Spectacle’s training course encourages you to take the next step

training

Spectacle offers several training courses in which participants can experience all the aspects of filmmaking.

Recently I  participated  in Spectacle’s  four day Digital Filmmaking training course which I did as a part of my one month work placement for Spectacle. These intense four days gave me what I was looking for – a practical skill set in filmmaking and post production. As an undergraduate Politics & Media students at Bournemouth University, the training course provided me with practical tips how to produce a short film and what I need to know beforehand which will without a doubt benefit my studies.

During the training course the other participants and I had a chance to practice all aspects of filmmaking: everyone had a go with camera, sound, interviewing and directing. A practical exercise was an interview with a local Mural artist Brian Barnes who talked about his art inspired by the Battersea Power Station. Dominique Lyons, one of the participants describes the training as ‘a good all round course on the basics’. Dominique who works in communications thinks she picked the right course for herself however our participants also came from different fields.

Pelagia Makrelli, an anthropology student from Greece, did her Erasmus workplacement for Spectacle this summer. She says the training helps ‘anthropologists to go from theory to action’. Another anthropologist participating the course was Zsuzsa Millei who says she appreciates how the course showed ‘respect for beginners enthusiasm, patience when something went wrong and understanding of clumsiness’.

brian

How to film an interview? Spectacle’s training course participants tested interview techniques with a mural artist Brian Barnes.

With my previous experience in editing covering the basics of how to use iMovie, the training course shed light on more advanced editing software and broadened my knowledge of different possibilities for editing. We learned how to use Final Cut Pro and we were advised which software might suit our own purposes. Now after the training course I feel a lot more confident with working with cameras and I’m looking forward to use these new skills in practice.

A freelance journalist Jessica Holland also found the training course very beneficial and she hopes to use her skills to make short documentaries. After all everyone of us who took part in the training course will use these learned skills in different ways. However I believe the course encouraged us to take the next step and get involved in film projects that we might have missed otherwise.

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.




 


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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.




 


 

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The Relationship Between Visual Anthropology and Documentary Film

Anthropology (the study of cross-cultural human sociality) has only been made possible with the expansion of transport and communication links that allowed the first Anthropologists to research and study other cultures. As a result of this, Anthropology is a relatively young subject, being first taught in the late eighteenth century. The subject developed during a time of industrial and technological expansion that some Anthropologists embraced. Some of the early ethnographers such as Evans-Pritchard used photography to illustrate and enrich their work. Since the cost and access to film has become more available an increasing number of Anthropologists have begun to utilise film in their research which has created an off shoot of Visual Anthropology.

The use of film in social research raises ethical and theoretical issues such as the power relations between the filmmaker and the participants, more specifically if the camera is an instrument of surveillance. Does the filmmaker have the right to videotape indigenous communities? Issues of misrepresentation of certain communities could unintentionally cause harm. There are problems of translating anthropological abstract concepts, such as kinship onto film. Many Anthropologists dismiss the use of film in their work as it raises too many epistemological problems for them. However, these concerns can be reduced if ethnographers follow certain guidelines when producing films. Anthropologists can use a framework that some documentary filmmakers follow.

Documentary filmmakers such as Spectacle Productions ascribe to ethical guidelines that aim to respect the subjects in the film. This means to be responsive and respectful of what people want and do not want filmed as well as working collaboratively from a grassroots stance point to give the participants a voice as well as representing the film’s subject’s in a way they want to be presented.

The issue of power relations with filmmaker and participants can be solved through participatory and collaborative film making. Filmmaker and participants make decisions together on what they shoot, the access allowed and the content filmed. Another approach is to give the participants being filmed the cameras which is a form of community video. Many indigenous communities, especially those in the Amazon have utilised film for land rights activism or to promote their cultures to a wider audience.

Misrepresentation as a potential problem can be solved again with participation from the communities by having a pre-screening of the film with a representative with the community being filmed. If this is not possible due to distances or other obstacles another way is to speak with the participants during the filming explaining and demonstrating transparently what your aim of the film is.

 On a theoretical note, while to film the abstract notion of ‘culture’ is beyond difficult one can film the material and visual world that can convey aspects of ‘culture’. Filming events such as religious rites, celebrations and every day life help to build a picture that conveys lived-in cultural experience.

The idea of creating a totally unbiased and objective ethnographic film is problematic as it will always be framed by the filmmakers prejudices, as with any ethnographic write-up. One cannot escape this fact, therefore the best way forward is to realise these limitations and to go forward to create the film.

The benefits of including ethnographic films can significantly add depth to social research. Anthropology can use film to showcase elements of culture hat are sometimes overlooked, for example nuances in speech and movements that are not always written about in ethnographic monographs. Film can be utilised in a variety of ways: as reference material for write-ups, examples or illustrations of particular concepts, as well as bringing ethnographic data together in a tangible and understandable format that can be understood by a wider audience.

Anthropologists and social researchers wishing to make ethnographic films can look to Documentary Film as a model to answer some ethical and aesthetic problems that the film format raises.

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For more information on Spectacle’s training courses for Documentary Film Making

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