Donated to Science – Available Now!

“As wracked with emotion and the collywobbles as any cliff-hanger episode of a television medical drama.” Frances Grant, NZ Herald

In this film we follow a group of people who donate their bodies to the University of Otago Medical School for students to dissect. We interviewed them while they were still alive and the donors and students gave us permission to follow their amazing journey. We are there when the students meet the body for the first time, we are there when they make their first cut, and we are there when they say their final goodbyes. It might sound morbid, but this film is anything but… it is funny, moving and life affirming.

“proof that primetime television can take on the big complicated stuff… excellent and moving” NZ Listener

What the students learn is far more than just anatomy. From the dead they learn life, they learn compassion and they learn humanity. After their two years of dissection the students finally get to ‘meet’ their cadavers. As we show them the original interviews they are forced to revisit their reactions and attitudes to the body in light of the donor’s thoughts and feelings giving the film an emotional climax that it would be hard to equal in any other film, a climax made even more powerful because it is real.

Coronavirus Film – The Executive Version

Coronavirus Film

“Being terrified but going ahead and doing what must be done – that’s courage” Piers Anthony

We are in the midst of the biggest medical event in 100 years. Concerned that the efforts and sacrifices made by his colleagues around the world will be forgotten, Paul Trotman – a Doctor and award winning film maker, is making a new film – telling the story of the pandemic from healthcare workers points of view. He really needs your support to complete the film, which will be dedicated to our fallen colleagues.

If you are interested in being interviewed about your experiences with the virus, please go to for more information and follow regular updates. If you don’t want to be interviewed please consider supporting the project financially – we are currently working unpaid and will need to pay some people later on – can’t do that without your support – every bit helps, and there are some great rewards.  Please go to For updates follow us on Facebook at

Thanks to Terrie for the picture.

#Coronavirus #COVID19 #Covid_19 #COVID2019 #Covid19 #coronavirusfilm #healthheroes

Coronavirus Film

“Being terrified but going ahead and doing what must be done – that’s courage” Piers Anthony

A New Zealand doctor and film maker is seeking interviewees for the documentary he is making about working on the frontline of Covid-19.

If you are interested in being interviewed please contact Paul at

If you would like to support the project financially please go to

Off from work due to a medical condition and determined that the efforts and sacrifices of his medical and nursing colleagues not be forgotten, Doctor and award winning film maker Dr Paul Trotman of PRN Films has decided to make an international documentary about the Coronavirus pandemic… all without leaving home.

Paul Trotman is both a medical practitioner and a documentary maker, his thing is humanising the practice of medicine and making films where his medical background gains him access or rapport that he wouldn’t otherwise get. He spent a year and a half in his Medical School’s dissection room to make the film ‘Donated to Science’, it has been seen around the world and even won a few awards.

Says Paul “I’m concerned that the lengths to which my colleagues around the world have gone to dramatically alter their practice and the risks they have taken to continue to look after patients under extremely difficult circumstances will too soon be forgotten.  Many have made the ultimate sacrifice and have paid with their lives. That especially must not be forgotten.”

The aim is to make a feature documentary telling the story of the Coronavirus outbreak from start to finish, using the words and experiences of the doctors, nurses and allied health professionals in the front line, who have worked under such difficult conditions.

Paul’s background has gained him access to screening facilities, coronavirus wards, Emergency Departments, Covid screening labs and the Intensive Care Unit.

Paul is interviewing colleagues via Zoom and recording the interviews. Because he’s a doctor and colleague Paul’s subjects talk to him differently, they say things and reveal emotions that they would never say or show to a journalist or news reporter, allowing us a privileged view behind the mask.

Paul has spoken to doctors and nurses around the world… retrieval specialists in Perth who rescued patients from isolation in Wuhan, anaesthetists in Spain who converted their operating theatres into intensive care units – in just hours, just qualified doctors in London having life-and-death conversations with families, ICU nurses in New York who’s patients are doubled up in makeshift negative pressure rooms… and all without a single complaint.  He has completed interviews that are funny, fascinating, heart-warming and harrowing with colleagues who’s humility means none will accept the label ‘hero’.

This film will be a powerful reminder of what happened in 2020 and an appropriate memorial to fallen colleagues.

Says Paul “I am also working with the Otago Medical School to also analyse people’s responses and build an archive of experiences and to explore my fellow practitioners’ reactions to the pandemic.”

Please post and share this to any groups or mailing lists that you can.

Much thanks and stay safe.

Coronavirus Project

Dear Medical,
Nursing and Allied Health Colleagues,

My name is Paul Trotman.

I’m both a medical practitioner and a documentary maker – I made ‘Donated to Science’, a film about medical students experiences doing dissection. It was an emotional and life affirming film, and has been seen all around the world (it even won a few awards), you can see the trailer for it here: You can see my film A Good Death here:

I’ve been taken off patient contact for the duration of the Coronavirus pandemic because I’m immune suppressed.

I’ve been looking around for something to do to contribute, and eventually realised that I should do what I’ve done before – humanise the professions in this difficult time – help medical people describe their experiences, their thoughts and their emotions at what is an extraordinary, once in a lifetime period.  I think it is important to record this now, as memories are short and I think that too soon people will forget what the world faced and what the medical professions sacrificed to control the pandemic.

So, if you’ve been affected by or seen cases of Covid-19, I would like to Skype or Zoom interview you about your experiences during the pandemic. I want to interview you if you are front line, if you are back line, or even if you are no line at all like me.

If you are interested please email me at, if you are just too busy, but have something you want to say, we can postpone to a better time or you can simply record it as a selfie on your phone (landscape please) and send it to me at the same address.

The aim is to make a feature documentary telling the story of the outbreak from start to finish, using the words and experiences of the doctors, nurses and allied staff involved who have worked under such stress and such difficult conditions.  I am also working with the Otago Medical School to also analyse people’s responses and build an archive of experiences.

Please pass this on to colleagues, it doesn’t matter where in the world they are.

Much thanks for your time and efforts.

Stay safe.



We’ve got a busy year in 2013.  Finishing the extended version of ‘Practising Medicine’, filming a bunch more teaching cases for ADI, continuing to film in Oamaru for our Platinum Fund documentary on the healthcare system – suddenly all the disparate threads are starting to come together and it is starting to look really interesting.  In addition there are two new projects… a film on Advanced Care Planning for Auckland Hospital, and it looks like we’ve got funding to keep following the students from ‘Donated to Science’ and ‘Practising Medicine’ until they are specialists.  Meantime see the Facebook page for another clip from the long version of ‘Practicing Medicine’

Donated to Science on BBC4

After a packed showing of Donated to Science at the Royal College of Surgeons in January this year (see below) it’s been picked up by BBC4.  They are showing it on the 13th December at 9pm.  There’s a Facebook page here:

Donated to Science Awards

The film was nominated for and won best Director at the Documentary Edge festival in Auckland & Wellington earlier this year.  It played to sold out audiences at the festival and was even mentioned by the Minister of Broadcasting in his speech (yay, now that’s fame).  It has now been nominated for best Tertiary teaching resource at the ATOM awards… coming up in October in Melbourne, see here

Qantas Film and Television awards nomination

Donated to Science has just been nominated as one of three finalists in the best popular documentary category of the Qantas Film and Television Awards.  The competition is pretty tough though – Costa Botes film ‘Lost in Wonderland’ is great.

To see all the nominations go here: