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Aug 24, 2011
Category:  Behind the Scenes
Contributor: DCGEP

Developing Inside Story from an idea to script

The idea for an educational film about the science of HIV came as Discovery Channel Global Education Partnership (DCGEP) producers asked educators for topic ideas for school kids and community members. Soliciting relevant subject ideas from teachers and school administrators in Sub Saharan Africa who are most familiar with the needs of their students and community is one way DCGEP makes sure their films connect with audiences. 

“ As we explored the idea of producing a film about HIV we discovered that many people were tired of being told what to do, and instead want an explanation of how the disease works. We wanted to do something unique, we decided to make our film a hybrid that combined both the science of HIV with a sports drama. ” Aric Noboa President and Executive Producer--DCGEP

After researching what audiences wanted and needed to know about HIV as well as how they wanted to experience this information DCGEP looked for creative partners. One of the very best at using movies and dramas to tackle complex social issues is Curious Productions, a production company based in Johannesburg South Africa. Together DCGEP and Curious Pictures began turning the idea into a script. 

“After a lot of research we had a basic story outline. We worked with three core writers Sunu Gonera, Darrel Bristow-Bovey and Gillian Brisler to build this unusual story. We needed to make sure the human drama didn’t get lost with the integration of the science. And that love and humor were not sacrificed in order to deliver information. This has always been a tricky balance with this film. While we were developing the idea DCGEP was tirelessly working to find financing partners. And then finally Rollie Nikiwe the film’s director took a look at our last version of the script and made it even more insightful to these characters and their particular circumstance. This is the script we settled on and are very happy with what we have.” Mariki Van Der Walt, Producer – Curious Pictures

The script hopes to reflect the painstaking work of combining research, entertainment and education through a narrative that explains how the HIV virus works inside the body. While the script for Inside Story has undergone many changes, the ground-breaking use of animation and science to deliver its core message has remained consistent.


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