Digitise old legacy video tape formats to full HD Apple ProRes files.

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 archive@spectacle.co.uk for a quote at our introductory rate.

Chesterton School Mural Repair

In the playground of Chesterton School, Battersea SW11 is a much-loved mural painted by the talented Brian Barnes.

Due to construction work on the school ground, the top part of the mural was damaged and needed repair. Watch our video below of Brian explaining the different panels.

Below is a log written in his own words about the process of repairing the mural. 

“The mural needed repairs because the wall was replaced taking away about 200 sq ft. of the painting equivalent to a quarter of the mural. All above the climbing studs which tended to be the most detailed.

Morgan Paton helped me in the weeks of the summer holidays. The weather was very warm with a very hot day of 38 degrees in the shade but little shade, Morgan made a tarpaulin shelter. We had a few volunteers Omero painted the blue arc on 27th August. Then we also had help from Fraya and Liam. Morgan painting Downe House home of Charles Darwin near Bromley. I painted a new version of the portrait of Darwin from a photo.

We went on Saturday 21st September to complete the repairs having painted for 10 days for 120 hours (not including an extra drawing for the Darwin portrait on paper)”

Brian Barnes is the founder of the Battersea Power Station community group. You can follow the links below for more updated information on the campaign to save the power station.

Click Battersea Power Station for more blogs, information and videos.

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Spectacle Trains Local Councils in Filmmaking

Recently Spectacle has been asked to provide training in digital video production and editing to the communications teams at a number of local and borough councils. After a highly successful session in Watford, we caught up with Angela Farrance, senior communications and engagement officer, to see why she had decided to organise the training, and if it was something she would recommend to other local authorities.

SPECTACLE: Why did you decide to arrange video training for your team? 

ANGELA: We work for a local authority, and want to promote our services, activities and places to visit in the most accessible and fun way, to a wide range of people.

Why did you choose Spectacle? 

I liked the flexbility that Spectacle offered; the training was completely bespoke and reactive to our needs, but still covered everything we wanted to learn.

Did the training meet your expectations? 

Yes, the team had varying levels of experience, and all felt it was a really well spent few days. Everyone is very keen to get started!

What part of the training did you enjoy most? 

The post-production was really good fun; seeing how everything comes together. Everyone really enjoyed the session on interview techniques too – really useful!

What part did you find most useful? 

All the hints and tips for capturing good footage – and then the post-production day. 

How do you plan to use the training now you have completed the course? 

We are going to start building a library of footage from around the town; and will capture each of our events this season. 

Do you think other local councils could benefit from the training? 

Yes absolutely. Local media are increasingly looking to increase their video content online – we have found that the videos we send in are invariably used by local media outlets, and they achieve a fantastic reach on social media.  

Would you recommend the training?  
I would recommend the training, and already have to fellow comms officers in Hertfordshire. Mark made the sessions fun, accessible and everyone is really excited to get filming.  


Our Video Production Weekend training course is short, sharp, affordable and receives outstanding feedback every time

Our Video Production Weekend course is always popular: short, sharp and affordable, it’s a great way for anybody interested in filmmaking to get started, to revive old skills or even just to test the water.

We teach comprehensive, ‘future-proof’, transferrable, video production skills that don’t restrict participants to using specific equipment or working under specific conditions. This makes the course accessible to people from a variety of different backgrounds, and suitable for people with a number of different aims.

For some people, the course is the beginning of a journey into filmmaking, that could lead to (or advance) a career or become a life long hobby. For others, it’s just an enjoyable, creative way to spend a weekend and try out something new. We’ve even had participants given a place as a gift.

Regardless of their motivations, signing up for the course is something our participants never seem to regret; we have mountains of positive feedback building up, and many people come back again and again.

Recently, we’ve been working on redesigning the training pages of our website, to make them more user friendly and more informative. We plan to showcase our outstanding feedback on the new website, and in the process of sifting through it we’ve realised just how much we have gathered over the years. Here’s a small preview…

Cat: “It was great to learn so much and excellent to do something different at the weekend.”

Graham: “[The course] covered the essentials of video production with an experienced professional. Certainly interested in taking more courses in the future.”

Masa: “It was very good to learn through practice in a comfortable learning environment, with people who had the same aim of learning. Thank you, it has been a great course!”

Ella: “It is clear and thorough, covers a lot of information without feeling rushed.”

Bethan: “Both the theoretical and the practical parts of the day wound together really harmoniously — it was during the practical that I felt I really cemented my knowledge. It was very good for a beginner, I found the whole thing very informative and interesting”

Katie: “Very practical, good overall. Nice small group and individual attention”

Jason: “Practical, good advice on equipment, fun, entertaining”

Iain: “Hands on, confidence building, very enjoyable, informative, small group”

Zahra: “I found the section on learning the settings very useful, as it has set me up with a basic understanding so I can operate a video camera, which I couldn’t really do in a professional way before the course. I found all my expectations were met, I have learnt a lot and would definitely recommend”

Duncan: “I Found it consistently useful — classroom and practicals were both relevant. for my goals, I believe it provided what I needed”

Rob: “Great, hands on, technical course for beginner/intermediate – great price, very affordable and learnt everything I wanted”



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.



Digital Video Production and Editing for NGOs, Charities and Community Organisations

We offer video production and editing training suitable for charities, NGOs and community groups who want to learn to produce their own video content to document and promote their work, to raise awareness, fundraise or campaign.

Our Four Day Filmmaking Course is just £500, it’s probably the cheapest option around and we believe it’s the best too, based on the feedback we receive from participants. The course aims to introduce participants to every stage of the documentary filmmaking process, so that afterwards they’re in a position to build on their skills on their own. Once you or your staff have learned to make your own video content you will be able to do this again and again, saving on the cost of hiring a film crew

There is an ever-increasing demand for high quality online video to get your message across and to reach audiencesDIY film making and successful use of no/low budget techniques can slash your production costs and actually improve the content you produce. Training existing staff or volunteers in the techniques of high quality digital film making is far more cost effective than hiring a film crew. But in addition to this, when people working on the ground record their own activities and events, capture client testimonials and document their work you can often get better results than with a hired film crew of strangers. Where your staff 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.

If you work in remote locations or developing countries, training your own staff to record their work could be particularly beneficial, potentially saving you a lot of money and ensuring your organisation achieves an end result which accurately reflects the nature of the project.


Mark Saunders is an award-winning independent film-maker, media activist and writer. His expertise in the field spans over two decades.

He is currently running Spectacle Productions, a company which he founded in 1990. Clients have included Amnesty International, Channel 4, the Rowntree Foundation, the Howard League for Penal Reform, Council of Europe, Groundwork, the London Health Commission, and many others.

His films have been broadcast internationally and exhibited at galleries, including Tate Britain, the National Film Theatre, the Institute of Contemporary Art, Musee des Beaux-Arts,  the National Media Museum and the Photographers Gallery.

Alongside production work, in 1990 he was a founding member of INURA (International Network for Urban Research and Action). Mark has also been teaching for over 15 years, and has been a visiting lecturer at a number of institutions, including London School of Economics, the Royal College of Art, the London College of Communications, Bournemouth, Florence, and Coventry Universities. He is currently teaching at Birkbeck College.

For more information 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.



Frankie Boyle on Hunger Strike over Guantanamo

Frankie Boyle on Hunger Strike Over Guantanamo

Original Article Source: Click Here

Last week comedian Frankie Boyle went on hunger strike in support of the 103 prisoners that are on a hunger strike at Guantanamo Bay.


Image sourced from www.list.co.uk

Frankie Boyle has now joined forces with Clive Stafford Smith; a lawyer who went on Hunger strike recently in support of his client Shaker Aamer, the only British resident to remain held at Gutananamo. It has now been over a week since Clive Stafford Smith began his hunger strike.

The Stand Fast for Injustice Campaign is run by a group called Reprive. This campaign encourages the idea of hunger striking to rally support for the prisoners held in Guantanamo who continue to be force fed by the guards to keep them alive.

As a supporter of Reprive, Frankie Boyle donated the £54,650 that he was granted following a Daily Mail lawsuit last December. It has now been reported that this week, the actress Julie Christie has this week done the same thing in an effort to further promote the injustice of Shaker Aamer’s imprisonment.

Follow what Frankie Boyle said about his hunger strike so far on his Twitter page. There is also lots more information about Clive Stafford Smith’s hunger strike on the Save Shakar Aamer campaign, as well as other related articles and an online petition.

Order Spectacle’s DVDs  Shaker Aamer: a decade of injustice ( New Version) and  Outside The Law: Stories from Guantánamo

Click Guantánamo for more blogs
Or visit our Guantánamo project  and Shaker Aamer project pages for more information and videos.

Visit the British comedy guide for further new stories and features.

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NEW book out on Murray Bookchin

Murray Bookchin provided one of the first practical and theoretical responses to the ecological crises of our time, through his elucidation of the political and philosophical ideas he called social ecology. However, in his later life an undue focus on Murray the individual came to obscure the relevance of his body of work.

In Recovering Bookchin, Dr Andy Price sets out to reclaim for Murray the centrality of his ideas and ideals, repositioning his legacy from an over-emphasised caricaturisation of a dogmatic sectarian to a more balanced acknowledgement of Murray’s invaluable contribution: a radical, visionary response to the ecological and social crises of our time.

Dr Andy Price is Senior Lecturer in Politics at Sheffield Hallam University, UK. He has written articles on both Bookchin and social ecology and on contemporary radical movements for the academic and popular press.

Click here for more information

Visit our Bookchin on Bookchin page for more information on our upcoming documentary, featuring the utopian theories of Murray Bookchin

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2012 London Olympics: Bad for business

The influx of tourists to the city for the 2012 London Olympic Games had caused excitement among businesses all over London, yet statistics show that during the Olympic period, UK retail sales fell and online sales plunged the most in five years.

Shoppers – both online and on the high street – were said to be distracted by the Olympic Games, causing an unanticipated drop in sales. Economists predict further falls in UK retail sales due to inflation and weak consumer confidence.

For more details, read the article on the Bloomberg website

Click London Olympics for more blogs
See our Olympics project pages for more information and videos.
Or visit PlanA our general blog on urbanism, planning and architecture.

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20 Jahre Rostock-Lichtenhagen

Der 20. Jahrestag der Pogromnaechte von Rostock-Lichtenhagen ist Anlass fuer zahlreiche Veranstaltungen und Projekte in Deutschland. Unter anderem wird mit Filmvorfuehrungen der Dokumentation “Die Wahrheit liegt in Rostock“, an die Ereignisse erinnert.

Im August 1992 griffen Neonazis und Bewohner die Zentrale Aufnahmestelle fuer AsylbewerberInnen, sowie ein benachbartes Wohnheim fuer vietnamesische VertragsarbeiterInnen an. Ueber drei Tage dauerten die rassistischen Ausschreitungen. Schaulustige applaudierten als das Wohnheim schliesslich in Brand gesteckt wurde. Die Polizei sah weitgehend tatenlos zu. Nur Wochen nach den Übergriffen wurde im Bundestag das Grundrecht auf Asyl abgeschafft.

Die Filmproduktion “Die Wahrheit liegt in Rostock” entstand 1993 mit Hilfe von Menschen, die sich zum Zeitpunkt der Ereignisse im attackierten Wohnheim befanden. Der Film beinhaltet unter anderem Interviews mit vietnamesischen VertragsarbeiterInnen, der Polizei, AnwohnerInnen, Neonazis und AntifaschistInnen. Er zeichnet nach, wie die Stimmung auch durch behördliche Maßnahmen angeheizt wurde und untersucht, warum die Polizei während der Pogrome drei Tage lang komplett untätig blieb.

Bereits Anfang Mai diesen Jahres haben sich die Macher der Rostocker Zeitschrift “Stadtgespraeche” mit dem bevorstehenden Jahrestag im August beschaeftigt. Mit Hilfe einer Crowdfunding-Initiative wurde genug Geld aufgebracht, um 10.000 DVD-Exemplare von “Die Wahrheit liegt in Rostock” zu produzieren. Anfang August wurden die DVDs kostenlos an Haushalte in Rostock verteilt.


Leipzig: Thu, 09.08.2012, 20.00 Uhr

Bremen: Sa, 11.08.2012, 18.00 Uhr

Hamburg: Su, 12.08.2012, 20.00 Uhr

Dresden: Wed, 15.08.2012, 21.00 Uhr

Kassel: Thu, 16.08.2012, 19.30 Uhr

Uelzen: Wed, 22.08.2012, 18.30 Uhr

Bruchsal: Wed, 05.09.2012, 18.30 Uhr


Click The Truth Lies in Rostock for more blogs
Or visit our The Truth Lies in Rostock project pages for more information and videos.

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20 years Rostock-Lichtenhagen

Screenings of the documentary “The Truth lies in Rostock” are scheduled for the next few weeks in Germany to remember the pogroms in Rostock-Lichtenhagen 20 years ago.

In August 1992 Neo-Nazis and local people attacked the Central Refugee Shelter, as well as an apartment complex, where Vietnamese contract workers lived . The riot lasted over three days and was the worst mob attack against foreigners in postwar Germany. Stones and  petrol bombs were thrown at the apartment block and neighbours applauded when it finally caught fire. The police took hardly any actions to prevent these events. Only a few weeks after the racist attacks the German government abolished the right of asylum.

The Rostocker newspaper “Stadtgespraeche” has already commemorate the upcoming anniversary earlier this year. Thanks to a crowdfunding initative they were able to collect enough money to produce 10,000 free copies of “The Truth lies in Rostock”. At the beginning of August volunteers distributed the DVD to households in Rostock.


Leipzig: Thu, 09.08.2012, 20.00 Uhr

Bremen: Sa, 11.08.2012, 18.00 Uhr

Hamburg: Su, 12.08.2012, 20.00 Uhr

Dresden: Wed, 15.08.2012, 21.00 Uhr

Kassel: Thu, 16.08.2012, 19.30 Uhr

Uelzen: Wed, 22.08.2012, 18.30 Uhr

Bruchsal: Wed, 05.09.2012, 18.30 Uhr


Click The Truth Lies in Rostock for more blogs
Or visit our The Truth Lies in Rostock project pages for more information and videos.

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