Behind the Scenes of the Filming for #Type1Uncut Diabetes Web Resource

This weekend I attended the second of the Diabetes UK web resource meetings, held in Birmingham. A really interesting event with a lot of learning, a lot of hard work and hopefully a lot of great outcomes too.

The first meeting held earlier in the year saw twelve of us from the far corners of the UK coming together with the aim of discussing the creation of a web resource for young people with diabetes. Diabetes UK Clinical Director Chris brought us all together and with thanks to a grant from the Garfield Western Project, the help of media group Nonsense and young people with great ideas we set to outlining the things that we felt were missing in availability for other people with diabetes. Things such as educational tools, a fun and modern way of looking at diabetes and a way of reaching out and communicating with others who have the condition were among the elements mentioned.

For the second meeting in Birmingham everybody arrived on the Friday night, some people had flown in from Northern Ireland and Scotland, some had come across country from other parts of England and a few of us, including event organiser Chris came from Wales. It was great to sit down for dinner on the Friday night together as I really enjoy eating with other people with diabetes. It's hard for people without the condition to understand, but it's so nice to remove the need of explaining what you're doing when your testing your blood sugars. Or the fact that you can discuss out loud how much carbohydrate everyone thinks is in a meal, so that you can carb count together.

The next day there was an early start and we got down to filming. As the day progressed I understood the brief for the weekend to be that we were going to be creating a series of short films in time for diabetes week. The films would be uploaded to a YouTube channel under the banner of #Type1uncut and would become a resource for young people with diabetes to watch and enjoy, having been made by others with the condition themselves. We started the filming by individually answering a series of questions on how we felt about our diabetes and what are experiences of having the condition had been. We then divided up into groups to complete a series of workshops on the topics of film production, pre-film planning and post-film editing. Each group was tasked with different scenarios; and my group were tasked with creating a short film on what it's like to move away from home. A topic that was brought up as what I would describe as a diabetes transition, in the previous meeting.

Day two was hands on filming- my group were tasked with creating a video of people with diabetes 'Facetiming' their loved ones and friends and asking them questions surrounding that person's feelings towards their diabetes. Prior to the meeting we'd all been asked to fill out a questionnaire regarding questions about how diabetes makes us feel. This was then put together by the media group Nonsense into what I would probably describe as an edited monologue of everyone's answers. In the afternoon each participant was then filmed delivering the monologue, for the creation of another short film for the #Type1uncut YouTube channel.

The time spent in Birmingham absolutely flew by, but everyone worked so hard that I'm sure they would have created a lot of good content for the diabetes web resource. I was grateful for the opportunity of trying new things and having new experiences such as using an auto queue for the first time and seeing filming from the perspective of the director instead. Also having the chance to work alongside other young people with diabetes, to achieve something for others was a great honour. The whole event was amazingly organised by Chris; from bringing everyone together, to fabulous food and the whole conception of the web resource.

 If you'd like to see more photos from behind the scenes at the event follow me on Instagram (Torchbearer2012) or take a look at the Twitter feed by searching the hashtag #Type1uncut. The films and the channel itself will be launched in June to coincide with diabetes week - the theme for which this year will be #iCan. So watch this space for more news on #Type1Uncut!


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My blog takes you through a daily look at sport, diabetes and everything in between. As an athlete that lives with type 1 diabetes I want to let you into news, views and all that is important to both of my passions.

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