Do you have old legacy format video tapes such as DigiBeta, BetaSP, HDcam, DVcam, MiniDV, Umatic Lo Band, U-matic Hi Band, VHS, SVHS, VHSc? We can digitise all these formats to full HD Apple ProRes files at very affordable prices.
We also offer a supported self-service option at our south London studio.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for a quote at our introductory rate.
The Barnfield Video Archive Project is a series of participant-led workshops. that started in March 2023. We have been viewing and editing archive videos filmed on the estate and the local area from 2008-2010 for the Well London programme.
Since the initial launch of this project 5 months ago, we’ve watched and analysed a great deal of archival footage and discussed how to get good results when filming with your phone. If you would like to learn more about filming and editing it’s not too late to join the group.
All are welcome and it’s free! If you are interested in or have a connection with the local area and its history, this project is for you. We have many upcoming workshops as well as a public screening at the end that will showcase the results from filming during the in-person sessions.
If you are interested in joining us please sign up using this link, and feel free to watch our archival footage here.
We are very happy to present the results of a recent collaboration that Spectacle has undertaken with Luisa Enria, an anthropologist at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, helping her produce a collaborative documentary film project built around her research on epidemic management in Sierra Leone.
In January 2022, Luisa attended one of our courses for Anthropologists and Social Researchers with no prior knowledge in video-making. In just over a year Luisa and her co-directors Abass S. Kamara, a field epidemiologist, and Mohamed Lamin Kamara, a civil society activist, set up a local video advisory group, documenting with them places, events and protagonists of the epidemic response to Ebola and the more recent epidemics, including COVID-19 and measles, in Sierra Leone.
The result was the documentary film TARMA: Communities on the Frontlines of Epidemic Response. Spectacle supported Luisa in planning, developing and editing the documentary and we are proud to share with our audience and the general public a powerful account of community response to health challenges.
TARMA: Communities on the Frontlines
In 2020, as COVID-19 spread across the world, many of us had to adapt for the first time to pandemic living, taking measures to protect ourselves and our loved ones from the virus. In countries like Sierra Leone, in West Africa, as the pandemic hit, communities already knew what to do. They had been there before. In 2014-16 Sierra Leone experienced a devastating epidemic of Ebola. Amidst immeasurable losses, across the country health workers and citizens built systems to fight future diseases and foster trust amongst the population. TARMA tells the story of how ordinary citizens and local responders, from surveillance officers and doctors to traditional healers, chiefs, and civil society activists, came together during Ebola and subsequent epidemics to develop locally led solutions.
Humanitarian organisations often say that “epidemics begin and end in communities”, however responses to health emergencies in practice remain too often very top-down and rely on one-way communication with affected citizens. This fails to recognise the knowledge and expertise that already exists at local level. Set in Sierra Leone’s Northern District of Kambia, the documentary centres on the experiences of local responders, as we hear their memories of past outbreaks and follow them into the field as they search for and respond to new diseases. TARMA foregrounds the storytelling of Kambians from different walks of life, without a voiceover narrative so as to offer a direct testimony of the lessons they have learned that might help people across the world to prepare for future emergencies.
Bringing together all the different voices involved in epidemic response, the documentary shows how dangerous it can be to ignore local knowledge and the transformative potential of local leadership in building trust in times of crisis. Collaboration is not always easy, however and ‘community’ is never homogenous or without conflict and disagreements. Through the narration of Morris Bompa, an experienced traditional healer who participated in the Ebola response, we also see the tensions involved when different ways of seeing the world collide. By highlighting these negotiations, the documentary is intended to stimulate debate and discussions around questions of power and the challenges involved in daily efforts to come together in times of crisis.
Due to pandemic restrictions Spectacle has started developing a range of strategies to translate into a remote work environment its participatory video tools and practice. Supporting long term research projects as well as providing research groups with video making skills that can be used in their research, Spectacle’s approach is to find practical solutions to effectively transfer the skills needed to work together as a group on a film project. Spectacle, through remote workshops, has successfully trained and supported local groups as well as dozens of researchers who gained working skills in shooting and editing video. With Luisa, Spectacle developed a bespoke set of interventions that were tailored to her specific needs as her research and film project progressed.
After attending Spectacle’s video training course, Luisa contacted Spectacle’s team asking to support her and her collaborators, none of whom had any experience in video making, to document and story tell their experience of the recent pandemics in a documentary film that could work both locally and internationally, confronting policy makers, health workers, NGOs and local communities with first-hand accounts of what happened. The film would have also served the purpose of bringing the particular experience that Sierra Leone had to the wide international audience, attempting to highlight the complexity of local responses and the importance of collaboration to overcome the health crisis.
With Mark and Michele’s precious advice, Luisa returned to Sierra Leone in March 2022 for four months of research and filming. The initial planning for the documentary drew on the experience that Luisa, Abass and Lamin had developed working together for almost a decade of research into local experiences of health crisis and emergency response in Kambia. The three of them brought their diverse perspectives as a social scientist, a field epidemiologist and a civil society activist. They decided to establish a Community Advisory Group (CAG), which met every other week in Kambia to debate ideas for the film, including selecting people to interview, deciding on locations and key activities to film. The team wanted to capture a wide range of voices and to give a flavour of what it means to do the work of epidemic preparedness every day. They travelled far and wide across the District on motorbikes and boats, joining District vaccination campaigns and measles surveillance activities or walking deep into the forest with Morris Bompa the traditional healer.
After filming, Luisa and Sallieu Kamara, a member of the CAG with interest in filming, attended Spectacle’s Video Editing course, aiming at understanding video editing in terms of process that can, through specific workflows, be shared within a group, improving the ability to analyse material while moving forward the editorial process. Spectacle has then offered technical support in setting up the editing project, allowing Luisa to work in her own time towards a fine cut in collaboration with local partners. Working along with our Spectacle’s professional editor and anthropologist Michele de Laurentiis, and with the supervision of our director Mark Saunders, Spectacle helped Luisa and her collaborators to achieve incredible results, giving birth to an engaging and informative film that has already been shown locally to stakeholders and is now ready to begin its journey spreading its messages all over the world.
The finished film was first shown in March 2023 in Sierra Leone at a community preview screening in Kambia, attended by all who participated in the film, the CAG and the public. A week later, the CAG travelled to Freetown to present the film at the Emergency Operations Centre of the Ministry of Health and Sanitation where the preview sparked fascinating discussions about opportunities but also significant challenges of better integrating local knowledge, including that of traditional healers, in how we think about epidemics and how we design responses to them.
As part of our continuous effort to explore our extensive video archive with communities interested in its content, Spectacle Media has been working on a workshop-led participatory video archive project around the history of Rectory Gardens, a squat-turned-housing-cooperative in Clapham’s Old Town
In collaboration with Studio Voltaire, Spectacle has facilitated a series of online workshops to explore, discuss and select video archive material, collaborating with participants to create a very successful exhibition that was launched at Studio Voltaire on Saturday 20 May 2023.
“All Good Things: A Video History of Rectory Gardens”, exhibited the results of a 5 months long journey undertaken by former Rectory Gardens residents and new Clapham residents who met online for participatory video archive workshops to watch, research and select content from 10 years of video documentation that Spectacle has produced in collaboration with former Rectory Gardens residents.
Hundreds of visitors joined many members of the dispersed community on a sunny afternoon to explore the incredible history of the once squatted street that hosted artists, musicians and a progressive community from the 70s throughout the early 2000s until it was evicted and dispersed by Lambeth Council for questionable market-led housing policies. The exhibition, opened from Wednesday 24 May until Sunday 28 May, gave visitors the opportunity to dive into the extensive Rectory Gardens Video Archive and learn about the history of the unconventional community that from the 70s contributed to culture, art and social life in Clapham and beyond.
Spectacle Media has curated the digitalization and facilitated the access to almost 15 hours of video archive and facilitated 6 online workshops in which the video documentation became catalyst for discussions on the cultural and social changes in Clapham. The workshops resulted in a creative collaboration among participants who contributed to the installation and to collective art making through participatory video archive practice
Installation images, Good Things: A Video History of Rectory Gardens, Studio Voltaire, 2023. Credit: Zoë Maxwell
The exhibition, hosted in the main gallery of Studio Voltaire, gave visitors the opportunity to attend a live research project, where it became possible to interact with memories, testimonies and ideas produced in the workshop. Curated selections from the archive were looped on 5 TV sets in the centre of the gallery speaking to big themes like Community, Memories as well as the relation between community, the politics of evictions and short term housing policies. Old residents also contributed with examples of the art that they made on and in the street, memorabilia and photos that populated the walls of the gallery.
The exhibition has attempted to open a dialogue between the audience and the video archive material by letting the public choose from a vast catalogue of rough archive footage: full interviews with long term residents, residents who were born and grew up on the street, public figures, supporters of the co-op, artists and hours of visual archive collected from 2014 to present, documenting the street, clapham old town and key places in and around Clapham. Visitors have also contributed to the archive, sharing their own memories that filled the gaps of a big collage representing the complex history and outcomes of squatting and short term housing in London.
The Rectory Gardens video archive project has been part of Unearthed: Collective Histories, a project supported by Historic England’s ‘Everyday Heritage Grants: Celebrating Working Class History’ and Hartfield Foundation.
Growing out of Spectacle’s decades of pioneering participatory video practice, Spectacle Media is a non-profit Community Interest Company specifically championing community uses of digital media. Spectacle Media uses new technologies to empower groups and individuals through learning video-making skills, working collaboratively on community-led media production and engaging with online participatory filmmaking and editing.
Spectacle Media also has access to Spectacle’s production equipment and thousands of hours of Spectacle’s unique video archive on themes including urbanism, human rights, social justice, utopianism, alternative media, top-down vs. bottom-up regeneration, housing and more. Spectacle Media aims to develop projects to open and explore the video archive with communities interested in its content.
Studio Voltaire is one of the UK’s leading not–for–profit arts and education organisations. Championing emerging and under-represented artists, Studio Voltaire commissions and produces exhibitions, collaborative projects, artist development programmes, live events and offsite projects
Studio Voltaire is a registered charity and part of Arts Council England’s National Portfolio.
Read more about Spectacle’s participatory model and past projects.
Eyewitnesses tell their stories against a backdrop of video footage showing the days events as they unfolded. Demonstrators’ testimonies raise some uncomfortable questions: Questions about public order policing, the independence and accountability of the media and the right to demonstrate.
The footage below was an alternative introduction to the Battle of Trafalgar.
The idea was to situate the poll tax riots within a history of protest in Trafalgar Square around democratic issues, dating back to the chartist’s demonstration of 1848. The pram rolling down the steps is a reference to Sergei Eisenstein’s The Battleship Potemkin.
Spectacle has been for 30+ years at the forefront of Participatory Video, supporting local communities, activists and grassroot organisations to produce their own videos. Over the last year we have helped the FAO – Food and Agriculture Agency of the United Nations collecting stories of unsung heroes facing the challenges of climate change, biodiversity loss, and multiple forms of malnutrition in their communities. Our Participatory Video expertise helped local activists from all over the world produce short videos telling their stories and sharing their ideas and efforts for sustainable nutrition and climate change mitigation in their communities.
The project ‘Stories from local heroes fighting climate change, biodiversity, and malnutrition crises’ has allowed young people from Nepal, Nigeria, Kenya, Ecuador and Venezuela to be trained in using their phones as cameras, learning how to document their life and tell their stories of activism. Through a series of initial online training sessions, Spectacle helped participants develop their skills and storytelling techniques.
In tune with our ethos and practice, all participants have learned videomaking techniques and have been allowed to direct the way the stories were developed and presented, engaging them with all phases of the video production, from filming to editing.
Spectacle facilitated a series of workshops that allowed Apollo from Kenya, Evelin from Venezuela, Dennis from Ecuador, and Dominic from Nigeria , develop, shoot their film and direct the editing of their stories. Their 4 videos will help FAO bring to the wider public the voices of those who have direct experience of the impact of climate change and inspire other local actors with ideas on how to contribute to a better and more sustainable world.
We are proud to share here the 4 videos that were the final result of the Participatory Video process.
We welcome any opportunity to explore collaborations with research groups, NGOs and local communities to facilitate Participatory Video projects and develop participant-led video production.
Read more about our participatory model and past projects.
We are delighted to announce the launch of the Barnfield Video Archive Project. In a series of participant-led workshops we will be viewing and editing archive videos filmed on the estate and the local area 2008-2010 for the Well London programme.
The workshops are both online and in-person at the HUB Herbert Pl, London SE18 3BD.
Our aim is to explore these archives and for participants to film new videos to show the changes of places and people over time. The workshops will include training in how to get good results filming with your phone. In the summer we will publicly screen the results of the project at the HUB . Date to be announced.
All are welcome! Residents past and present, young and old, people with an interest in or a connection to the area, people with an interest in local history or community development. Please share this with your friends, family and colleagues.
Workshop dates are as follows:
Tuesday 23 May 2023 – 6:30pm-8pm
Tuesday 6 Jun 2023 – 6:30pm-8pm
Tuesday 20 Jun 2023 – 6:30pm-8pm
Tuesday 27 Jun 2023 – 6:30pm-8pm
If you are interested to join us please sign up using this link. Alternatively, if you would prefer us to contact you via phone, feel free to include your contact details, and Mark will be in touch.
Spectacle has a wide range of archive footage from the London Pride parade in 1991. This footage is available to license for your documentary or news story. Please contact us by emailing email@example.com
The footage was shot for Despite TV’s documentary, ‘Out of Line’, on the subject of London Pride 1991. Having already taken an interest in documenting the LGBT (Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender) political struggle as it was happening (Despite Clause 28 – 1988). This longer documentary film takes a celebratory approach to the community’s political and social wins.
The footage gives an insight into London Pride from 25 years ago, and shows the celebratory atmosphere of the event as well as the increasing number of social and political groups that had started to participate in the parade.
The full film Out of Line is available to rent or buy here. A DVD of the film is also available here.
We are happy to announce the release at COP27 of the first 2 videos shot and directed by young activists as the outcome of a Participatory Video project facilitated by Spectacle for FAO’s ‘Stories from local heroes fighting climate change, biodiversity, and malnutrition crises”
Over the last 6 months Spectacle has been supporting the United Nation agency Food and Agriculture Agency – FAO with our Participatory Video expertise in order to allow young activists from all over the world to produce short videos about their everyday struggle to mitigate climate change and develop better and more sustainable food systems. The project ‘Stories from local heroes’ aims at collecting stories from people whose communities experience the immediate impacts of climate change. Spectacle has facilitated the participatory video process to let young activists produce short documentaries about their effort in fighting malnutrition and biodiversity crisis.
Over the last 6 months Spectacle has facilitated online workshops with participants from Nepal, Nigeria, Kenya, Ecuador and Venezuela, working with them in Spanish and English and providing them with training on how to shoot good quality videos with their phone, developing their filming ideas and supporting the production of short documentaries that would illustrate stories they care about. Using our online editing experience, we engaged them in selecting and cutting the footage, directing us in the technical process of editing together the stories that would best represent their point of view.
The first two videos were launched by FAO at the United Nation conference on Climate change COP27, shown on big screens welcoming visitors to The Food and Agriculture Pavilion in Sharm El Sheikh for the duration of the conference. The first two videos are shared worldwide and will remain available on FAO’s youtube channel, which will also host 3 other videos that will be released in the coming weeks. FAO will offer Local Hero’s participants and their stories a platform to raise awareness on the effects of climate change and, more importantly, to inspire others with local initiatives aimed at mitigating the impact of climate change, improving biodiversity and access to sustainable food.
Spectacle has been pioneering Participatory Video practice and workshop based collaborative documentary making for over 30 years. Adapting to changes in technology, nature and duration of the collaborations, Spectacle has successfully deployed strategies to support existing local groups, social research participants, local stakeholders in making their own videos around the stories that most mattered to them. Spectacle provides technical training and workshop facilitation in order to allow people who have a story to tell to work together in order to share their messages with the rest of the world.
Since 2020, due to COVID related restrictions to travel and in-person activities, we have been further developing our Participatory Video practice in online working environments. We have been part of research projects based in different areas of the world, providing participants with filmmaking skills and tools to develop visual stories using the technology available to them. In tune with our long established practice, we have facilitated video making processes aiming at giving editorial power to participants. For this reason we have developed strategies not only to allow participants to record videos with their phones, but also to engage them with video editing and storytelling.
We welcome any opportunity to explore collaborations with research groups, NGOs and local communities to facilitate Participatory Video projects and develop participant-led video production.
Read more about our participatory model and past projects.
Da poche settimane si è insediato in Italia un nuovo Governo guidato da Giorgia Meloni, capo del partito di destra Fratelli d’Italia, erede della destra post fascista italiana. Tra le prime iniziative, il Governo ha emanato un decreto legge che criminalizza chiunque partecipi a raduni non autorizzati con più di 50 persone. L’obiettivo dichiarato sono i rave parties i cui organizzatori e partecipanti saranno colpiti da pene detentive fino a 6 anni.
Exodus: Movement of Jah People è un film documentario che guarda al complesso mondo della ‘rave culture’ e mostra cosa si colpisce davvero attraverso la sua criminalizzazione. Ambientato in Inghilterra negli anni ’90, il documentario appare particolarmente rilevante oggi, specialmente in Italia: ora come allora, in nome della legalità – definita da nuove leggi – si criminalizzano organizzatori e frequentatori di rave parties, visti come minaccia all’ordine pubblico.
Usa il codice promozionale ExodusITA2022 per avere accesso al noleggio gratuito del film. Il codice è valido fino alla fine di Novembre 2022
Prodotto da Spectacle per Arte nel 1996 e trasmesso in Italia dalla RAI, il film racconta la storia del collettivo Exodus, nato nella cittadina di Luton nei primi anni ’90. Il collettivo offre risposte utopistiche alla dilagante povertà, criminalità, droga, disoccupazione e disgregazione della comunità locale attraverso l’autorganizzazione e il collettivismo, finanziando le proprie attività attraverso l’organizzazione di grandi feste.
Exodus é un gruppo fondato sul lavoro collettivo ed usa come principio guida dell’organizzazione il “DIY”- cultura del fai da te: feste gratuite, ristrutturazione di abitazioni e attività agricole come pratiche di autorganizzazione e autosufficienza. Questo film documenta, tramite interviste ai membri di Exodus, anche gli interventi da parte della polizia per criminalizzare ed osteggiare il collettivo e le sue attività.
Per chi volesse saperne di più sul collettivo e la sua guerra contro criminalizzazione e pregiudizio, Spectacle ha raccolto in un archivio video diversi film prodotti nel corso degli anni ’90, incluso Exodus from Babylon in cui si approfondiscono i tentativi di criminalizzazione del collettivo.
L’ archivio video contiene, inoltre, materiale inedito raccolto durante il lavoro di produzione svolto in collaborazione con i membri del collettivo.
Usa il codice promozionale ExodusITA2022 per avere accesso al noleggio gratuito di Exodus: Movement of Jah People. Il codice è valido fino alla fine di Novembre 2022.
Use the free rent promo code ExodusEn2022 if you want to watch the original version of Exodus: Movement of Jah People. Valid until the end of November 2022.