The Silwood Video Archive Project

We are delighted to announce that this month we will be launching the SILWOOD VIDEO ARCHIVE PROJECT, an archive-based participatory film project.  

This pioneering project will: digitise and upload archive video filmed with the Silwood Video Group for the public to watch; encourage community viewing and tagging; run a short series of participatory editing workshops for up to 20 participants; and produce a co-authored short film using Silwood archive footage.

The Silwood Video Archive Project is 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.

Spectacle has 40 years experience in community-led filmmaking developing collaborative documentaries and participatory video methods. Spectacle’s Silwood archive has been created over 20 years of collaborative filming and video making at the Silwood estate on the border of Lewisham and Southwark in Southeast London. 

For news and updates on the project – SIGN UP HERE, or email projects@spectacle.media.

Background: Spectacle and Silwood 

In 2000 Spectacle’s founder Mark Saunders ran participatory workshops on the Silwood Estate in southeast London. He had been asked to work with residents for a few weeks – teaching them how to shoot video and maybe making a short film as part of the planned regeneration work in the area. 

After a few months, the funding ended, but Spectacle never left. For twenty years the Silwood Community Video Group has been filming in and around the Silwood Estate, documenting daily life and changes created by regeneration.

The relationship between Spectacle and Silwood resulted in several short films, web clips for the Channel 4 series Unteachables, an ICA exhibition, as well as further exhibitions at the BOZAR – Centre for Fine Arts in Brussels. This work has been funded by numerous grants, including the INTERREG Apango project, and has brought skill training, jobs, and investment to the Silwood Community. 

In 20 years, Spectacle has run hundreds of video workshops for participants aged from 8-80 from a wide range of backgrounds to tell their own stories. In that time Silwood Estate has undergone immense changes. Brutalist estate buildings have been razed, the community that lived there was scattered to other parts of London, and for those that remained the promises made to maintain community facilities have not been fulfilled. Filming continued every year until the pandemic hit in 2020.

The Archive Project

Understandably, the incredible volume of filming has generated a tremendous video archive – over 300 hours which Spectacle maintains.

With the support of the Audience Agency, we use online participatory editing tools to open this archive. We will invite the Silwood community to watch, comment on, and begin a participatory editing process which will draw out the story(ies) of Silwood.

This initial project will have three stages.

Stage 1

Spectacle will review the archive, edit selections, upload the archive to Vimeo. We will reach out through networks to the Silwood Community who will engage in tagging and providing metadata for the video archive. Spectacle will analyse this collection of notes, views, opinions, and responses to the archive footage. 

Stage 2

After reviewing the community response, Spectacle will convene a group of up to 20 interested community members to participate in a series of collaborative editing workshops. During 6 workshops participants will develop a short (30 minute) film or several short (5 minute) film clips from the archive through a process of viewing, discussing, and suggesting edits. Between each session, Spectacle will implement the participants’ editing suggestions. 

If the participants choose, there is the possibility of conducting Zoom interviews to collect oral histories and add current perspective on the material they are working with.

Stage 3 

Once the participants have created the rough cut of the film, Spectacle will polish the material with a final professional edit including sound design, graphics, and adding any further images that might be needed. Stage three will culminate in a screening of the film for the community. 

Impact

We are very excited that this project will allow us to make the Silwood archive accessible to the community for the first time and we envision it will enrich and sustain this 20 year collaboration. 

Further, we hope that this project will be a springboard for the community and Spectacle to attract future funding to develop the project further both by exploring the archive in more depth but also running filming workshops inspired by the archives.

At the largest scale, we imagine that this project could serve as a reproducible pilot for the many UK communities who have experienced bombing, “slum clearance”, neglect and decline of 60s Brutalist housing estates, large scale decanting, dispersal, demolition and regeneration.

If you want to get involved SIGN UP HERE or email projects@spectacle.media

The Silwood Archive project is 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.


Learn Video Editing with Spectacle

5600191419_6274b4d002_z

Our two day video editing training courses offer an opportunity to quickly and cheaply acquire comprehensive post-production skills in a small group setting. We teach primarily on Final Cut Pro, but offer participants the chance to trial and compare Adobe Premiere and iMovie too.

We always receive excellent feedback:

“It was a small group so things were easily explained if not understood, and the direction could be catered towards our needs” – Sarah

“I had no previous knowledge of the software, so I would have been completely scared of trying things on it — the course felt just right to begin this exploration and the information on codec and export was particularly helpful” – Sophia

“It provides a lot of information quickly and in an understandable format. More helpful and human than the internet.” – Camilla

“[Learning a] structure for editing was extremely useful as this had been a barrier to progressing my own project — I’d only received technical training on the software previously” – Jo

We can also arrange one-to-one training – suitable for individuals, pairs or threes – and schedule bespoke coursesfor groups of four or more. One-to-one and bespoke group training can be tailored to meet your requirements – that means we will teach on editing software of your choice, and we can work on your actual video project.

We cover both how to use the editing software – from importing, marking, logging and editing, to adding soundtracks and effects – and workflow techniques: essentially, showing you an easy and stress-free way to turn your many hours of unorganised footage into a well-structured final documentary film, short video, or promotional clip.

Like our Video Production Weekend course, our editing training is popular with aspiring documentary filmmakers, ‘self-shooter’ journalists who want to expand their skill set, marketers who want to make and edit their own promotional videos, and hobbyists who want to produce better results. We particularly recommend the course to individuals who have completed one of our video production courses and want to add editing skills to their repertoire.

Professional filmmaker and teacher Mark Saunders leads all editing sessions himself.

Each participant will have sole or pair use of a computer, giving everyone extensive hands-on experience.

Calling all students – take advantage of our huge student discounts, learn filmmaking before you graduate

Are you a student, interested in documentary filmmaking, video-journalism (becoming a ‘self-shooter’), media communications and marketing, or using video for your final project or fieldwork? We pride ourselves on our affordable and efficient intensive short courses in filmmaking, video production, and video editing, and for students they are even cheaper.

training

We offer our Digital Video Production Weekend — a great introductory course for beginners — for just £180 to students (a £60 discount on the full price), and our intensive Four Day Filmmaking Course — also suitable for beginners, but ideal for consolidating and expanding on basic or self-taught skills — for £350 (£150 off).

We also have a course designed specifically for people who want to learn video skills for academic purposes — for use in fieldwork or on their final project and a course for people interested in media communications and marketing. We have courses running soon — before your final project is due! — and over the summer. If you are graduating this year and interested in pursuing a career in documentary filmmaking, self-shooter video-journalism, media communications and marketing, or academia then sign up now and we will honour the student discount even if you graduate before the course start date.

For more information see our website, or email Charlotte at training@spectacle.co.uk to discuss which course would be best for you.

Spectacle’s 4 day training course

Recently Spectacle provided a four day training course in video production at our workshop in Battersea, London. In four days we went through the entire filmmaking/ digital video production process, from brief to production to post production (digital editing using Final Cut Pro) to delivery of the final edit online. This is our most complete course, for those who want to quickly and effectively acquire a comprehensive set of digital media skills.

4 day course with Brian

Spectacle’s training course participants interviewing a mural artist Brian Barnes.

“Great hands on experience”
“Very quick at getting outside and handling equipment “- Ben Martin (HR at Scottish courts)

The first two days the participants put to practice both shooting and interview techniques taught by Spectacle, on a real location with a real client, mural artist Brian Barnes. The participants enjoyed interviewing Brian against the backdrop of one of his murals.

“Being able to use a genuine client allowed us to put into practice what we were learning”-Tim Platt (Autotrader)

“Great opportunity to work on editing software”- Ben Martin

The second half of the course was post production in which we delivered training in editing techniques on Final Cut Pro and other up to date software such as Final Cut X, Adobe Premier and iMovie. Participants also had the chance to watch each others videos.

The group was very diverse, including participants who worked for The National Soldiers Trust, marketing and communications at Autotrader and a journalist looking to redirect their career.

“Informal setting was enjoyable, nice learning environment”
“Course was Enjoyable, motivating and well delivered”- Georgia Rise (Youth Worker)

“The course does exactly what it needs to”
“A big ‘thank you’ for the week, informative, educational, interesting and fun” -Michael Standen (The Soldiers Charity)

“Excellent – got a chance to do everything and covered all areas”
“Would absolutely recommend the course”
-Jo Murray (Journalist)

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.