Memories of Battersea: Nick

Memories of Battersea is an oral history video project run by Spectacle and part funded by the Wandsworth Grant Fund. The project gives young adults from Battersea the opportunity to be trained in film-making while producing short films about their neighbourhood, collecting memories from elder Battersea residents, bridging intergenerational gaps and engaging with the history of their borough.

In this video, Spectacle met Nick Wood, the eclectic architect who designed and built the Carey Gardens estate in the early 70s in SW8 Battersea in Wandsworth.

Nick Wood, the GLC architect of Carey Gardens estate

Throughout his successful career at the London County Council and the Greater London Council, Nick aimed to create “council estates that didn’t look like council estates”, designing buildings that could provide an enjoyable living environment for its residents. Nick applied Sir Leslie Martin’s theories on land use to design Carey Gardens estate and his model proved that it was possible to achieve high density with low-rise buildings. During this time period, this was seen as revolutionary seeing as high-rise blocks were seen as more fashionable but cost more to build.

The Carey Gardens estate model, designed by Nick Wood

This Memories of Battersea episode gives an insight into the history of social housing, focusing on the effort of building new homes for the Battersea community after the devastation of World War II. Nick also walks through his theory use and intentions on building Carey Gardens as he sits down with an aerial map of the estate. He also mentions the Carey Gardens Co-operative, the tenant management organisation that plans events and coastal trips for the residents, proving how good urban housing design creates vibrant and happy resident communities.

Watch the full film here.

Visit Spectacle’s Memories of Battersea channel on Vimeo to watch other episodes featuring Battersea residents’ stories.

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Memories of Battersea: Mohamed

Memories of Battersea is a video oral history project run by Spectacle and funded by the Wandsworth Grant Fund. The project gives young adults from Battersea the opportunity to be trained in film-making while producing short films about their neighbourhood, collecting memories from elder Battersea residents, bridging intergenerational gaps and engaging with the history of their borough.

In this video, we meet Mohamed Ali, a local community organisation founder and Battersea resident who immigrated from Somalia with his family in the late 90s to seek a better life away from the on-going Somali civil war.

Mohamed Ali, local Battersea resident and founder of Elays Network.

Mohamed spends his time working in the R & E Centre on St Rule Street in the SW8 area. He started Elays Network to work primarily in youth development and education but as the organisation expanded, they began to involve men and women of all ages in various activities, focusing on building bridges between the migrant communities and the host communities.

Most recently some of the organisation’s women came together to curate an event called Somali Women in the Arts which saw them exhibit their artwork, from paintings to poetry, in the Battersea Power Station.

Somali Women in the Arts exhibition, held at the Battersea Power Station.

He talks about his early experiences adjusting to life in London, the urban development and gentrification in Battersea and its impact on the lower and working class, the establishment of the Somali community within the borough of Wandsworth and how he founded Elays Network. He also relives some key events of how Elays has helped to strengthen and and bring together the Battersea community, as well as suggesting how the migrant and host communities should move forward in becoming a better integrated, accepting and united society.

Watch the full film here on Vimeo.

Visit Spectacle’s Memories of Battersea channel on Vimeo to watch other episodes featuring Battersea residents’ unique stories.

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Training on your video production: promotion for voluntary sector

Are you a small, socially engaged organisation? Do you want to promote the great work you do using video? You have no money to commission a promotional video nor enough confidence or equipment to produce in-house engaging video content? Do you have your promotional video idea in mind and need help to make it real?

Spectacle wants to support you by skilling you up while helping you produce your amazing first promotional video!

Why Spectacle?

We are a small, socially-minded company whose profits go back in to funding our community based work. We therefore want to support other organisations with a bespoke programme that will help you produce your first video while being trained in video making. We have applied a generous discount to our standard prices in order to help you reach your aims and to contribute to your success.

Spectacle is an award winning independent television production company specialising in documentary, community-led, investigative journalism and participatory media. Spectacle’s documentary work has been broadcast and exhibited internationally. We have produced work on commission for clients including Amnesty International, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the Howard League for Penal Reform, Council of Europe, Groundwork, the London Health Commission, the NHS, Big Local and the Wellcome Trust.

As well as undertaking productions, Spectacle runs short, sharp, affordable training courses and community based media workshops. We are based in London but can travel within Europe to deliver bespoke group sessions. We believe our courses are the best around, largely based on the exceptional feedback we have received from the hundreds of people we have trained over the years.

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What will you get?

You will have your first video professionally produced by an award winning production company. You will also learn how to make your second video, building up confidence and practical knowledge that will scale up your outreach and marketing strategies.

What services are provided?

We are offering a bundle of services that will guide your staff (up to 8 people) through a specifically designed programme of training and production based on your video project.

You will attend practical workshops on video making and you will be assisted in your real shoot by our director. You will have complementary equipment (second camera, audio recording, lights) and extra crew if needed. Then we will train you on how to effectively use video editing software, sitting together  in front of your project to get the editing process started. Our professional editors will finalise your video and guide you through uploading and promoting it on you social networks and media platforms.

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Discount applies to voluntary sector only and is not applicable after 31/05/2018 

We are offering two options, depending on how confident you are already in video making and on the nature of your projects.

Option1 (groups up to 8)

2 Day Bespoke Training in Videography

1 Day Shooting (assisted with extra equipment and crew if necessary)         

1 Day Editing Workshop (Introduction to Software and workflow. Preparation of Edit)

4 Days Professional Editing.             

TOTAL normal price      4000

TOTAL for voluntary sector 2000

Option2 (groups up to 8)

1 day Bespoke Training in Videography 

1 Day Shooting (assisted with extra equipment and crew if necessary)   

1 Day Editing Workshop (Introduction to Software and workflow. Preparation of Edit)

2 Days Professional Editing.            

TOTAL normal price    2800

TOTAL for voluntary sector 1600

Contact us for more info at production@spectacle.co.uk

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De-Risky Business – Battersea Power Station £1.6bn sale?

What is really going on at Battersea Power Station? The developers hope to sell to two  Malaysian saving fund investors, Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB) and Employees Provident Fund Board (EPF) for £1.6 Billion. However PNB and EPF already indirectly own a large stake in the developers.

The press is focussing on the record £1.6bn price tag making it the most expensive property purchase ever in London. Given the state of the pound post Brexit, the declining property market, the seriously troubled UK construction industry and Apple’s history of fickle “commitments” it might be London’s worse ever property purchase.

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Battersea Power Station Sunset

Shareholdings in Battersea Project Holding Company Ltd will remain unchanged between Sime Darby Property Berhad (40%), SP Setia (40%) and EPF (20%). PNB owns a stake in Battersea Power Station through its 55% shareholding in SP Setia and stake in Sime Darby, following its acquisition last summer of Sime Darby’s entire interest in its property arm, Seriemas Development Sdn Bhd (SDSB).  However the project will still be managed by same old Battersea Power Station Development Company (BPSDC) who say despite spiralling costs the deal will “guarantee the restoration of the building was completed” something they have always insisted was never in doubt.

A cynic might argue that was is really behind this manoeuvring is the off-loading of an ailing white elephant, profit forecasts have gone from 20% to just 8% since 2012, building costs have doubled, onto the poor Malaysian pensioners who have savings in PNB and EPF. De-risking or handing over future losses to Malaysian public money.

Battersea Power Station: Selling an Icon from Spectacle Media on Vimeo.

Demolition by Stealth. Perhaps we are lucky the (fake) chimneys are up on what’s left of the grade 2* listed building but sadly the wonderful brown Blockley brick east and west walls are half demolished, to be replaced with “pre-fab brickwork” according to Brian Barnes of Battersea Power Station Community Group despite the assurances, made in Selling an Icon, by sleepy old Historic England.

 

Read more about Battersea Power Station on Spectacle’s blog

Watch Battersea Power Station: Selling an Icon on video on demand or DVD.

Other articles:

https://www.theguardian.com/…/battersea-power-station-to-be…

http://www.costar.co.uk/…/Malaysian-duo-to-buy-Apples-HQ-a…/

Memories of Battersea: Christine

Memories of Battersea is a video oral history project run by Spectacle Productions and funded by the Wandsworth Grant Fund. The project gives young adults from Battersea the opportunity to be trained in film-making while producing short films about their neighbourhood, collecting memories from elder Battersea residents, bridging intergenerational gaps and engaging with the history of their borough.

In this episode we met theatre director Christine Eccles in the Battersea Art Centre. Christine tells her story about Mayday Theatre, a politically engaged theatre company based in Battersea during the seventies and early eighties.

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Christine moved to Battersea from Liverpool in the early seventies and, inspired by radical theatre and the political atmosphere at the time, started her own socialist community theatre group. Working with the local residents and the Labour council they put on shows around South London that were based on local issues and stories such as the lives of factory workers, the gentrification of Battersea and the growth of the National Front in the area.

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In this short film she recounts stories from some of their most memorable performances, shares her photos from the time, describes her experiences of working with the local community, and explains why her work was an important political force in the history of Battersea. She describes the neighbourhood’s radical history, what it was like when she moved there, and the changes that have taken place since then, including the sudden switch from a Labour to a Conservative council and the rapid change in housing landscape.

Christine is the second episode in the series. Watch Memories of Battersea: Jean, the first episode, here.  

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Video Production Enhances Research Impact

Are you an academic researcher, PhD student, PostDoc fellow seeking to boost the impact of your research? Do you wish to improve the originality of your research proposals in humanities, science, arts, social sciences? Why not include a video outcome in your funding application?

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Spectacle video training for academics and researchers

Other academics are already using media production to enhance the impact of their research in many ways. Video can be used either to monitor the research process and report research results, or it can be integrated in the research methods as strategy to collect original data that can be easily analysed and disseminated. Spectacle has long experience in training academic staff in how to achieve quality video outcomes for their investigations.

Recently we have trained anthropologists and social researchers of Edinburgh University, academic staff at Birkbeck, Comms departments at Oxford University, Cambridge University Press and King’s College. All of them gave us excellent feedback.

Together with practical skills and confidence, they went away inspired and excited by the potential of incorporating video in their academic work in order to improve the impact of their scientific communications.

We offer a range of options to train you in video making, from weekend courses to long bespoke training programmes addressed to whole department staff or research groups. Please visit our Training page or write to us for quotes and info at training@spectacle.co.uk

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Free video training for young adults resident in the Battersea area

Memories of Battersea: Free video film making training for young adults resident in Wandsworth

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Continuing Spectacle’s oral history video project “Memories of Battersea” we are running a series of free video production workshops for young adults (18-30 year olds) resident in the Wandsworth Borough, particularly SW8 and the Queenstown Ward.

The workshops will run during November and December please contact production@spectacle.co.uk for dates / times and locations.

All equipment is provided, no prior knowledge is necessary and it is completely free. There are 10 places so book now to be sure to get your place.

The 2 day workshops will cover practical hands on digital video production including shooting an interview and shoot locations.

Other workshops will be scheduled in 2018.

Please contact production@spectacle.co.uk to book, we are happy to answer your questions and provide details.

Bespoke Group Video Training for Anthropologists at Edinburgh University

Sorry for the long silence: Spectacle’s video training team has been extremely busy over the past few months!
Alongside our usual sessions in London, we recently ran an extremely successful video production course for anthropologists and social researchers at the University of Edinburgh – and then another session shortly afterwards for media students at Birkbeck, University of London.

The good news is, we are now taking bookings again for the new academic year!

We can run bespoke short courses for academics (students and staff) on location at universities and institutes anywhere in the country, where a group of between 4 and 20 people want to learn how to use video for fieldwork.

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Over the years, we have trained hundreds of students and we continue to receive excellent feedback after every session.

Our hands on approach equips students with the ability and confidence to go out and shoot on their own after our training.

Our courses are flexible and can be easily tailored to your needs. We can arrange anything from a one day introduction to video production or editing techniques, to a full three or four days of training covering the entire filmmaking process from start to finish.

We can schedule the course across consecutive days or leave intervals between sessions.
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We can also offer training in participatory video techniques.

More information on our bespoke courses can be found here: www.spectacle.co.uk/training/bespoke-group

We also run weekend courses for individuals at our premises in London, with the next one scheduled for 23-24 September.

Many academics have taken and enjoyed our courses, and you can see feedback here: http://www.spectacle.co.uk/training/testimonials/

Spectacle’s Video Services

Are you looking to have your conference, seminar, event professionally filmed? Are you looking for an experienced, reliable and affordable company to deliver a high production value short film? Spectacle’s highly skilled crews provide high quality single or multi-camera videography at competitive prices to suit all your needs and budgets.

Spectacle is an award winning independent television production company specialising in documentary, community-led investigative journalism and participatory media.  Over the last 25 plus years, Spectacle delivered a variety of media products that have ranged from conference documentation, to short educational or promotional videos, from series of mini clips to longitudinal documentation of large social projects. Our list of clients range from broadcast channels and media companies to international NGOs, Charities, Universities and private companies and we have always received great feedback.

Filmmaking and video production can be a long and arduous process; Spectacle’s processes are transparent and ensure consistent contact and input with clients. This means that projects can be constantly monitored and evolved with the client. Our multi-skilled freelancers are familiar with a range of production equipment and post-production software, allowing a wealth of options for final outcomes and diversity of expertise in project management.

Equipment and Crews

Spectacle offers professional full HD video and photographic production and documentation services for online, print or DVD distribution. Our crews have experience of a variety of broadcast and non-broadcast productions, and are used to working in sensitive and difficult situations. We also have experience in working with educational and academic institutions.

Our editors are familiar with academic work environments, especially in the fields of anthropology, urbanism and humanities, enhancing our ability to deliver a reliable service for your conference or educational videos. Our team of freelancers also cover a variety of languages enabling Spectacle to be the perfect partner for non-English speakers.


Service standards

We can tailor our videography services to your needs. Single camera or multi-cam shooting, sound and light setting, interviews and vox pop, locations shots for higher production value: we are happy to discuss the best and most cost effective option to suit your needs. Whatever your choice in terms of crew and film typology, we value quality and do our best to deliver the best standard of service. For this reason all our services provide a full HD video recording and a sound operator to provide the best audio recording to your film. We also provide, when necessary, a basic extra light kit for all our video shooting.

Affordable and transparent costing

Spectacle offers a sliding scale, depending on funding and size of production. Our range of production options starts from £450 to cover videography for your seminar with full HD camera, sound operator and lights.

Get in touch by email: production@spectacle.co.uk

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What’s going on with Battersea Power Station?

Go to ITALIAN version

After a big spike in reporters’ attention following Apple’s decision to move its headquarters into the grade 2 star listed art deco Building, Battersea Power Station has gone quieter in mainstream media over the last months. This doesn’t mean that nothing has changed and Spectacle has been following the latest initiatives of Battersea Power Station Development Company around the beloved building designed by Giles Gilbert Scott. Unfortunately much of the news is not reassuring.

Bad news or good news? Bad and good, as usual, are mixed up in the opacity of corporate communication, where everything can be spun according to the most convenient narrative. In fact, the general public is probably aware that the biggest and richest company in the world, Apple, have expressed their intention to move into the refurbished power plant. Apple has been welcomed almost unanimously in mainstream media (among others:  BBC, The Guardian, Evening Standard) as good news. Meanwhile only Spectacle’s blog reported that the East Wall has been completely demolished in order to make windows and give light to Apple’s offices.

Battersea Power Station - three of the four chimneys have been rebuilt

Battersea Power Station – three of the four chimneys have been rebuilt. (Spectacle, 10/03/17)

This major loss, unreported in the mainstream media, follows a curious ’destroy-to-preserve’  strategy repeatedly applied to portions of the Battersea Power Station. Even though best practice in heritage interventions recommends to keep existing structures, the iconic chimneys have gone and been replaced with replicas. In our opinion this is the most evident distortion produced by developer-led preservation, as shown in our film Battersea Power Station: Selling an Icon.

The demolitions (east wall and chimneys) have been approved by all regulatory agencies (Historic England – former English Heritage – and Wandsworth Council) and justified with the greater good of bringing the Battersea Power Station back to life. But what good has the 9 billion development – one of the biggest in Europe –  delivered so far? The works to rebuild the chimneys have proceeded and, at the moment, three newly built chimneys stick out the spoiled art deco power station. Hopefully Londoners will be able to once again admire the four chimneys back on the Battersea skyline, even though they are fakes. Better than nothing? Maybe. 

PUBLIC NOT PUBLIC

Battersea Power Station Development Company, through it’s Chief Executive Rob Tincknell, have recently announced the opening of a riverside walk in the development area:  “We are delighted that we are able to open new public spaces for London and are starting to bring the power station and its surrounds back into London life” (Reported on the Evening Standard). Despite the enthusiasm in the wording, the ‘public space’ Rob Tincknell is talking about is a private walk squeezed between the river and Phase 1 of the development. This promenade is going to be integrated into the wider riverside walk that will be opened in front of the Power Station. Like the rest of the development, this space is private and merely open to public, which is quite different from being ‘public space’.

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The recently open riverside promenade (Spectacle, 04/03/2015)

While filming the new Riverside promenade, our naive crew, believing in the “public space” hype outlined by the developers, acted as if it was a real public area. Unfortunately we have been brought back to reality when the local security reminded us that the landlord decided that smoking was not allowed on the site. Thanks to this sensible management, our health has been preserved. Nevertheless it seems unlikely that a privately policed space will guarantee free enjoyment of the river. If they were to outlaw picnics (maybe to help food shops in the development) or a protest, there would be little room for complaint: that’s what you get when you privatise public spaces.

The Guardian in the past has warned about the effects already produced by this public/private mix on the shores of the River Thames, that became a “bafflingly complex labyrinth of private obstructions and municipal confusion – and a struggle over land rights that could have serious consequences for common access to the river”. Not a great prelude to what developers offer as a unique experience.

PLANNING NOT PLANNING 

The pretentious 230 pages long ‘manifesto’ on Place Making put forward by the Battersea Power Station Development Company gives paramount importance to mixed use and mixed tenancy. Despite the commitment to deliver housing (and some affordable housing) to London’s population, the Malaysian consortium that leads the development has changed its mind, switching from luxury flats to offices.

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Cover page of Battersea Power Station Development Company book on ‘place making’ (2014)

Battersea Power Station Development Company have put forward an application for a change of use for Phase 3 of the project. Developers are seeking to turn two buildings, by starchitects Frank Gehry and Norman Foster, – whose flats have already been displayed for sale – from residential to office use. The Financial Times, reported the proposed change is due to a drastic drop in the prime housing market price, whereas demand for office space seems to be holding a higher value. Rob Tincknell in the Financial Times had to justify the plan: “The great thing about a long-term scheme like this is we can adjust with the markets. If there’s no residential market and a very strong office market then we will build offices”.

The same Tincknell that now praises flexibility, in the past gave an interview to Peter Watts, for his book “Up in Smoke” about the history of Battersea Power Station, making clear how Battersea Power Station Development Company came up with their surefire recipe to make Battersea the perfect place: “57% residential. Of the remaining 43% that’s about 3.4m sq ft, 1.2m retail and restaurants, 1.7m sq ft of offices and the balance in hotels, leisure and community space.” We wonder what happened to the pseudo-scientific plan for mixing uses and people in the “new place”, allegedly the result of a long consultation with local people. Maybe it wasn’t that important, since Tincknell tells the Financial Times now that “I could easily see us adding another million square feet (of office space)” and taking out a hotel and lots of residential from the scheme.

Battersea Power Station Community Group, virtually the only critical voice in the neighbourhood whose opinion has never been taken into account by the developers, have stood against the proposed plan: “The Gehry and Foster blocks should become social, affordable and mid-priced housing. There could be some office space at the lower levels. But with a housing crisis in London of unprecedented severity, these buildings should not be given over to offices in their entirety”.

Keep following our blog for updates and other contradictions produced by the big bang development of Battersea Power Station

Watch more videos on Battersea Power Station
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See our Battersea Power Station project pages for more information and videos.

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