenge was to find visual expression for work which is, in large part, theoretical.

To achieve this, we decided to shoot him in locations which could bring the ideas behind his research to life – eg. the library of the Royal Astronomical Society, and the thronging centres of human activity that are London Bridge and the City.

These sequences were further augmented in the edit with the use of stock and archive material, lending the completed film a high-tech cutting edge feel befitting its central subject matter.

Roberto’s video is the second from the Impact Acceleration series we have featured on the Spectrecom blog in the last few days, following this one about a breakthrough in automotive body design.

We will bring you the other two videos in the series over the course of the next week.

Spectrecom Films is one of the UK’s leading video production companies for higher education film and video content


Creatives: Paul Martin
Creative producer: Clemence Bartram
Director: Dan Miles
Editor: Etem Ozyay
Camera operator: Alex Kerr
Lighting Technician: Kieran Hodges

About the author

Oliver Knight

Oliver Knight

Account Manager

Oliver specialises in account managing our higher education clients. He has also previously worked in marketing for a university so he’s the go to guy for university marketing insights.



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