Spectacle’s new Participatory Video Workshops

Spectacle has a long history of establishing and supporting participatory community media workshops and a large number of our productions have adopted participatory video (PV) techniques and ethos, resulting in an excellent track record of high quality, award-winning TV documentaries, short films and powerful campaigning videos. We are happy to inform everyone interested in applying a participatory media approach into their community based projects, that it is now possible to share Spectacle’s experience taking part in our Participatory Video Workshop (PVW).
Spectacle has made extensive use of Participatory Video as a successful strategy to involve communities in production processes, allowing people to produce knowledge about themselves rather than being represented – and often misrepresented – by outsiders.

Recently one of the films that Spectacle produced through participatory techniques has been re-screened on the Pepys Estate: “Poverty and the Media: the tower”. The film shows the way in which local residents have felt misrepresented by the BBC ’s program The Tower: A Tale of Two Cities. The BBC’s program intended to document the transformation of the Lewisham council estate into a chic development and the alleged clash between rich newcomers and poor long term residents. Spectacle, was commissioned by the Rowntree Foundation to develop a participatory video project in the Pepys and other estates in the area: “Poverty and participation in the Media“. At the time the BBC project begun, Spectacle was already organizing video workshops that focused specifically on the way mainstream media (mis)represent poverty. In our film Pepys residents have filmed each other while commenting on the effects the BBC’s program had on their lives. Spectacle’s “Poverty and the media: the Tower” illustrates the advantages of a participatory approach, highlighting the local dynamics in a way that is factually accurate and respectful of people’s feelings, intentions and views on the world they experience.

Following the very positive feedbacks from residents and in order to meet the growing demand from community based researchers to be trained to lead participatory projects, we are happy to inform you that we are now offering a Participatory Video Workshop (PVW). Our PVW is addressed to social workers, NGOs’ and charity organization’s staff that are engaged in community development and empowerment, artists and, in general, anyone who wants to integrate participatory methods in their own projects. Based on our long experience, the PVW will provide you with practical and transferrable knowledge on video techniques, and train you on how to engage your stakeholders in participatory productions.

The PVW is designed as 3 day immersive experience that will allow you to use participatory methods in documentation, evaluation and research. If you and your staff are particularly interested in specific topics, we are happy to bring our workshop to you and tailor it to your specific needs.

Please, find here our workshop description or get in touch for further information.

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NGOs – Learn to use Video!

For NGO's video is important in storytelling and giving campaigns greater impact.

Video is important for NGOs when it comes to storytelling and giving campaigns greater impact.

Here are 5 reasons why:

1. With the rise of social media and the internet, NGO’s have never been so equipped to campaign and connect with their audiences as they are now.

2. Video is important in storytelling and can give campaigns more impact.

3. Videos can create more interest, meaning more people will support your initiatives.

4. Video can encourage sharing as people are 21 times more likely to share a video on social media than text, says a study by Hubspot. This creates further knowledge of your project and encourages new and potential supporters.

5. Campaigns which involve video are more likely to go viral – for example the ALS ice bucket challenge last summer was seen by millions.

Spectacle offer a short film making course which is designed to suit NGO’s, Charities, Start ups and SME’s.  The training is not technology specific but allows you to make use of the equipment you have available and use low budget techniques.  This is more cost effective than hiring a film crew.

We also offer an intensive 4 day course attended by NGO, charity and communications workers.

If you are interested in booking either 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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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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Incompetent filmmaking is incompetent ethnography

"This is the type of course that every anthropologist should take" 
"Excellent course to get you feeling comfortable with a camera"
"This course delivers on what it offers"
"Mark is extremely experienced, versatile & an excellent teacher"
"Interview technique tips were great"

“Films that are cinematographically incompetent are also ethnographically incompetent (even when made by an ethnographer)” (Heider, 2007: 4).

Producing an Ethnographic Film is not the only reason to incorporate a camera in to your fieldwork.There is no substitute for what the camera can capture. It is an irreplaceable tool, one that can assist you, expand your academic knowledge, broaden your ethnography, enrich your experience and uniquely contribute to the field of Anthropology.

Learning fundamental, basic principles of film-making will make the difference between unusable, poor quality footage and priceless material.

Above all, understand the limitations and the potential of your equipment:

Visit Spectacle and acquire the knowledge you need by attending one of our affordable, intense, hands-on courses in film-making.

References

Heider, Karl G. (2007) Ethnographic Film, revised edition, Austin: University of Texas Press

For more information contact Spectacle at training@spectacle.co.uk

Visit our website and have a look at our upcoming dates for the Digital Video Production Weekend Course for Anthropologists and Social Researchers or find out about our other workshops.

If you wish to book you can find all the details you need on our how to book page.

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





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“Anthropologist and the Camera”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

During our last course on Digital Video Production for Anthropologists and Social Researchers the single most important hindrance, while using a camera during fieldwork, came up; lack of fundamental technical knowledge. Chances are, more often than not, that poor sound, bad lighting, amateur framing and many more careless adjustments will stand in the way of what otherwise could be priceless, irreplaceable footage either for teaching/archive purposes or for professional documentary production.

Alas, the transition from the general theoretical knowledge of cinema, to which anyone of us can get access to (at least to some extent), to the actual implementation of it is highly challenging. Several prestigious universities and institutions, such as Manchester’s Granada Center of Visual Anthropology, have been promoting film-making as part of an anthropologist’s curriculum with great success. Yet, for most universities and especially smaller anthropology departments across Europe, Ethnographic Film is far from available.

My personal outlook on this matter is that if circumstances allow it (which only means if the communities which the anthropologists study allow it), a camera is as mandatory as a notebook. By extension, the quality of the filmed material should indicate an effort analogous to the one generated by the anthropologist for the actual ethnography. Thus, the technical knowledge of filming, sound and editing becomes critical. Nonetheless, as our particular academic interests gradually develop, a MA in Visual Anthropology may become a luxury that not everyone can afford, financially or otherwise. Does this mean that we shall be excluded from this community of anthropologists who have committed to become equally good film-makers as well as ethnographers?

Long story short, the fact that not every anthropologist aspires to a career in documentary and Ethnographic Film, does not justify a potential indifference to the efficacy of high quality filmed material for other purposes. As Mead (2003: 5) points out, we can only “cherish those rare combinations of artistic ability and scientific fidelity”, yet as whole cultures go unrecorded it is “inappropriate to demand that filmed behavior have the earmarks of a work of art”.

Spectacle’s weekend courses are a unique opportunity to acquire detailed and concise digital video filming skills at affordable prices. It is also important to stress that even the most experienced anthropologist does not necessary know the best way to introduce a camera in to fieldwork. With expertise in participatory media, engaging the ‘hard to reach’, as well as 20 years of professional film-making inside and with communities and minority groups Spectacle is more than equipped to provide this difficult to obtain knowledge.

References

Mead, M. (2003). Visual Anthropology in a Discipline of Words. In: Hockings, P. Principles of Visual Anthropology. 3rd ed. New York: Mouton de Gruyter. pp. 3-10

For more information contact Spectacle at training@spectacle.co.uk

Visit our website and have a look at our upcoming dates for the Digital Video Production Weekend Course for Anthropologists and Social Researchers or find out about our other workshops.

If you wish to book you can find all the details you need on our how to book page.

If you would like more information on future courses and training opportunities 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 the Web- Short Training Courses

Digital Video Production for the Web

NGOs, charities, social enterprises and small businesses have been badly hit by the recession and funding cuts. To reach out to your target audience and get your message across there is an ever increasing demand for online video- producing high quality online videos need not be an expensive luxury.

TRNVideofortheweb

DIY digital film making and successful use of No/Lo budget techniques, can slash your production costs and actually improve your production values.

By training existing staff or volunteers in the techniques of high quality digital film making organisations can greatly reduce production costs. When people working on the ground document their own activities and events and record client testimonials you can often get better results than with a hired film crew of strangers.

Where your workers have built relationships and trust with your clients they can film more relaxed and interpersonal moments, moments that might elude an external film crew, making for a more direct and powerful film.

This practical hands-on course aims to give you the “future proof” information you really need to know to produce high quality videos by concentrating on the techniques and skills that stay constant, regardless of passing developments in software, technologies and formats.

The training is not technology specific but gives you the knowledge and attitude to get the best out of whatever equipment is to hand, to navigate your way around the complexity of codecs and formats, to identify and solve technical problems. You will learn the techniques and methods of high quality digital production in a way you can speedily pass on the knowledge and expertise to other members of your organisation and client base.

Organisations with a member of staff who have completed the course can hire Spectacle’s equipment at a 15% discount.

The course is modular. You can take just the 2 day production course or the 3 day course that includes post production and uploading video to the internet.

For more information Digital Video Production for the Web

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

For information on other Spectacle training courses

Or contact training@spectacle.co.uk

For info on new dates and courses please sign up for the Spectacle training newsletter – tick the box if you would also like Spectacle’s general newsletter.




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Digital Video Production Weekend Training Courses

Digital Video Production weekend training course.

If you want to produce your own films or make your own online digital media content for your website this is the course for you.

Short, sharp, affordable.

It is ideal for aspiring documentary and film makers with no prior experience looking to develop a foundation from which to progress. It is suitable for Journalists who want to re-skill as self-shooters, Media Studies students and tutors who want to put theory into practice and anyone who wants to learn to produce high quality digital videos.

Affordable, intensive, effective and future proof hands-on practical course in a friendly environment- much can be taken away from this weekend.

We offer concession rates for registered unemployed and full time students, group discounts and we can run the training course at your work place/institution/university.

See  Digital Video Production weekend training course for more details.

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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NEW Video Production Training Course Dates

Digital Video Production Weekend Training Course

Short, Sharp, Affordable. This is a practical hands-on weekend course aimed at people who want a fast way to acquire detailed and concise digital video production skills.

Evening Session: Documentary Research

Mark Saunders will demonstrate a range of research strategies and techniques for producing investigative factual programmes based on his award winning work with Despite TV and Spectacle.

Evening Session: Copyright for Independent film makers

An archive users guide to the main principles of copyright law aimed at independent film makers.Digital Documentary Visual Anthropology

Digital Video Production for Visual Anthropologists and social researchers

Aimed at those are interested in using film within their social research and want a fast way to acquire detailed and concise digital video filming skills.

 

Click here to book

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Digital Video Production Weekend Training Courses

For details and dates of the  next available courses visit:

Digital Video Production Weekend Training Course
Short, Sharp Affordable. This is a practical hands-on weekend course aimed at people who want a fast way to acquire detailed and concise digital video production skills. It is particularly useful for aspiring documentary makers, journalists who want to expand their skill set and anyone who wants to shoot their own films.

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, interview techniques, filming on location and industry language.

You will also get the confidence to use a wide range of equipment and learn the “future proof” principles of film making that remain constant despite the changes in technology and formats.

We allow a maximum of three people per camera set up (camera, sound, interviewer), giving everyone extensive hands-on experience.

Completing this course will guarantee you a work placement opportunity with Spectacle.

What you will learn

– Preparing a shoot
– How to use a digital camera (focus, white balance, aperture, formats etc.)
– How to use microphones
– Framing, types of shots, camera movements, cutaways and other techniques and tips
– How to conduct and shoot an interview
– Shooting on location
– The principles of lighting, both natural and artificial
– Filming to edit
– Legal issues, permissions and copyrights

To find out more and booking

 

For more details please contact:training@spectacle.co.uk

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