Digital Video Production for Anthropologists and Social Researchers Training Course

Book here

Spectacle offers a unique short course in digital video production techniques designed specifically for Anthropologists, Anthropology students and Social Researchers who want to learn to use video in their field research.

Spectacle is an award winning independent television production company specialising in documentary, community-led, investigative journalism and participatory media. We are a small, socially-minded company whose profits go back in to funding our community based work. Our training is affordable and efficient; we teach the basic techniques in just one weekend and we offer large discounts to students and unemployed people.

We schedule weekend courses for individuals regularly throughout the year at our premises in London. However, If you would prefer us to come to you, we are also able to bring our training to your university or institution and teach a group in digital video production techniques. In the past we have trained groups at the University of Cambridge, University of Lancaster, and the Amsterdam Institute of Social Science Research. We received excellent feedback on these courses:

Mark really knows his subject, and I found the course motivating, practical and enjoyable. I came out with loads of ideas.” Student at the University of Cambridge, Conservation Research Institute.

“In two days you really get a feel for what you can do with a camera, theoretically as well as practically.” Participant at the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research.

About the course

This is an intensive, hands-on, weekend training course with emphasis on developing your practical filming skills, participatory techniques, and do-it-yourself confidence that will enhance the quality and validity of filmed fieldwork material. The short, condensed and effective course will give all participants a solid foundation of practical knowledge and a working understanding of digital cameras, sound recording, and filming on location.

Feedback from former participants:

This is the type of course every anthropologist and social researcher should take” – Dr. Mattia Fumanti, Department of Social Anthropology, University of St. Andrews

Simple, uncomplicated approach to something people are interested in but perhaps scared of trying out.” – Julie Botticello, Research Associate, UCL

For a full interview with former participant Michaela Benson, Senior Lecturer in Sociology at Goldsmiths, University of London, see here: http://www.spectacle.co.uk/spectacleblog/spectacle-training-courses/interview-spectacle-training-demystified-the-film-making-process/

Details and How to Book

Our weekend course costs £240 or £120 concessions (students and unemployed people, with evidence). We are next running a course on 6-7 December 2013, and then the 10-11 January.

To book, please go here: http://www.spectacle.co.uk/projects_page.php?id=165

For more information on this course or others, see the training pages on our website: http://www.spectacle.co.uk/projects_page.php?id=496

If you want to know more about Spectacle’s work, or have any queries, please email training@spectacle.co.uk

If you are interested in booking the course visit the How to Book page.

For information on other Spectacle training courses

Or contact training@spectacle.co.uk

If you would like more information on future training opportunities at Spectacle sign up for the Training Newsletter – tick the box if you would also like Spectacle’s general newsletter.




 


 

Start ups, SMEs, Social Enterprises: use video to boost business

Book here

Video can transform your website, it is accessible, engaging and often more convincing than text. Once you have mastered digital video production for the web you can make pitch videos, explanatory videos and promotional videos to boost your business and brand.

Training existing staff to produce high quality digital video content for your website is far more cost effective than hiring an external film crew and can produce the same excellent returns. In addition to being more affordable, we believe that existing staff have the potential to advertise, demonstrate and spread the word about products and services that they thoroughly understand more effectively than outsiders.

Spectacle offers a three day course specifically designed to meet the needs of small businesses, start ups, social enterprises and charities, on set dates at our premises in London, or at a time convenient to you in your office or ours if you are booking for a group.

If you need additional or different training, we can design and run a training course specifically for you.

Seven reasons why you should make videos for your website

  1. Using video on your website could improve your brand. Research by Axonn Media suggests that seven in ten people view brands more positively after watching video content about them.
  2. Hub TV suggest that embedding video on your homepage could increase your click through rate by 30%.
  3. According to research by Invodo, people will stay on a website longer if it has a video. Three out of five consumers will invest two minutes in a video that explains a product they are thinking of purchasing whilst 37% will watch over three minutes.
  4.  Videos can boost SEO. According to research by Forrester, an indexed video may have up to 50 times more chance of ranking on the first page of a google search than a page of text.
  5. Video better suits smartphone viewing – research shows that on mobile devices people spend less time on average browsing a website, video can be quicker to absorb than text.
  6.  According to eMarketer more than 50% of marketing professionals say that video content has the best return on investment (ROI).
  7.  Videos are easy to share on social mediaThis means they can go viral.

For more information email training@spectacle.co.uk or go to http://www.spectacle.co.uk/projects_page.php?id=500 for information on other Spectacle training courses

Or contact training@spectacle.co.uk

If you would like more information on future training opportunities at Spectacle sign up for the Training Newsletter – tick the box if you would also like Spectacle’s general newsletter.




 


 

JOURNALISTS, learn film

Many postgraduate journalism courses now include modules in documentary filmmaking as part of the syllabus. Students often have the option of producing a short film as a final piece. This is indicative of the increasing demand for and relevance of multimedia skills in a competitive and necessarily evolving media industry – publications like the Guardian and the Telegraph now produce video content for their websites, following the example of innovative, comparatively new media outlets such as VICE.

However MA Journalism courses aren’t something everyone can afford to do, costing up to £14,000 and requiring a year of full time work. Spectacle offers a short, sharp, affordable (starting at £240/£120 concessions) alternative with our two and four day courses in digital video production and editing.

We aren’t rubbishing postgraduate degrees or suggesting that we offer the equivalent of a terms hard work; we can’t teach you what to make a film about (although we can help you get started) or how to structure your ideas, but if you are a self-starter with some experience of journalism or a natural talent for it you are probably full of ideas about stories and how to structure them anyway. Our concise courses can equip you with the practical knowledge necessary to unlock this.

In four days we aim to give participants a complete introductory set of practical skills that they can build on in their own time. We do this by taking them through a ‘real life’ project (don’t worry, everyone involved knows it’s a training exercise, so you’re allowed to mess up!) – from brief to production to post production to uploading a finished clip online or burning it on to DVD.

In our weekend courses we teach comprehensive video production skills and we offer the option of progressing on to further post production training at a 15% discount.

Mark’s decades of experience means we receive impeccable feedback from almost all participants and have never had anyone leave unsatisfied or without promises to recommend us to their friends.

Train with us and take advantage of a new career space that has opened up between journalism and filmmaking. For dates and prices go to www.spectacle.co.uk/training or email training@spectacle.co.uk

If you are interested in booking the course visit the How to Book page.

For information on other Spectacle training courses

Or contact training@spectacle.co.uk

If you would like more information on future training opportunities at Spectacle sign up for the Training Newsletter – tick the box if you would also like Spectacle’s general newsletter.




 


 

Four day course receives excellent feedback, inspires new filmmakers

Trying to decide which course is best for you?

We asked former participants, Sophie Parker and Oscar Wilson, for some extra feedback including why they took the 4 day course and how it has benefited them.

oscarmarksophie

Right to left: Sophie Parker, tutor Mark Saunders and Oscar Wilson on site at the course project.

SOPHIE

Why did you choose the four day course?

I chose the four day course because I had been considering getting into documentary film making and wanted to do a course that was suitable for beginners.

What did you like most about the course?

“I liked that it was slightly longer than the weekend courses so [I] learnt more and got to do a mini project, I liked the size of the group which meant you really felt like you were getting one to one tuition and always had something to do, it also meant the group bonded and really helped each other out.

Since completing the course, have you had the opportunity to use the skills you learned?

I haven’t had the opportunity to use my skills yet but I have made arrangements to do some work experience at another production company where I hope to further hone the skills I have acquired and be able to go onto producing my own films.

Would you recommend the four day course to other people and if so, who?

I would definitely recommend the four day course to anyone that had a slight interest in film production whether as a career or as a hobby.

OSCAR

oscar2

Why did you choose the four day course?

I was asked whether I wanted to take part in the course as training for a future project.

What did you like most about the course?

What I liked most about the course was the indepth nature of it. The fact that I was taught the essentials so if I wanted to go out and film a documentary now I could – not to the standard of a seasoned professional, however I have the tools, I just need the seasoning!

What has stayed with you the most?

I don’t know what has stayed with me the most because I don’t feel like it has ended in a way, I’m still trying to hone in on all the learning that was done.

Since completing the course, have you had the opportunity to use the skills you learned?

Since completing the course I have begun to use various aspects of the course in order to continue working on a documentary project. First, essential organisation and creating a cooperative atmosphere with your subjects – this is something that I feel is not offered as part of your average course. Therefore if you want the gems in how to go about things – go to Spectacle.

What are your plans for the future?

My plans for the future are at the moment beginning with the raw: “GET A CAMERA” ASAP! Then there is not much to hold me back – maybe some sound equipment then I can tackle any subject I can get close enough to!

Spectacle interviews Tideway Village co-founder David Waterhouse

tideway

Tideway Village: now in a construction site

`We recently interviewed David Waterhouse, resident and co-founder of Tideway Village. Tideway is a small community of houseboats (which includes the award-winning Battersea Barge venue) moored in and around a disused colliers dock that once served Battersea Power Station. David established Tideway in 2001 with Rainer Cole, who applied for a mooring in the previously empty dock at the same time by sheer coincidence.

David’s boats and two others are moored at the end of Nine Elms Lane, which runs through an industrial area that is now being turned into real estate by the Berkeley Group as part of the vast Nine Elms development. Since 2008, when it first came to light that the area would become a residential development, Tideway Village has been under threat.

Although the Tideway boats all have 15 year mooring rights – renewable with the Port of London Authority (PLA) –  they need permission to access the boats too, from whoever owns the land which borders the dock. Tideway is ostensibly bordered by the Thames Path – public land, controlled by the council – however a three foot wall between the path and the river is owned by the Berkeley Group.

Initially, the developers tried to deny residents access to their homes, in order to remove the boats. They intended to put a floating garden in their place, which David said would have killed all the aquatic life underneath. Tideway residents were not consulted or even notified about this. When they found out they launched a campaign to save their homes, including holding an open day and protesting outside a Wandsworth Council and Berkeley Group meeting. An e-petition gained 2000 signatures, including many people who had performed at or attended the Battersea Barge venue. If this hadn’t worked, David would have tried to invoke residents’ right to use the historic slipway at Nine Elms Pier which the boats are currently moored beside – this  has never been officially closed up.

Thankfully it never got to this, by campaigning and by challenging the common misconception of houseboat communities as people who just turn up (Tideway residents pay council tax and have a license to be there), David was able to persuade the Berkeley group that the community is serious and responsible and negotiate continued access to the boats. As a result, he believes they will be able to stay – he said he is currently tentatively optimistic about the future.

Having convinced the Berkeley Group that his community can fit into their vision of the waterfront, David now has a ‘relationship of a sort’ and a ‘good understanding’ with the developers, but before establishing this he suffered a lot of stress. Tragically, Rainer committed suicide in 2012, David believes the uncertainty of their situation was a factor in this.

David also acknowledges that the character of Tideway Village will change dramatically now. At first it was ‘very much a backwater’, an extraordinary, forgotten area, given how central it is. Having the space to themselves allowed the Tideway community to throw parties and hold open days, which won’t be possible anymore with blocks of flats overhanging the boats. In addition to this, David currently lives with near constant construction noise and access to the boats is restricted by the building work, which has closed part of the Thames Path .

Although David is happy that Tideway has a future, he lamented the fact that the Port of London Authority has never positively incorporated houseboat owners and moorings into the way it coordinates the river. He explained that it is extremely difficult to get moorings in London and believes that other places in Europe have all done more with their waterfronts in this respect. For this reason, he described the PLA as having “presided over the death of the Thames”. It has become a feature of the river, he said, that boats are frequently removed.

However David believes houseboats can be successfully incorporated into communities and is excited that Tideway now has the opportunity to prove this. David thinks Tideway could become to the Thames what Little Venice is to Regents Canal – it is a very special space, he explained, central London’s last functioning tidal dock in a landscape that was once full of tidal docks.

Tideway Village will be a stop, and David a speaker, on a walking tour organised by the Battersea Power Station Community Group and sponsored by the World Monument Fund on the 27th September.

David has also agreed to participate in one of our 4 day training courses, so Tideway Village may serve as a ‘real life project’ for future Spectacle trainees.

Click Battersea Power Station for more blogs
See our Battersea Power Station project pages for more information and videos.
Or visit PlanA our general blog on urbanism, planning and architecture.

Spectacle homepage
Like Spectacle Documentaries on Facebook
Follow SpectacleMedia on Twitter

Spectacle will make a film about Rectory Gardens housing co-operative

image1

Spectacle has met several times with members of a housing co-operative based in Rectory Gardens, Clapham, to discuss making a film about the street and its community ahead of residents planned, impending eviction by Lambeth Council. We ran an extremely successful four day training course around the project. This served the dual purpose of giving participants the opportunity to experience working on a real commission and kick-starting filming.

We received excellent feedback from course attendees and an enthusiastic response from many Rectory Gardens residents. As a result, we have more training courses scheduled in for the Autumn and we hope to start production on the Rectory Gardens film for real in the near future. Eventually we aim to produce a short film that may help the campaign of residents who choose not to settle, and serve as a record of life on the street for those who have decided to reluctantly accept the Council’s offer of rehousing.

The Rectory Garden Housing Co-operative came into being in the 1970s, when houses on the street – an L-shaped mews attached to Rectory Grove – were compulsorily purchased by the Council and then left empty. People who moved into the empty buildings were allowed to stay on ‘short life’ tenancies – for almost 40 years in some cases. The residents made the houses habitable, tended the gardens and in many cases brought up families there. They also formed a housing co-operative, with a ‘self-help’ agenda – members exchanged skills and supported each other; they taught themselves and each other to maintain the houses – in (at least) one case learning to plaster ‘on the job’. The result is a vibrant and eclectic street, with an old bombsite for a garden and a small pack of cats to keep out the mice. In contrast to a sterile and ugly gated-community redevelopment in the mews next door the street is idyllic, a hub of community that contrasts the bleakness of many residential parts of London.

image2

However some residents say they have been unable to fully enjoy their homes, instead living with constant anxiety as Lambeth Council – which ironically self-describes as a ‘co-operative council’ – has sporadically put pressure on them to leave. This came to a head in 2011, when the Labour party began systematically targeting all ‘short life’ properties in the borough. Under immense pressure and facing dubious, underhand tactics – including the employment of property guardian company Camelot to help prise tenants out and stop new ones moving in – many residents have now settled and been rehoused, or are awaiting to be rehoused within the borough. Lambeth Council have offered Rectory Gardens residents priority in selectively applying for available council houses.

Many residents, however, persist in fighting to keep their homes, despite the risk of having to pay enormous legal fees if they lose.

L&Q Media Centre put spin on Silwood Under 5’s Playgroup

Meeting between community steering group members and L&Q staff, in which staff asked not to be filmed or photographed

Meeting between community steering group members and L&Q staff, chaired by Southwark Councillor Anood Al-Samerai (left). L&Q staff asked not to be filmed or photographed.

Major “Registered Social Landlord” of Silwood Estate (SE16), London & Quadrant’s ‘Media Centre’ have published a report on the re-launch of the Silwood Estate Under 5s playgroup, which omits many aspects of the story that we considered crucial to our report last week. L&Q’s alternative report portrays the company as having played a large part in saving the playgroup, neglecting to mention the eight month battle Silwood residents faced to secure the £11,500 of funding they have finally received, which is a one-off grant not expected to be renewed next year. Nor do L&Q mention that many believe the funding, and far more money, belong rightfully to the community, who were promised the Lewington Centre to replace their previous community building as a condition of the estates redevelopment, which began in the early 2000s.

At a meeting between L&Q staff and community steering group members last week, L&Q’s long-standing obligation to hand the building over to the community was reiterated by Southwark Councillor and leader of the Southwark Liberal Democrat group Anood Al-Samerai – who reminded those present that the centre should ultimately be run by a committee comprising predominantly local people working with a minority of L&Q representatives. Alarmingly, this was met with apparent confusion from L&Q staff, who, under their Section 106 obligations, are supposed to have been working towards this goal since the centre opened in 2009, if not before.

Among a slew of now-broken promises, Silwood residents were led to believe they would have at least priority access to the building, which in actuality was made unviable as a venue for many community events by apartments being built above the main hall. Large parts of the building are also regularly leased to a local college, making them unavailable to the community. As we reported, and L&Q failed to mention, money collected from the Lewington Centre flats each week was meant to be set aside for the community, to make up for the restrictions they impose on using the building. By the same logic, profit made on renting the space should be shared with the community, who are, after all, supposed to manage the building.

Instead of mentioning these things, L&Q appear to be trying to use the re-launch of the playgroup to promote themselves. They boast that, “Children and families in and around the Silwood Estate, Southwark, are celebrating the re-launch of their local playgroup thanks to the work of the Silwood Community Steering Group and an £11,500 grant from L&Q housing association.” They go on to describe themselves in favourable terms, as, “One of the largest housing associations in the capital,” owning “70,000 homes across London and the South East as well as being a leading residential developer of new and affordable homes.” The PR department seem oblivious to the fact that, given London property prices, £11,500 for a company that owns 70,000 houses doesn’t come across as an especially generous sum.

Karen Westbrook, Resident Services Manager for L&Q, concludes the ‘Media Centre’ article, saying, “Helping the Silwood Community Steering Group to re-launch a playgroup service was a great opportunity for us to step in and support the nearby community and L&Q residents of the Silwood estate.” This is an interesting take on what many would consider to be a story of community disempowerment, in which a resource has been effectively taken away from residents and then reluctantly lent back to them by L&Q after a long campaign and apparently in exchange for undeserved good PR.

Click Silwood Video Group for more blogs
Or visit PlanA our general blog on urbanism, planning and architecture.
See our Silwood Video Group project pages for more information and videos.
Support our work by ordering Silwood related books, maps, dvds and prints from Spectacle’s shop.
Spectacle homepage
Like Spectacle Documentaries on Facebook
Follow SpectacleMedia on Twitter

A brief update on Battersea Power Station and the Nine Elms development

bps2

As construction work progresses on the Battersea Power Station site, the Battersea Power Station Development Company’s (BPSDC) ambitious plans for the project appear to be moving rapidly forwards too; last week it was revealed that the company have made an official bid for the proposed Crossrail 2 line to serve the location. An extension of the Northern Line, Charing Cross Branch, is already planned (and will be partially financed by Sime Darby, the Malaysian consortium behind the Battersea Power Station Development Company) from Kennington to the Power Station. The Evening Standard reports that TfL is citing this as a reason to distance itself from the proposal, insisting Battersea Power Station will already be adequately connected.

Meanwhile, on the ground Everyman continue to lease an area in front of the Power Station to screen films and sell expensive, ‘ethnic’ food in the evenings from Thursday to Sunday. Last week our interns, Charlotte and Marta, risked death by falling chimney chunk to check out the event and sneak some surreptitious footage. Surprisingly they survived, reporting only giant Jenga pieces flying around.

Elsewhere, on the neighbouring Nine Elms site, all-consuming construction work has spilled out onto the Thames Path, limiting access to Tideway Village, a floating community of houseboats now overhung by the Riverlight development buildings.

INURA release public letter in solidarity with Serbian construction workers

belgrade

INURA, the International Network of Urban Research and Action, have released a public letter regarding the housing situation of former Trudbenik construction workers and their families in Belgrade, Serbia.

The letter describes INURA as “a network of people involved in research and action in localities and cities, including professionals, activists and researchers from community and environmental groups, universities and local administrations. INURA is
also a member of the Habitat International Coalition, a global network for the right to housing and social justice.”

Members of INURA recently participated in their 24th international conference, “Between Big Ideas and Life’s Realities” from June 22 – 29, 2014 in Belgrade and Tara.
The conference was attended by about 120 participants from more than 20 countries.

The letter explains, “As part of the official program, we visited a number of sites and projects, including an initiative representing the interests of residents of the so called Samački Hoteli in New Belgrade, Yuri Gagarin Street no. 139, and in Konjarnik, Luneta Milovanovića Street no. 6, built by the KMG TRUDBENIK in 1980 and 1964 respectively. We are writing to you in order to draw your attention to the very precarious living
conditions of its residents and, in particular, to their unresolved housing situation.”

INURA found that a group of over 210 people – mostly former workers of the well-known Serbian construction company KMG TRUDBENIK and their families – are threatened with eviction, writing:

“Their accommodation, once built with the help of solidarity funds financed by the wages of all workers, was sold along with the whole company to the firm MONTERRA in March 2008 as part of the general privatization process in Serbia. Apparently, nothing was done by the state authorities to protect the status of the workers and residents of the Samački Hoteli from the arbitrariness and mismanagement of the new owners. When MONTERRA declared bankruptcy in 2011, all previous arrangements were annulled. More than 500 workers were dismissed, left without any redundancy program or support from the government. It turned out that the “business” policy of the new owner was to plunder the company and profit from its dismantling, with no plans for future production or any obligations towards the workers.”

During their visit, INURA learnt that the residents of Samački Hoteli and similar accommodations have been facing constant harassment and pressure, first by the management of MONTERRA and later by the bankruptcy trustee ERSTE BANKA and SOCIETE GENERALE BANKA and the Commercial Court who all want them to move out of their homes, in order to sell both buildings to repay the debts accrued under the management of MONTERRA. With the bankruptcy of TRUDBENIK, most tenants have become unemployed and are now threatened by eviction. The people who INURA talked to during their visit told them that they have no resources and no other place to
go, and therefore they will probably become homeless. Some families are also frightened that they will be separated, with their children being put in state-run homes while the adults end up on the streets.

INURA conclude: “As INURA members, we come from different countries and are not familiar with the details of the privatization process in Serbia or the laws that enabled and accompanied it. However, we strongly believe that workers and their families should not become the pawns of highly irresponsible corporations and their incessant appetite for increased profits. We are convinced that the state and the city of Belgrade are responsible for the welfare of its citizens and residents and should therefore
take action to prevent these workers and their families from becoming homeless and safeguard their right to housing.”

Therefore, INURA urge political and administrative bodies of Serbia and Belgrade, “to take action and protect the people living in the so called “Workers’ hotels” in Belgrade from harassment, housing insecurity and eviction. We furthermore urge you to make all possible efforts to work on a permanent solution for them and resolve their status as legal residents.”

Interview: Spectacle training ‘demystified’ the filmmaking process

Spectacle has been offering flexible, efficient and affordable training based at our Lavender Hill office in South London for several years. In that time, we’ve had all kinds of people come through our doors, and the feedback we’ve received at the end of the courses has been overwhelmingly positive. Recently, however, we wondered exactly what our trainees have taken away from our particular approach to teaching in the long run. We sought out Michaela Benson, Senior Lecturer in Sociology at Goldsmiths, University of London, a few months after she finished our Digital Video Production for Anthropologists & Social Researchers training weekend to discuss this.

Why did you choose digital video production skills? 

I do a lot of research in people’s houses looking at their relations with the wider residential environment… video can offer a way of introducing participatory elements into an academic research project, and can capture the visual experience of a research setting. I also think that it introduces a different way of communicating findings to our audiences. I wanted to develop these skills so I could apply them myself and start experimenting.

What did you like most about our course?

The way it demystified the process of video-recording and taught me some fail safe basics that are transferable not only into future video work, but also into my everyday use of cameras. I feel that my understanding of video production and the skills involved in this have undoubtedly benefited.

What has stayed with you the most?

The simple understanding of how to frame a shot has been invaluable, and I feel as though it is becoming second-nature.

Now you’ve learned these skills, what’s next?

I’m looking forward to applying my new skills to my current project on self-build in the coming months.

Why do you think researchers should be engaging more with digital video?

I think that video offers additional ways of capturing research data, to be analysed later, and also opens up possibilities for different modes of engagement and communication.

Would you recommend the course to someone else?

I would definitely recommend the course. It broke the process of production into small steps that were easy to remember. Also, having a chance to put these into practice made me realise the benefits of this approach. This is a course that is perfect for anyone who wants to make a start at looking at including video production in their work.

You can find out more about our Digital Video Production for Anthropologists & Social Researchers training weekend here, including upcoming dates and fees.
If you’re interested in documentary film making but you’re not a researcher, we have a range of other courses that may interest you. All our training courses apply the same ‘fail safe’, ‘small steps’ approach to give you the confidence to pick up a video camera and start shooting.