Ecovisions in Malawi


In June 2021, Spectacle had the opportunity to work with Dr. Michelle Nicholson-Sanz and provide video training for the participants in her innovative Young Ecovisions project

Dr. Nicholson-Sanz is a Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellow at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London . 

During the pandemic she launched a call for young people around the world to share their ecovision – an idea for how to improve their environment and engender greater sustainability in their community. Four finalists were selected, two from India, one from Malawi, and one from England. 

Dr. Nicholson-Sanz reached out to Spectacle as the second half of this ambitious project began: developing the ecovision of the finalist from Malawi, Fany Chidoola. In order to realise Fanny’s ecovision, she partnered with Malawian forestry science student Khumbo Matemba. Fanny and Khumbo would be mentored by Dr Nicholson-Sanz to stage a theatrical performance to encourage the stakeholders in their area to realise the changes needed. The performance would be filmed and this material, as well as further footage collected by participants, would become a final short film detailing the ecovision and it’s progress. 

As Dr. Nicholson-Sanz lives in Kent, England, the actual filming would need to be done by the participants on the ground in Malawi, and with a limited budget the participants would be making the most of the camera they already had in their hands in the form of a smartphone. 

Participants were able to upgrade the capacity of their smartphone with tripods and additional memory cards. 

Spectacle has been developing a training programme for just such remote smartphone based video research projects. Anyone who has tried knows, it can be difficult to achieve good quality videos on a smartphone, and even more difficult to record footage which can be easily edited. Through a series of participatory workshops, Spectacle worked to upgrade the capabilities of the participants’ smartphones affordably, and offered clear guidance on best practices and filming techniques. 

Demonstrating how to achieve good exposure using a smartphone 

By the end of the workshop series, the participants felt ready to use their smartphones to record the performances, instruct others on how to get the best results from their smartphones, and already had recorded a good bit of quality footage of self interviews, location footage, and interviews with other stakeholders on the ground. 

Khumbo Matemba reviews framing and technique of a self-shot interview 

We are very excited to see the final short film from Dr. Nicholson-Sanz’s Young Ecovisions project when it premiers. 

If you are running or considering starting a participatory video project, consider the possibilities of Spectacle’s training workshops for your participants or yourself. We conduct our training remotely, in almost any timezone, and using any equipment available from smartphones to camcorders. We have worked with hundreds of academics, researchers, and community organisations and received very positive feedback on our approach and the results that our trainees can achieve with their cameras after just a few workshops. 

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Spectacle Launches New Half-Day Training Course

Spectacle is launching a new online video training course! The Day/Night School will run half-day training courses designed for academics, researchers, journalists from all over the world!

The online classroom

Works in Any Time Zone 

Responding to demand ranging from Idaho to New Delhi, Spectacle has designed a video training course at times that work in almost any time zone, and so available to pretty much anyone around the globe – live! 

This course offers half-day training on Tuesdays and Fridays for 4 weeks – that’s 8 half-days total. The initial courses will run from 15:00-18:30 London Time, which means you can enjoy it as an early morning class in Los Angeles, or an evening class in Bangalore. Subsequent courses will shift in time for availability including Australia and Japan. 

Learn storyboarding

Designed for PhDs, Academics and Researchers

When it comes to making videos, the just ‘point and shoot’ method only works if you are extremely lucky. From inaudible audio, to interviewees that clam up as soon as they see a camera, to takes ruined by continuous autofocusing – the pitfalls are innumerable. 

This course is specifically designed for academics interested in incorporating video into their research. Whether you want to integrate visual methods into your research or produce videos to disseminate your outcomes, you will learn all you need to know to turn your research into a short film.

If you don’t have the budget for expensive filming equipment, won’t have a film crew, and need a surefire way to make a final project where the mistakes don’t distract from the message – you need our training course. Spectacle has been working with and training academics in filmmaking for decades so we know the unique needs of research filmmaking. From video techniques to editing and visual storytelling, this course will provide all the skills you’ll need. 

Camera techniques and settings

Skills You’ll Learn

The first 4 sessions are on videography, and the last 4 focus on visual storytelling and editing. You can do all 8, or just choose to do the first or second half.

  • How to operate a camera
  • How to get best results from smartphones 
  • Storyboarding and visual storytelling
  • Talking heads and interviewing  
  • Strategies from filming to editing 
  • The basics of editing using Adobe Premiere Pro
  • Learn about editing as a data analysis method 
  • How to produce engaging videos based on your findings
Learn professional standard editing in Adobe Premier Pro

In the Classroom 

All courses are taught live on Zoom. The course content is split into manageable 45-90 min modules. Each module builds on the last and will cover key concepts and offer practical exercises to develop your skills and confidence in technical and creative aspects of video making.

CONTENT 

The first 4 sessions will cover all aspects of filming, including sound recording and camera techniques. The last 4 sessions will focus on visual storytelling and editing in Adobe Premiere Pro. 

FLEXIBILITY

If you have to miss a session, you can access the recordings for 30 days through private links. You can choose to attend only the filming half or the editing half of the course, or buy the whole package and take a gap between the two halves. 

PRICE

£480 for 8 sessions 

£280 for 4 sessions

Previous Clients

Spectacle has delivered successful training workshops for numerous educational organisations, NGOs, and private companies including: Cambridge University Press, Cambridge Anthropology Department, Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research, Science and Technology Facilities Council, Edinburgh University, Birkbeck College, UCL, LSE, Oxford COMPAS, University of Zurich, as well as hundreds of social researchers, journalists, scholars, and video marketers who have found our methods engaging and inspiring.

Read our Testimonials

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Spectacle’s Online Training for Oxford COMPAS Researchers

How Universities Researchers are Adapting Online 

Imagine: you’re running an international research network and suddenly – a pandemic hits! All international travel is on hold for up to two years! It’s your worst nightmare. You’ve got researchers who are supposed to be flying in from all over the globe for a week-long retreat or training workshop! What can you do? 

This was the predicament numerous Universities found themselves in, but they found ways to adapt and continue projects – many turned to Spectacle’s Bespoke Training Workshops to help them creatively solve problems. 

Through 2020, video conferencing has become the norm and many researchers are now imagining how important and useful video making or remote online participatory video research could be for communicating their research or archive-based workshops going forward. Maybe we can help you too.  

Oxford COMPAS

This week Spectacle kicks off a bespoke training course for The Oxford Centre on Migration, Policy, and Society (COMPAS). Since 2003, COMPAS has established an international reputation for original research and policy relevance. 

The training we will provide is for the researchers focusing on sustainable cities. Researchers will join online from cities around the world including Oxford, Beijing, Bangalore, Cape Town and Medellin. 

Spectacle’s training will give these researchers the skills to film with a more professional production quality and edit with an eye for narrative flow. Going forward, this will enable them to make short videos to effectively communicate their research to a larger audience. 

Does this sound like the kind of training you or your organisation might benefit from?  

Bespoke Training for Academics

When it comes to making videos, the just ‘point and shoot’ method only works if you are extremely lucky. From inaudible audio, to interviewees that clam up as soon as they see a camera, to takes ruined by continuous autofocusing – the pitfalls are innumerable. 

Spectacle online video training

When looking to make video, academics have unique needs. They aren’t looking to become documentary filmmakers. They aren’t looking to invest in overly expensive filming equipment. They won’t have a large support crew to help with filming. And the need to make a final project where the medium (and mistakes) don’t distract from the message.

About Spectacle

Spectacle is an award-winning independent media company that specialises in documentary, community-led investigative journalism, and participatory media.

We have been leaders in Participatory Video (PV) practice and community engagement for more than thirty years, and offer training and workshops in every aspect of digital filmmaking.

We offer affordable, accessible, and enjoyable film, media, and video training. No prior knowledge needed! Learn what you really need to know to make quality videos with us

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Spectacle trains the Macular Society in video production and editing

Spectacle provides video marketing training to clients in a wide range of sectors, including charities.

The Macular Society approached Spectacle wanting to learn how to use video to further their campaigns, to fundraise and to increase awareness of the charity as a whole, with the ultimate aim of being able to do more to help individuals effected by Macular Degeneration disease. 

Andrew Gray, of the Macular Society, arranged and attended the video training session and found it “perfectly suit[ed]” their needs.

He said: “If you’re thinking about incorporating video content into your work, whether you’re starting up from scratch or looking to fine tune your existing skills, we’d have no hesitation in recommending Spectacle to help you.” Andrew also felt Mark, the tutor, was excellent and helped the participants to really understand the best equipment, and how to use it to improve the content they had already created. 

Macular Degeneration is a disease affecting the central part of the retina, which can over time cause partial or full lose of vision. Researchers predict that by 2020, there will be 679,000 people with AMD (Age-related Macular Degeneration) in the UK, therefore it is crucial to raise awareness of the sight-affecting disease. Macular Degeneration can have devastating effects, causing some people with the disease to eventually become legally blind.

Video is a powerful and effective way to raise awareness of important causes like Macular Degeneration. It can help raise awareness and market charities, visually, which can often be more effective than words. But out sourcing video can be expensive.

Training staff to record and edit videos themselves is hugely time and cost effective. Also, results can be better without a film crew of a strangers, making the project’s outcome more powerful.

Spectacle ran a bespoke training course on location for The Macular Society, but also offer the course in our south London workshop. We can teach participants all the stages of video production and editing process in an informative and clear manner.

To find out more visit Spectacle Training  or contact us on: training@spectacle.co.uk

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Free video training for young adults resident in the Battersea area

Memories of Battersea: Free video film making training for young adults resident in Wandsworth

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Continuing Spectacle’s oral history video project “Memories of Battersea” we are running a series of free video production workshops for young adults (18-30 year olds) resident in the Wandsworth Borough, particularly SW8 and the Queenstown Ward.

The workshops will run during November and December please contact production@spectacle.co.uk for dates / times and locations.

All equipment is provided, no prior knowledge is necessary and it is completely free. There are 10 places so book now to be sure to get your place.

The 2 day workshops will cover practical hands on digital video production including shooting an interview and shoot locations.

Other workshops will be scheduled in 2018.

Please contact production@spectacle.co.uk to book, we are happy to answer your questions and provide details.

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Bespoke Group Video Training for Anthropologists at Edinburgh University

Sorry for the long silence: Spectacle’s video training team has been extremely busy over the past few months!
Alongside our usual sessions in London, we recently ran an extremely successful video production course for anthropologists and social researchers at the University of Edinburgh – and then another session shortly afterwards for media students at Birkbeck, University of London.

The good news is, we are now taking bookings again for the new academic year!

We can run bespoke short courses for academics (students and staff) on location at universities and institutes anywhere in the country, where a group of between 4 and 20 people want to learn how to use video for fieldwork.

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Over the years, we have trained hundreds of students and we continue to receive excellent feedback after every session.

Our hands on approach equips students with the ability and confidence to go out and shoot on their own after our training.

Our courses are flexible and can be easily tailored to your needs. We can arrange anything from a one day introduction to video production or editing techniques, to a full three or four days of training covering the entire filmmaking process from start to finish.

We can schedule the course across consecutive days or leave intervals between sessions.
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We can also offer training in participatory video techniques.

More information on our bespoke courses can be found here: www.spectacle.co.uk/training/bespoke-group

We also run weekend courses for individuals at our premises in London, with the next one scheduled for 23-24 September.

Many academics have taken and enjoyed our courses, and you can see feedback here: http://www.spectacle.co.uk/training/testimonials/

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Video Training for Journalists: become a self shooter

We offer video training for journalists looking to upskill. There’s increasing demand on print journalists to develop multimedia skills, and video skills in particular can increase your employability.

Find out more about our affordable four day and weekend courses on our website: http://spectacle.co.uk/training/

Case Study

Freelance journalist Charlotte took our four day course last year, because she wanted to expand into video…

Since completing training with us, she has been living and working in Myanmar, producing videos in addition to writing for international media.

She recently directed and produced a mini documentary about LGBT rights in Myanmar:

 

Charlotte says: “Training with Spectacle gave me the confidence and knowledge and skills to go away and make videos on my own. Mark makes a process than can seem daunting seem simple. I have been able to produce and sell short journalistic videos since training with Spectacle, when I had no knowledge of filmmaking before. I have found that I enjoy video production so much that I have now applied for funding to make a full length documentary.”

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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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Interested in learning to produce video with Spectacle?… You’re in great company

Do you want to learn how to produce and edit high quality video to promote your business, organisation, or institution?

If so, you’re in good company: we’ve trained numerous individuals and groups from large and small institutions, organisations and companies in the past six months. All of them have left happy, and many have come back for more training.

Spectacle clients so far in 2016 alone include:

The Science and Technology Facilities Council (a UK government body)

The International Baccalaureate

Save the Children

Sentura Group

The European Parliament

Autotrader

Department for Culture Media and Sport (a UK government department)

King’s College London

The Open University

Capcom

 

Some notable clients from a little longer ago include Cambridge University PressWatford Borough Council, and Redbridge Council

To find out more about what we offered these clients, and what we could offer you, send us a quick email to training@spectacle.co.uk

 

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Take out our video production and video editing training courses

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Do you work in media communications and marketing? At a university? In the third sector, at an NGO or charity? For an established business or a rapidly growing start-up? A local council? Or a publishers?

If you have a group of people who would like to learn to produce beautiful in house video, we can travel to you and teach essential video production or video editing skills in two days. We bring all our own equipment, so all you need to supply is a suitable space.

Please see our website for more information or email training@spectacle.co.uk for a quote.

In the meantime, have a look at the excellent feedback we received from Angela Farrance, Senior Communications and Engagement Officer at Watford Borough Council:

“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.

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

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!

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.”

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