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.
We have been engaged by Heritage Lottery Fund to create a series of videos to promote their
#YoungRoots funding stream. You can read more about the programme on the HLF Young Roots web page.
Our filming strategy to create three different videos involves visiting a tiny fraction of the projects that are currently happening across the UK and our first stop was with The Family La Bonche in Newcastle. They are a young circus group working with Circus Central who were just as excited about us coming as we were about getting to visit them:
This was the first time either of us had been to Newcastle and to say we were pleasantly surprised would be an understatement. The city is beautiful and the riverfront in particular is spectacular.
It manages to feel both large and compact all at the same time with culture round every corner. We spent a good couple of hours filming some location shots of this beautiful city before meeting up with the La Bonches around lunchtime. We walked in on trapeze acts, juggling, and uni-cycling.
It was a real pleasure to meet this group of young people, who really stretched the entire age range of the Young Roots age range 11-25. They are so passionate about their chosen discipline. They had endless energy to repeat tricks and seemed to enjoy impressing us as much as we enjoyed being stunned by their skills.
Lunch was delivered by unicycle, naturally, and juice was balanced on heads before we headed off to the wonderful Discovery Museum which is home to the Tyne and Wear Archives, the partner organisation the group had been working with.
They have been looking into the local archives of circus and fairground memorabilia collected by Arthur Fenwick, the son of a local businessman who had started Fenwicks department stores, after he had returned to the family business following a few years of having run off to the circus: something these young people could easily connect with. Their enthusiasm for circus was such that the archives could never have been boring to them but were instead a treasure trove of heritage and stories. These stories were pouring out of everyone and sadly we already know that very few can make it into our final films.
Once we had finished looking around the archives and learning about women who went shopping with their live pet crocodiles once upon a time in Newcastle (True Story) we juggled and stilt walked back to minibus and headed out to the countryside to a beautiful moor just outside the city limits which is the traditional home of visiting circuses and there we filmed some lovely shots of the young people engaging in their chosen skills. They never failed to impress and kept raising the bar so we got some fantastic footage and had a wonderful day with this family of entertainers who have an amazing Young Roots project and very bright futures.
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.
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.
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’.
We asked visitors why the museum was their museum of the year and to sum up all the aspects of the museum in one word. It was a really fun video to make and a pleasure to see how much people love the museum. We didn’t struggle to get positive comments but we did end up capturing more than enough footage and so we have had to cut many glowing reviews to get it down to a consumable size.
Now let us know if you have been to the museum and what you think of it in the comments!
UPDATE… just seen this cute thing via Twitter…. a walrus wearing our video as an accessory. acapmedia fashion coming to a market stall near you soon.
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.
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?
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)