The impact of our research can be seen in a range of different areas. As well as contribution to policy debates, engagement in cultural life and public discourse, our work has directly influenced and helped to develop the working practises of commercial media companies.
Our research has had impact on a range of non-academic user-groups, beneficiaries and audiences including:
- Broadcasters: BBC Research and Development, BBC Radio, UK comedy writers
- Regional Media: Anglia Television, the East Anglian Film Archive
- Regional and National Festivals/Events: Norwich Sound + Vision, Edinburgh Film Festival, Turkish Film Festival
- Educational Bodies: Film Club, Film Education, the British Film Institute, Creative Arts East
- Distribution and Exhibition Companies: Picturehouse Cinemas, Studio Canal UK, Network Distributing
Our staff have a regular presence throughout traditional engagement platforms, delivering public lectures at film festivals, museums and community organisations, contributing to public discourse via BBC Radio (the Today programme, Woman's Hour), national newspapers (The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Independent), TV programmes (The Wright Stuff), and online sites (The Huffington Post).
See below for some examples of our impact.
Influencing DVD Research Strategies (British Cinema)
Drawing on their insight and knowledge of British cinema history, Dr Keith M. Johnston and Dr Melanie Williams established partnerships with two DVD releasing companies (Studio Canal UK and Network Distributing). Applying and transferring their specific research insights and knowledge, notably around gender and technology in British cinema, they identified lesser-known catalogue titles for release. Titles include Woman in a Dressing Gown (1957; 2012 DVD release – featuring an interview with Dr Williams) and the Ealing Rarities collections (multiple 2013 DVD releases).
Studio Canal UK believe that Johnston and Williams ‘academic research... translates into commercial activity... [improving] our knowledge of the catalogue and the release potential therein'.
Hugh K. David, former head of marketing at Network, commented that Johnston's Ealing research ‘directly impacted the choices and content for releases in that series... speeding up the process as a whole of commercial assessments on this vast archive.'
Preserving and Presenting the Region Through Media
We have worked closely with regional media organisations to facilitate and expand the collection, preservation, presentation and accessibility of film and television materials produced in East Anglia and held by the East Anglian Film Archive (EAFA). Unit support and research links with EAFA are informed by our research into the strong connections between media consumption, local identity and sense of place developed by Professor Jancovich, and continued work by Dr Brett Mills, Dr Mark Rimmer and Dr Tim Snelson.
This work has helped inform strategic practice at EAFA, with the creation of a comprehensive archive of the Anglian Television holdings, digitisation of 500 hours of filmed material, the release of 230 hours via the EAFA website, and substantial increases in the use of EAFA materials by Anglian residents (including the ‘Archive Flicks in the Sticks' screenings, Norwich HEART Digital Heritage projects and EAFA week events).
Adding ‘Vision' to Norwich Sound + Vision
Led by research interests around the creative industries, and the creative individuals within those industries (such as Dr Brett Mill's current ‘Make Me Laugh' project on the UK comedy industry and Dr Mark Rimmer's work around community music), the School has worked closely with the regional media festival Norwich Sound + Vision to expand and enhance local creative work, and explore the interactions between local, regional and national industries.
Since 2011, our researchers have contributed expertise and research-led events to this annual festival, including industry-led panels on writers and producers in the UK comedy industry, a workshop on how to fund and produce local media projects and a discussion of genre film and television production.
Festival director Adrian Cooke has noted that our research has aided local professional development, increased the size of the festival audience, contributed to the local economy, and ‘expanded the scope of the festival'.