PIVOT Support: Pivot Soup

PIVOT Support is a new, Hackney based charity that seeks to provide support and information to people in the borough living on a low income. We were more than happy to donate our services to document their exciting PIVOT Soup event in November 2015. It’s a really interesting model that has been successful in other cities over the world and was a fascinating evening where you get fed, hear about interesting plans for the local area and are given a voice in making them happen.

For this event the four speakers covered a wide range of ideas from bags that open conversations to interactive performances, Hackney residents helping Syrian refugees and chess. All of the ideas were wonderful and valuable and one of the speakers walked away with over a hundred pounds to give momentum to their project. It was great to be involved with a project with such a strong community heart as much of the food was donated by local businesses and organisations and acapmedia was delighted to be part of it. Do look out for future PIVOT Soup events if you have connections to Hackney.

 

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Guest Post

 

Blog post from the Youth Media Agency reporting on the launch of the Young Roots videos we made for the Heritage Lottery Fund:

£50,000 Grants for Young People to Explore Their Heritage

Capture

On Monday 7 April Heritage Lottery Fund took over the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge to celebrate the #YoungRoots Grant Programme. #YoungRoots gives up to £50,000 to young people and youth organisations to explore their heritage across the UK.

The event involved a massive takeover of the Museum from Circus performances by the La Bonche Family, speeches from the Olympic medalist Robbie Grabarz and SBTV’s Aaron Roach Bridgeman delivering a bespoke spoken word piece. A diversity of projects were chosen from the 1000′s of young people aged 11-25 that have benefited from the grant and used creativity to explore our rich heritage.

“Heritage plays an important part of our lives and how we see the world. Its great to see so many young people getting excited about exploring theirs, I feel inspired” said Louis John Founder of What’s Good Online.

Highlights from the Event
Highlights from the Event

Part of the event was also about showcasing 3 films co-created by young people, especially Shamara Adams the fantastic MC of the event. The films were produced in order to spread the opportunity as far across the UK as possible. Please be part of the movement and share the film with the #YOUNGROOTS @HERITAGELOTTERY

The Young Roots programme – grants between £10,000 and £50,000
• provides new opportunities for young people aged 11 to 25 to learn about heritage;
• allows young people to lead and take part in creative and engaging activities;
• develops partnerships between youth organisations and heritage orgs; and
• creates opportunities to celebrate young people’s achievements in the project and share their learning with the wider community.

Dulwich Picture Gallery: Synchronised

This year we really enjoyed working on an inter-generational dance project with Dulwich Picture Gallery. You can read our previous blog about this exciting project HERE.

We made three videos detailing the project which are now available by clicking on the images below:

Project Overview:
DPG_Vimeo_Still3

Participants’ Journey:
DPG_Vimeo_Still

Final Performance:
DPG_Vimeo_Still2

It was a really special opportunity to work on a longer project with two great groups and a very supportive team. We really felt part of the project and developed some wonderful relationships with the participants. It was fantastic to share their final performance with them.

A huge congratulations to all involved!

The Home of Football

Last month we headed to Sheffield on a job for the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Sheffield Town Hall
Sheffield Town Hall

Sheffield is the home of modern football and, as part of a Sharing Heritage funded programme, some young people from several local schools had come together to research the rich history of football in Sheffield. Their project was culminating the day we arrived with some football games being played by the 1858 Sheffield rules at Hallam Football Club‘s Sandygate grounds, the world’s oldest football ground.

The World's Oldest Football Ground
The World’s Oldest Football Ground

Among the project leaders and young people involved we spoke to historian Michael Wood, Cynthia Wainwright from HLF and the day’s referee and president of Hallam FC Uriah Rennie who told us about the different 1858 rules – such as there being no goal keeper and the players being able to catch the ball – and the value and nature of Sharing Heritage funded projects that are available to any not-for-profit organisation interested in exploring their local Heritage.

The games were really interesting and seeing the players pick up and kick the ball made for a fun and exciting experience for everyone. The young people were really getting into the spirit of it with even some of the girls wearing drawn on moustaches and flat caps. With enthusiasm and beautiful weather the scene was set for a wonderful day.

Sheffield 1858 Rules

The only problem was that after leaving my cap on the train I got fairly badly sunburnt. Not what I had anticipated from Sheffield.

You can watch the final video here and then learn more from the young people’s research below:

The original 1858 rules are as follows:

1. Kick off from middle must be a place kick.

2. Kick out must not be from more than 25 yards out of goal.

3. Fair Catch is a catch from any player, provided the Ball has not touched the ground, or has not been thrown direct from touch, and entitles to a free kick.

4. Charging is fair in case of a place kick (with the exception of a kick off) as soon as the player offers to kick, but he may always draw back, unless he has actually touched the Ball with his foot.

5. Pushing with the hands is allowed, but no hacking or tripping up is fair under any circumstances whatsoever.

6. No player may be held or pulled over.

7. It is not lawful to take the Ball off the ground (except in touch) for any purpose whatever.

8. The Ball may be pushed or hit with the hand, but holding the Ball (except in the case of a fair kick) is altogether disallowed.

9. A goal must be kicked, but not from touch, nor by a free kick from a catch.

10. A Ball in touch is dead, consequently the side that touches it down must bring it to the edge of touch, and throw it straight out at least six yards from touch.

11. That each player must provide himself with a red and dark blue flannel cap. One colour to be worn by each side during play.

Sheffield boasts a huge range of footballing firsts, identified during the project’s research:

– Sheffield FC (1857) – the world’s oldest club.

– Hallam F.C (1860) – the world’s second oldest club and oldest football ground.

– The Sheffield Rules (1858) had a major influence on the modern game of football, stating that the ball should not be carried by hand, leading to the divergence of football and rugby.

– Bramall Lane – oldest major football ground with the first game played in 1862.

– Recommended a crossbar to the FA (1863).

– Oldest football trophy – Youdan Cup (1867).

– No players other than a goalkeeper could catch the ball (1871).

– The first game under electric-light at Bramall Lane in 1878.

– First insurance scheme for footballers (1860s).

– First radio broadcast of a soccer game (1927): Arsenal v Sheffield United which used a grid to describe the ball’s position on the field thus leading to the expression ‘back to square one’.

Theatre: The Nightmare Dreamer

On Thursday we popped into familiar old haunt, the Blue Elephant Theatre, to film a trailer for a theatre company with the delightful name of Tattooed Potato for their show, The Nightmare Dreamer, which is open now.

The company were very disciplined and everyone involved worked very hard for the four hours we were there to help us get all the footage we need to build our trailer for them.

The Nightmare Dreamer

It was very exciting to step into the strange and atmospheric world they have created which felt like half horror film and half art gallery in its dark but beautifully precise imagery.

The Nightmare Dreamer

I certainly can’t wait to get along and see this production properly but until then you at least have the trailer…

Dulwich Picture Gallery: Let the Dance Begin!

We are currently embarking on an exciting project with Dulwich Picture Gallery. DPG have initiated an intergenerational dance project working with Rambert, The Blackfriar Settlement and Salmon Youth Centre.

Dulwich Picture Gallery
Dulwich Picture Gallery

The project involves a group of older people from Blackfriars and a group of young people from Salmon learning a piece of dance repertory with Rambert animateurs.

The first part of the project was a welcome day for everyone at DPG for all the participants to meet and mingle because, for the majority of the project, the groups will learn the dance separately so they can move at their own pace. The day began with some lunch and then everyone got up and started moving around, saying hello to one another and playing some ice breaker games which culminated in getting into pairs and discussing families. Then sharing what had been learned about each other’s families with the whole group.

The participants took a very quick break before starting to look at some of the repotory that Rambert will be working on with them throughout the project. It was a really lively section of dance so it was great that the older people were able to dip in and out of the dance but also very encouraging to see how determined some were to get through the whole routine… and some just danced to their own rhythm – which was amazing!

Some of the Workshop Moves
Some of the Workshop Moves

Then the participants split into two mixed age groups and went on a tour of the Gallery where they learnt about the the Linbury Family through a number of portraits that are some of the first to greet you as you enter the gallery. The Linbury Sisters is a Gainsborough painting and, for me, one of the most iconic images from the gallery and certainly the image I tend to think of when I think of the gallery.

The Linley Family
The Linley Family

Then we looked at Le Triomphe de David, depicting David’s victory over Goliath.

The Triumph of David
The Triumph of David

We didn’t just look at these pics but had a wonderful guided tour from Phillipa who really encouraged the participants to explore and investigate even the most secondary characters in these images; exploring the body shapes, relationships, drama, dance and family relationships that they revealed.

Phillipa gives some of the group a tour of the Gallery
Phillipa gives some of the group a tour of the Gallery

After the tour we chatted, on camera, to some very enthusiastic participants, older people and children, who were very excited to be part of a new way of investigating the Gallery’s collection. Maureen, a regular visitor to DPG, was very familiar with the Gallery and had previously danced with an African dance troupe in Peckham. Young Miracle had visited the Gallery with her school and then brought her mother back with her to visit the gallery before joining this project for another chance to spend time in the gallery and work with its historic collection.

I also spoke to Liz, a retired professional tap dancer, who, despite having problems with her knees, was enthusiastic and very inspirational; absolutely ready to give it all a go!

It was a packed afternoon all finished off with tea and cakes where I got to chat to some of the children who really enjoyed the gift shop. I also spoke with Jeanie, who had been a Ballroom enthusiast in her younger days, as well as rock n roll Aidan, who I had seen dancing to his own beat earlier in the workshop!

We were made to really feel part of the team working on this project with Blackfriar Settlement, Salmon Youth Centre, Megan Taylor – our great photography mate, Rambert and of course the lynch pins, Michelle and Aimee, from Dulwich Picture Gallery. We’re really looking forward to joining the groups at their rehearsals which start next week.

Recording Live Theatre

Having recorded many live theatre performances we’re always interested in the debate as to whether you can ever truly capture a performance in a way that represents the experience of being in the venue.

acapmedia @ the Etcetera Theatre, London

 

A recent article in The Guardian highlights that this is not necessarily the intention of reproducing a live event in video format; there are many varied reasons for wanting a record.

  • Choreographers might want to have a quick record of their work that doesn’t require a complex notation system.
  • Often work-in-progress pieces are recorded as a reference to work from in the future.
  • Sometimes it is just for archive.

Perhaps a single compact camera, propped up against a wall, is all that’s needed in many circumstances but for those who wish to create something that’s more visually (and audibly) appealing, a lot more work can be required.

Using multiple cameras to capture an event will offer the advantage of greater detail. Arguably this could detract from the “real” experience in which audience members don’t move about seeing the show from lots of different perspectives. This also brings into question the process of editing, which is often largely done without the immediate input from the performance director, and therefore requires judgement calls as to what angles are used and when.

As a theatre director there are times that I will try to focus the audience’s attention somewhere, as part of the story telling: “Look everyone, she has put a gun in the drawer.” but there are also times when I will very much want to rely on “live” elements of theatre and have enough happening that individual audiences members have to edit where they are looking for themselves. Of course, in truth it is accepted that this is always happening. And how one member of the audience interprets the gun going in the drawer can wildly differ from someone else’s interpretation. Therefore, when choosing what cameras and cuts to use we always try to focus on storytelling. What will best help someone who has ONLY seen the video understand the story of this piece. Yes, we want to show off beautiful sets, yes we want to keep the piece open to interpretation but yes we want the audience to feel like they are watching a show and getting the story and we do that by moving from close ups to wide shots as best fits the narrative just as the audience does when watching something live:

Close Up: She is putting a gun in a drawer

Wide shot: There is a knock at the door on the other side of the stage. Who is coming in? What is she doing?

Aaron

PS: Audio is equally as important in terms of… no, in fact, good audio is (in some ways) more important than great images and just typing that has given me an idea for our first vlog, coming to you shortly… which I think will demonstrate the point more clearly. If a picture is worth a thousand words then video is worth twenty four thousand words a second. (Chris reminds me its 25,000wps in a PAL system)