Spectacle’s Recent Work

For 40 years, Spectacle has pioneered community led video projects and collaborative filmmaking, aiming to give groups and communities the tools and the skills to document what matters through collaborative video projects. Spectacle has led, co-led, and facilitated participatory film groups and workshops of all shapes and sizes. 

We have delivered our affordable and enjoyable courses in participatory filmmaking to hundreds of researchers, journalists, and community groups.

Over the last year Spectacle has successfully developed ways to facilitate participatory video workshops remotely, working with researchers from UCL, Oxford, and LSE, and community groups ranging from Colombia to London to Malawi. 

Workshops and Projects

Reinventadas – London School of Economics, LSE

This remote Participatory Video project, called Reinventada, was based in Medellin, Colombia. The research project was funded by the London School of Economics (LSE) Knowledge Exchange and Impact Fund (KEI). Through weekly workshops, displaced and migrant women learned the skills of filming and editing and documented their lives as mothers and heads of household, living in disadvantaged neighbourhoods of Medellin, during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The film that came from this research premiered in October 2021 at The International Documentary Film Festival of Bogotá. 

OVERDUE – University College London, UCL

Kingtom landfill, Freetown, source: Sulaiman Kamara, SLURC, 2020
Photo by: Sulaiman Kamara, 2020
Image from https://overdue-justsanitation.net/

Spectacle is running a series of training workshops for researchers at UCL working on the OVERDUE project, which is tackling sanitation inequality in three fast-growing African cities:  Beira (Mozambique), Freetown (Sierra Leone), and Mwanza (Tanzania). 

Our training in participatory video method offers an excellent resource for disrupting dominant narratives and cliches, or for understanding the impact of a project such as OVERDUE, by asking the beneficiaries to document the impact in their daily lives. 

GemDev – University College London, UCL

Lima, Image from GEMDev.net

Tracing the story of where we get our energy is one very important way to understand a society. For researchers from UCL’s Grounded Energy Modelling for equitable urban development in the global South (GEMDev) project – tracing community’s energy use using oral histories and visual storytelling is key to understanding what energy means in impromptu communities. 

EcoVisions 

In June 2021, Spectacle had the opportunity to work with Dr. Michelle Nicholson-Sanz and provide video training for the participants in her innovative Young Ecovisions project

The Silwood Video Archive Project 

The Silwood Video Archive Project marries participatory methods with video archive material in a series of narrative building workshops supported by The Audience Agency’s Digitally Democratising Archives project thanks to funding from DCMS and the National Lottery, as part of The National Lottery Heritage Fund’s Digital Skills for Heritage initiative.

Greenwich Community Video Skills Workshops – Greenwich Council 

In June, Spectacle began an online participatory video workshop series for a group of residents and community leaders in Greenwich. This programme of 8 half day workshops was designed to build the skills and capacity of the diverse Greenwich communities to co-produce media. 

Spectacle Master Class on Participatory Video

In February, Spectacle was invited to give a Master Class at the Italian National School of Participatory Video and Documentary Cinema.

Oxford COMPAS Researchers

In January, Spectacle ran a bespoke training course for The Oxford Centre on Migration, Policy, and Society (COMPAS). Spectacle’s training will give these researchers the skills to film with a more professional production quality and edit with an eye for narrative flow. Going forward, this will enable them to make short videos to effectively communicate their research to a larger audience.

Book your Training Workshop

Spectacle offers bespoke training either one-on-one or to groups. These can be arranged to fulfil your specific needs. Bespoke training can be built around your project so you can book sessions at your convenience and get the advice you need.


Spectacle Media bespoke training courses

We work in any time zone globally. Browse our courses, or email training@spectacle.co.uk for information on bespoke workshops.

Check out our courses: Participatory Video, Anthropology and Social Research, Filmmaking, Video Production, Marketing, Editing, and Smartphone Video.

Reality TV shoot – caption competition #5

The Public Relations Guru

Being in a Reality TV programme can be psychologically damaging. To make sure you can financially benefit from your exploitation it is a good idea to have a public relations agent. He will look over product endorsement contracts for you and make sure when your private life is exposed in the press it is on the front page.

The PR consultant will oversee your career

The PR consultant will oversee your career

What do  you think he is advising the contestant??

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Follow the link if you would like to know more about our Poverty and Participation in the Media project

Reality TV shoot – caption competition #1

Reality TV shoot – caption competition #2

Reality TV shoot – caption competition #3

Reality TV shoot – caption competition #4

Reality TV shoot – caption competition #5

Reality TV shoot – caption competition #4

The Victim Contestant

In this picture the contestant is trying hard to win and keep his dignity. He is thinking about the fame and fortune that will follow. How the woman at the check out is going to say something like “‘Ere weren’t you on telly last night?”

How am I doing?

How am I doing?

What else is he thinking? Any ideas?

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Follow the link if you would like to know more about our Poverty and Participation in the Media project

Reality TV shoot – caption competition #1

Reality TV shoot – caption competition #2

Reality TV shoot – caption competition #3

Reality TV shoot – caption competition #4

Reality TV shoot – caption competition #5

Reality TV shoot – caption competition #3

Studio Audience

The nice people at the Television company invite their  friends and family to be in the studio audience. Being in a TV audience is very easy but these days you need to know how to Whoop! like an American, which some English people find hard to do. You can practice this at home before you go “on set”.

Two reality TV fans are in the audience

Two reality TV fans in the audience

Can you think what they are saying?

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Follow the link if you would like to know more about our Poverty and Participation in the Media project

Reality TV shoot – caption competition #1

Reality TV shoot – caption competition #2

Reality TV shoot – caption competition #3

Reality TV shoot – caption competition #4

Reality TV shoot – caption competition #5

Reality TV shoot – caption competition #2

The Director

In this scene the director is very animated and holds his hands up to form a frame so he can see what the image will look like on television.

Give me victim- Thats good-ACTION!

Give me victim- Thats good-ACTION!

Before he shouts “Action!” he gives words of encouragement to the contestants. Can you think of what he is saying?

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Follow the link if you would like to know more about our Poverty and Participation in the Media project

Reality TV shoot – caption competition #1

Reality TV shoot – caption competition #2

Reality TV shoot – caption competition #3

Reality TV shoot – caption competition #4

Reality TV shoot – caption competition #5

Reality TV shoot – caption competition #1

Reality TV- Poverty and the Media

People in the early twenty first century thought nothing of watching the insane for entertainment. It was seen as quite normal. People used to joke that it was often hard to decide who was the madder, the actors, the crew or the viewers. There are stories of the celebs leaving the asylum and the wrong people being kept inside.

Reality TV studioHave a look at this “behind the scenes” image of a reality TV studio shoot and if you have any idea for a caption add it below.

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Follow the link if you would like to know more about our Poverty and Participation in the Media project

Reality TV shoot – caption competition #1

Reality TV shoot – caption competition #2

Reality TV shoot – caption competition #3

Reality TV shoot – caption competition #4

Reality TV shoot – caption competition #5

‘Charlton Ladies’ Film

WS2_Training 00151922The 10 Minute film produced through video workshops, in association with Kickz and Charlton Athletic Community Trust is now available to watch online.

Charlton Ladies Film

Through the series of workshops, the participants shot interviews with Charlton Ladies players and coaches, with footage of them in action at their training sessions.

This has now been edited into a short film, profiling the Ladies Team, their current successes and future aspirations of both the team and individuals involved.

Barnfield Estate Tour and Residents’ Meeting

The Spectacle team visited the Barnfield Estate in Greenwich to film a tour of the area, during which two local boys gave us a helping hand with the camera! Particularly salient was the disuse of the former community centre building, a large space which is currently boarded up. Renovation of the building would create a safe environment for residents to meet and take part in communal activities.

Following the tour was a residents’ meeting during which different Well London partners presented research, ideas and opportunities to members of the community. Spectacle invited residents to take part in workshops to make a film about the Barnfield Estate and community. If you would like to get involved, visit the Well London Media Project page.