About Us

Spectacle is an award winning independent television production company specialising in documentary, community-led investigative journalism and participatory media.

Spectacle is an independent video production company and social enterprise specialising in long-term documentation, documentary programming, and participatory media. Spectacle has produced a range of media including video, documentary and short-film series, feature-length creative documentary and animation. Our interests are urbanism, civil rights and social justice. 

Spectacle has always grounded its art activities with community engagement, aiming to empower local residents and give them the opportunity to have their voice heard. Mark Saunders, Spectacle’s founder and director, has pioneered participatory video projects, setting up video groups in London and in other cities in the UK, Germany, Belgium.

Editing and Production Services

Spectacle can offer various video production services tailored to your needs. You can hire equipment, hire a crew to document events, hire editing desks or one of our experienced editors. We offer digitising of older video formats from 8mm to VHS as well as hosting on our server for backup of video and image archives.

Spectacle is now offering affordable online editing services. If you have a project that needs editing support, distance editing services -from cataloguing to fine cut or post production consultation please contact production@spectacle.co.uk

Training Courses 

Our training courses will give a solid foundation in filmmaking and editing, and presume absolutely no prior experience. They are delivered live online via Zoom in 40 minute modules, in half-day, or full-day format.

Spectacle’s Training Courses  

Day/Night School

8 half-day sessions that will teach you all you need to know to produce engaging videos   

Participatory Video Workshop

Learn how to apply participatory video techniques to your projects, work with communities to make films, and/or teach others how to use video in a participatory project. 

Anthropologists & Social Researchers

For social researchers interested in using video during their fieldwork. It will equip you with a working knowledge of video production, as well as the best practices for conducting video interviews and using cameras in the field.

Smartphone Filmmaking

You will be introduced to the best practices in smartphone videography. 

Video Production

Develop a good working knowledge of filming interviews, locations, live action and methods of visual storytelling with any camera including DSLR, camcorders, smartphones.

Video Marketing

Aimed at small businesses, social enterprises, charities, start-ups, comms teams or freelance marketers who want to be able to personally produce promotional videos for the web.

Video Editing

This course will give you a sound knowledge on the craft of editing videos.

Filmmaking

This course covers the whole process of filmmaking from beginning to end, particularly suitable for factual video making, documentary and video journalism.

If you or your organisation have specific needs we offer bespoke training.  

Participatory Video 

Spectacle specialises in facilitating Participatory Video (PV) workshops aiming to give participants the tools to speak for and among themselves through video.

We approach filmmaking collaboratively and use workshops to share skills, responsibility, and authorship. Spectacle’s PV process is based on workshops in which group members build technical competence, gain confidence in their creative inputs, control the editorial process, and share ownership of the final film.  

For over 40 years we have collaborated on participatory video projects with community groups, educational institutions including schools and universities, academics, researchers, NGOs, local councils, cultural institutions, and museums.

Our participatory video workshops can adapt to the nature and duration of any project. From research to outreach, from documenting to pure filmmaking strategy, working with existing groups or creating new ones, we can lead, facilitate, or just assist your project. 

See more of our participatory work here

Community Media

Spectacle has 40 years experience of community based media, which uses media tools to hand some control back to those who have been disenfranchised.  During this period we have developed practices which encourage broad participation in content generation and technical processes of film production. 

Spectacle’s PV model highlights meaningful participation by ensuring that no one in the group feels left behind or sidelined and working to put all participants in a position to collaborate equally in the production. 

Spectacle’s method is distinctive for our long term commitment to documenting local issues and for establishing community based video groups that have lasted for decades.  

  • East London (Despite TV 1981-1992)
  • SE London (Silwood Video Group 2001-present) 
  • Rostock (Jako Co-operative 1992-97) 
  • Brussels (PTTL Video Group 2000-present) 
  • Luton (Exodus 1994-present)
  • Battersea (1994-present)

The impact of this has been recognised in films such as:

Despite the Sun

Battle of Trafalgar

The Truth Lies in Rostock

Distribution 

To browse our films visit Spectacle’s distribution page

Spectacle has been producing films since the 1980’s and the films in our catalogue give insight into events such as the Poll Tax Riots and the Wapping Dispute as well as issues such as media culture and urban regeneration.

Most films listed can be rented directly from VOD.

We have trailers and samplers of the archive available on Youtube

Or you can order DVDs through our online shop. 

Archive 

Spectacle has an extensive and ever growing video archive. The archive contains thousands of hours of material from 1979 to the present day and covers a range of topics including: housing, regeneration, protest movements, anti-racism, music, wellbeing, alternative living and community media.

The archive is available for licencing for museums, films, news, researchers etc. 

Further our archive enables an ongoing process of participatory editing in the context of community workshops or as part of the production of a final film.

Participants in our workshops are invited to communicate and exchange information, to develop projects, content and ideas for their video productions. It is also for researchers and users of Spectacle’s Active Archive to explore the content.

Community-led Investigative Journalism 

This blog is a place for discussing the issues arising from Spectacle’s documentary, community-led investigative journalism and participatory media projects.

Undercover is not necessary when those involved already have insider insight and access to information and witnesses. 

Topics 

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