NEW WEEKEND COURSE Digital Video Production for Visual Anthropologists

Visit here for next dates and more details:

Digital Video Production for Visual Anthropologists and Researchers

About the course

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

There is an emphasis on bringing together the theory and practice of visual anthropological film making:

  • What is Visual Anthropology?
  • Positives and Negatives of using Film in Social Research (includes ethics)
  • Types of Visual Research Methods
  • Editing
  • Working in the Field

 

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.

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

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About the tutors

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 include Amnesty International, Channel 4, the Rowntree Foundation, the Howard League for Penal Reform 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, Mark has also been teaching for over 15 years, and he 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.
Chloe Evans has written for several social science and Anthropology journals, predominantly on her work based on the Philippine Diaspora. She has also contributed photography and video materials to several University projects. Chloe Evans holds a Bachelor of Arts in Social Anthropology from the L.S.E and a MSc in Visual Anthropology from the University of Oxford.

Spectacle is a member of the Moving Image Training Alliance (MITA).

The details

Where

Spectacle
No. 25
99 – 109 Lavender Hill
London SW11 5QL

Price

£200.00 + VAT = £240
Concs.: £100.00 + VAT = £120

 

Special Discounts

Group bookings
– Bookings for three to five people: 10% discount
– Bookings for six people or more: 20% discount

Multiple bookings
You will receive a 15% discount if you book a place on our Final Cut Pro editing course (dates to be announced).

How to book

Please visit the How to Book page to reserve a place on this workshop.

Also, please ensure you read our Terms and Conditions before reserving a place on one of Spectacle’s training courses.

If you have any queries please 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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Shaker Aamer: A Decade of Injustice Film Release

February 2012 marked the tenth anniversary of the last British resident, Shaker Aamer’s capture, extraordinary rendition and incarceration in the notorious prison Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.  The controversial detention camp is universally known for its systematic use of torture and indefinite detention.  Having never been charged with a single crime Shaker Aamer has been cleared for release twice by both the Bush and Obama administrations in 2004 and 2009, and yet the reason why he is still imprisoned remains unclear. After years in solitary confinement, Shaker Aamer’s physical and mental state is rapidly deteriorating.

Saudi-born Shaker Aamer lived in Battersea, South West London with his wife and four children. He was captured shortly after 9/11in Afghanistan while he was voluntarily helping to build a school. During this time the United States were offering $5000 per suspect given to them. The alleged original reasons for his capture, his supposed ties with Al-Quaeda, have been dismissed due to lack of evidence.

Shaker Aamer: A Decade of Injustice recounts the story of his unlawful imprisonment, of the torture he has endured and the campaign that is being fought for his freedom. It outlines the possible reason why he hasn’t been released, these include his status in Guantanamo Bay as a leader and spokesperson for the other prisoners, his allegations of the UK governments complicity in his torture, and what he may have witnessed the night of the multiple “Guantanamo suicides”.

This short film (17 minutes) includes interviews with former Guantanamo Bay detainees (Moazzam Begg, Omar Deghayes, Martin Mubanga), his American lawyer Clive Stafford Smith (director of Reprieve), his local MP Jane Ellison, amongst other campaigners, journalists and human rights lawyers. It also features exclusive footage of the ongoing fight for his return taking place in London.

Shaker Aamer: A Decade of Injustice was filmed over the past three years, when Spectacle Productions director Mark Saunders realised that Shaker Aamer’s family were local residents to his office. Saunders felt compelled to document the story of their struggle, and the wider political implications of his incarceration. As years went on and nothing changed, the necessity to make the film became more urgent.

Spectacle is engaged in making investigative, community-led documentary films touching on issues such as urbanism, racism and radical philosophy. Outside the Law: Stories from GuantanamoThe Truth Lies In Rostock and The Battle of Trafalgar are some of the titles Spectacle has released since it started in the ’90s,

Watch the full film here: Shaker Aamer: A Decade of Injustice Film

Screening of Battle of Trafalgar on May 7, 4:30pm – Free event

There is a new screening date for the Despite TV documentary Batttle of Trafalgar about the poll tax demonstration this Monday May 7th 4.30 pm. The screening is part of the Bread & Roses Festival organised by studiostrike.

Date: May 7 2012 (Monday, Bank Holiday)
Time: 4:30 pm
Venue: 68 Clapham Manor Street, London SW4 6DX
Or you can refer to this eventbrite page.

The Battle of Trafalgar gives an account of the anti-poll tax demonstration on 31st March 1990, one that is radically different from that presented by TV news. Eyewitnesses tell their stories against a backdrop of video footage showing the day’s events as they unfolded. This is one of the UK’s first camcorder activist films, made from amateur and freelance footage, unseen at the time and portraying a chillingly different vision of events from that shown in the media at the time.

Demonstrators’ testimonies raise some uncomfortable questions: Questions about public order policing, the independence and accountability of the media and the right to demonstrate.

Two decades later and these issues cannot be more prescient. With the rise of new social media and widespread recording technology, as well as increasingly repressive laws and policing powers and a pervasive 24-hour news culture – the relationship between the media and police in relation to the right to protest and the medium of film have only become more complex and problematic, as can be seen through the recent media representation and prosecution of student protesters and rioters.

Click here to order a DVD of Battle of Trafalgar.

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See our Despite TV project pages for more information and videos.
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The Security Olympics

The Olympic Legacy has been an idea under siege since the term was first bandied about. Today though, Stephen Graham, Professor of Cities and Society at Newcastle university has published a damning indictment of the Legacy in the Guardian. His essay outlines how the security operation surrounding the games is not only about security, but instead about the promotion of corporate and political interests, thinly veiled by the non-description of public interest and safety.

Graham’s article does not make for light or quick reading, but here are a few of the ideas to get you going:

With the required numbers of security staff more than doubling in the last year, estimates of the Games’ immediate security costs have doubled from £282m to £553m. Greece’s security costs for their Olympic Games were a major contributor, as part of the overall £10bn costs, to Greece’s subsequent debt crisis. Current estimates for the London Olympic Games stand the costs around £26bn.

More troops – around 13,500 – will be deployed in the London operation than are currently at war in Afghanistan. The growing security force is being estimated at anything between 24,000 and 49,000 in total. Such is the secrecy that no one seems to know for sure. On top of this, an aircraft carrier will be moored on the Thames, and drones will patrol over the ceremonies.

New, punitive and potentially invasive laws such as the London Olympic Games Act 2006 are in force. These legitimise the use of force, potentially by private security companies, to proscribe Occupy-style protests. One such law allows police to arrest or eject anyone that does not comply with the ‘celebratory look and feel’ of the Games – in theory to prevent unofficial advertising. However, corporate interests aside, the odds that this law will be utilised only against advertisers are long.

The security preoccupations of Olympics present unprecedented opportunities to push through highly elitist, authoritarian and speculative urban planning efforts that otherwise would be much more heavily contested – especially in democracies. These often work to “purify” or “cleanse” diverse and messy realities of city life and portray existing places as “waste” or “derelict” spaces to be transformed by mysterious “trickle-down effects”. The scale and nature of evictions and the clearance of streets of those deemed not to befit such events can seem like systematic ethnic or social cleansing. To make way for the Beijing Games, 1.5 million were evicted; clearances of local businesses and residents in London, though more stealthy, have been marked.

Spiraling costs, social cleansing, Government privatisation policy, and suppression of the population – these are all “bigger picture” issues. The everyday realities of the games seem to pale in comparison.  As Professor Graham delivers a strong blow to the pomp and sanctimony of the London Organising Committee, he highlights their priorities articulately but with subtlety. It seems that bankrupting the country is an acceptable price for establishing the Olympic legacy – oppressive security measures and extensive privatisation of any service in reach.

Click London Olympics for more blogs
See our Olympics project pages for more information and videos.
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Stories from Guantanamo screening on Kuwaiti TV

Ten years after the start of the “war on terror” and despite promises made by President Obama during his first campaign back in 2008, 171 people are still kept in the Guantanamo Bay prison. Spectacle’s documentary “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” tells the story of three British residents and of their battle to return to their families, featuring interviews with former fellow prisoners, human rights lawyers and Guantanamo’s former Muslim chaplain.

On Friday February 24th, the documentary will be broadcast on Al Rai TV in Kuwait.The broadcast will be at 10.30pm Kuwaiti time. This coincides with the release of the new Arabic subtitled version of the DVD, now available to order from Spectacle.
Three screenings of the film will take place in the upcoming weeks and each will be followed by Q&A with journalist and documentary co-author Andy Worthington:

  • Monday February 27, 6.30 pm at Queen Mary, University of London, David Sizer Lecture Theatre, Francis Bancroft Building, Mile End Campus, London, E1 4NS
  • Thursday March 8, 5.30 pm at UCL, Darwin Building, Room B15, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT (Please note that there is a chance that this event will be moved to Tuesday March 6. check UCL Stop the War Facebook page).
  • Tuesday March 13, 7 pm at the University of Hertfordshire, Lecture Theatre N001, Ground Floor, N Block, de Havilland Campus, Hatfield, AL10 9EU.

February 14th also marked the 10th anniversary of the last British resident’s detention in Guantanamo Bay. Shaker Aamer has passed a decade, after his extraordinary rendition, without charge or trial. His lawyers in the UK have launched an e-petition that you can sign on the Government’s website, to request immediate action by the Foreign Secretary and Foreign Office to help bring him home. 100.000 signatures are required by May 14th in order for the case to be debated in Parliament.

You can order your copy of “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” from the Spectacle Shop.

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Is alcohol abuse a new “scandal”?

Prime Minister David Cameron said he is determined to do more to tackle alcohol abuse, which he has called “the scandal of our society”. Addressing the crowd at an hospital in north-east England today, Mr Cameron also said that recent figures show that binge drinking costs Britain 22 billion pounds a year when taking into account the whole range of issues related to it: road accidents, crime, lost productivity and, of course, health problems.

There is nothing new about the negative impacts of the alcohol industry on our society, health and culture.

Drink abuse: a not-so-new problem for youth (painting by W.P. Frith)

Spectacle’s film Exodus Extended Mix explores, among other issues, the hypocrisy of a profit driven drinks industry being a licensed dealer of a legalized, but extremely harmful drug – alcohol and the prohibition of the far less harmful cannabis which criminalizes vast swathes of young people and forces the consumer to the hands of gangs who have interest in promoting the harder, more anti-community drugs like heroine, cocaine and its derivatives.

Exodus from Babylon exposes the role of a beleaguered alcohol industry that was losing the youth market to free parties. The film documents how the alcohol industry set up a powerful lobby group to push for more relaxed laws and licences, how it had a role in the shutting down, commercialization and take over of rave culture and music festivals and how it sought to win back and target the youth market by presenting beer as a cool psychoactive drug.

BOGOF In the spirit of the buy one get one free ethos of the alcohol pushers you can buy both these DVDs for the price of one.

Spectacle Training: Digital Video Production Weekend Workshops- February, March and April

Digital Video Production Weekend Workshop

Saturday & Sunday February 18 & 19 2012 10.00 to 16.00

Saturday & Sunday March 17 & 18 2012 10.00 to 16.00

Saturday & Sunday April 21 & 22 2012 10.00 to 16.00

 

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 voluntary sector workers who want 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

Price

£200.00 + VAT = £240
Concs.: £100.00 + VAT = £120

Special discounts

– Bookings for three to five people: 10% discount
– Bookings for six people or more: 20% discount

To find out more and booking

 Subscribe to the Spectacle Training Newsletter

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.

 

 

 

“Battery farm” child prisons criticised as secure children’s homes face further cuts

The principle purpose of the youth justice system in England and Wales is the prevention of offending and re-offending (Crime and Disorder Act, 1998). Therefore, it would seem to make sense to make policy decisions on the basis of evidence of ‘what works’.

As the Youth Justice Board (YJB) plans to decommission more beds in secure children homes, the Howard League for Penal Reform has released a briefing on the secure estate: Future Insecure, calling for custodial decisions to be based on evidence of effectiveness and safety, rather than simply cost. The briefing comes only weeks after two children died while in prison service custody.

Recent figures released by the Ministry of Justice have shown that serious or other life-threatening warning signs have occurred 285 times when children have been restrained in STCs over the past five years, including hospitalisation, loss of consciousness and damage to internal organs. Despite their institutionalised failings and the risks that they pose to the safety of children, no places have been decommissioned in STCs since they opened. 90% children in Young Offenders Institutes said they wanted to stop offending but haven’t found any opportunity in the current system to support them in doing so.

Even more troubling is the statistic that 9 out of 10 of the most violent institutions in the country are Young Offenders Institutes.

The chief executive of the The Howard League for Penal Reform, Frances Crook, said, “The recent reduction in the number of children in custody is to be welcomed. However this should have been used as an opportunity to close failing prisons, which cannot meet children’s needs.  The battery farm model of young offender institutions, with hundreds of troubled children under one roof, is wholly inappropriate, while the privately run secure training centres have a dismal history around the use of restraint.

“Already this year we have seen the suicides of two children in prison custody.  A change of policy that prioritises the safety of children and invests in meaningful attempts to reduce re-offending cannot come too quickly. ”

The Howard League believes that community sentences make a person take responsibility, make amends for what they have done, and change to live a law-abiding life in the community. Prison is a relatively ineffective way of reducing crime. Our current high prison population is untenable. Prisons do little to help people make amends for what they have done and change lives. The Howard League campaigns on behalf of children in the penal system to improve their treatment and conditions and make sure they are released from prison safely with appropriate support wherever possible.

Secure children’s homes provide the highest standards of care and rehabilitation for the few children in trouble with the law who have to be detained in custody. Higher standards of care and rehabilitation reduce rates of recidivism, which in turns saves money for the Youth Justice Board. The Audit Commission estimate that preventing just 1 in 10 children from offending would save over £100m per year. What better financial argument is there for long-term efficacy than that?

Faced with a choice between a system of incarceration that does not produce any measurable success, and one that does, the Youth Justice Board cannot maintain the current programme of closing Secure Children’s Homes in favour of the more economically viable, but relatively ineffective, Secure Training Centres and Young Offender’s Institutes.

The Howard League screened a film about Secure Children Homes in the House of Commons  on January 8th. The film was produced by Spectacle, working with the young people in one such home. The Commons screening was for decision makers and cabinet ministers to coincide with the release of the Youth Justice Board’s secure estate strategy. The film was made with young people in secure children’s homes and the screening was sponsored by Ian Swales MP.

Brazil must have booze at the 2014 FIFA World Cup. But what about Qatar 2022?

FIFA’s general secretary, Jerome Valcke, paid a visit to Brazil where he made clear the football authority’s position: “Alcoholic drinks are a part of the FIFA World Cup, so we’re going to have them. Excuse me if I sound a bit arrogant, but that’s something that we won’t negotiate.”

His comments could well be taken as inflammatory, if not just arrogant, since Brazil has held a policy of prohibition at football stadiums since 2003 in an effort to reduce violence. The fact that Budweiser is a long-term sponsor of FIFA has no doubt some small bearing on this decision-making.

While alcohol can currently be consumed legally in Qatar, there are restrictions. Alcohol can be purchased in a few clubs, bars, certain hotel restaurants; however, to consume alcohol in one’s own home a special license is required. The question of whether the consumption of alcohol will be permitted to in additional areas and at the games themselves has been asked. Hassan Abdulla al Thawadi, chief executive of the Qatar 2022 World Cup bid, has said the Muslim state would also permit alcohol consumption during the World Cup. A few specific fan-zones will be set up during the event, they will provide alcohol for sale.

If FIFA are willing to negotiate a few specific fan zones with Qatar, why is there no negotiation in Brazil? It is difficult to believe that any of these decisions were made outside of the bribery and corruption that seem endemic to FIFA. Jerome Valcke was accused in 2011 of letting slip that Qatar ‘bought’ its place as host in 2022, so perhaps Brazil should have bought their right to host the World Cup at a higher price and saved themselves some trouble.

 

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Chief of Olympic 2012 Ethics Panel Resigns

Meredith Alexander, Chief of LOCOG’s ethics panel, has resigned over the continuing sponsorship of the games by Dow Chemicals. Dow Chemicals currently owns Union carbide, who were responsible for the mishandling of poisonous gas tanks, which caused the deaths of thousands of people in 1984. Dow’s  sponsorship of the games has been heavily criticised, and Alexander’s resignation only highlights another of the ethical swamps through which LOCOG is determinedly wading for funding.

 

Click London Olympics for more blogs
See our Olympics project pages for more information and videos.
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