20 May 2016

The fault in Our Czars – students pitch historical movie ideas to TV presenter

Historian and TV Presenter, Richard Miles, led a workshop for students from Elements course History: Film, Food and Fashion on how to make a history documentary – from developing scenes to the importance of editing, on the 19 May 2016.

Students pitched their documentary ideas to him and explained a bit of the research they had done. The group who chose to study Audrey Hepburn’s involvement with the French Resistance, during the II World War, were encouraged to explore causation and why she became involved, not just telling the story of what she did.  The groups studying Adolf Hitler and Marilyn Monroe were told to look at the psychological profile of each and what key events turned them into the people they became.  Professor Miles was impressed at the dramatic techniques used by the groups telling the stories of 9/11 and the fall of the Romanovs in the Russian Revolution.

Head of History Rhian Thomas said: “Richard has a wealth of knowledge, and we were lucky that he could visit us during his packed tour of schools. He was impressed by the students and even asked to see the films once the groups had finished.”

Miles has presented two historical documentary series: BBC2’s “Ancient Worlds” (2010), an overview of classical history and the dawn of civilization, and BBC Four’s “Archaeology: a Secret History” (2013),https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2NnVPzlHYC0.  Miles Studied ancient history and archaeology at the University of Liverpool, and completed a PhD in classics at the University of Cambridge, he is now the Head of School, Philosophical and Historical Inquiry at the University of Sydney.