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.
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’.
The video is just over two minutes long but because it’s in time lapse it covers three full working days of material.
We started by going in a few days early to his spit and polish so that he would be leaving looking his best. There was a very surreal moment when Christopher Biggins arrived to take a couple of shots of the walrus and then disappeared again. Nobody seemed to know why and the museum wasn’t even open yet. Anyway the walrus looked very clean and relaxed at the end of that day.
On Monday we did arrive at what we thought was a “very early” 0715hrs to begin filming his departure but contractors and museum staff had been in since 6am to prepare for the moment everyone was very anxious about. Lifting the one tonne gentleman over the cabinets by way of a winch. We did question why they couldn’t just move the cabinets but turns out that the beautiful Victorian casing is much more problematic to move than an overstuffed walrus.
There was a lot of excitement in the air, with a slight hint of nervous tension, and there was a lot of interest surrounding the fact that he was getting x-rayed before he left. Apparently this is the first time he has ever had his insides examined. I overheard two Natural History curators casually discussing if they thought any of his bones were still inside. They both agreed that his skull and flipper bones must be there as the shape of them was accurate compared to his over stuffed body. They were of course proved correct. I love it when people obviously know what they are talking about. Expertise at work!
To create the sliding effect whilst maintaining the time lapse effect can be done with a very expensive piece of equipment or with a lot of patience. On this occasion we went with patience. We placed the camera on our slider and moved the slider a quarter of a centimetre every three seconds. The result is a dynamic and fluid shot.
This is why when the moment came for the walrus to fly over the cabinets I missed the whole thing. I was fully focused on moving the camera a solid quarter centimetre. I managed to get a look of his while he was suspended in the air which was rather awe inspiring. There was a palpable sense of relief when he touched the ground again and applause spontaneously erupted for all those involved. It was a great job, well done and exactly to plan.
I think I'll have seen about everything, now I've seen @HornimanWalrus fly!
After a little bit of crating he was allowed an early night because the next day he was wrapped up, padded and battened into his crate for the journey to Margate. He looked rather peaceful and we decided he looked like he was going to Margate for a spa treatment. His crate was then fully closed up and he was left in isolation.
The next morning was another very early start and we all hung around in the gardens waiting for his grand exit. The conditions were arctic, perhaps to make him feel more at home, and after waiting for some time he was lifted into the lorry very quickly and easily.
Spent the morning filming & senses being attacked by icy cold winds & noise of the traffic on the south circular #glamour@HornimanMuseum
We thought we had very little time to get into position to see him leave the site so dashed off but in reality everyone else went off for a cup of tea and we stood on the south circular in rush hour traffic in windy and cold conditions waiting for everyone to return. In minutes it was all over and off he went to Margate.
Today the Horniman has launched their new overview video which was lovingly crafted by acapmedia.
The Horniman Museum is a “Gem”, a “Hidden Treasure”, a “Local Curiosity” but it is also a world class museum with disparate collections. Our challenge was to capture the feeling of this wonderfully diverse organisation, covering all the collections, galleries, activities and never forgetting the stunning gardens into a short concise video that would appeal to past and regular visitors but also encourage those who hadn’t visited before to make their way down to Forest Hill in South London (really rather easy thanks to the overland and many direct trains from London Bridge and Victoria) to see it all for themselves.
It took a little while to arrange time to meet with all the curators and staff members as everyone was always very busy but when we did manage to pin anyone down they were very generous with their time and remarkably enthusiastic to share their knowledge. So enthusiastic we sometime felt rude reminding everyone that their gallery or section could only be featured for a very short time. We learnt a great deal about fossils, Ethiopian instruments, coral reefs and African puppets that could never fit into this video so you will just have to pop along yourself to find out more.
Enthusiasm was a recurring “problem” as members of the public we interviewed had so much to say about the museum: 80year olds telling us about their visits there as children, annual visits from Scotland, Jamaica, Thailand and…Ilford, people meeting old friends and new friends. Visitors really seem to take the museum to heart and want to share everything. As one of our interviewees says in the film, “Everything you see is eye opening.” but not everything edits down well into a short video so we have had to leave out some lovely moments.
As well as having to heavily edit our interviews we also had to be ruthless in our choice of objects to show in the video. We could never have shown everything and, of course, we wanted to leave some surprises. The Horniman’s Collections are so exciting we were very strict with ourselves in each gallery not to film everything but to pick out some highlights and the curators were very helpful in suggesting some of their favourites. Additionally the museum is a very dynamic place and doesn’t stand still so we couldn’t film the temporary gallery that changes regularly, we couldn’t film some favourite objects because they were on loan to other museums and, as regular visitors know, the gardens have been beautifully regenerated. The film stands still but the museum never does so we very much stuck to a theme of capturing a flavour of the museum because a snap shot is impossible and perhaps that message is shared by including some archive photos that show the growth and development of the museum.
Something that many of the visitors commented on was how much the museum has changed over the years. We hope the video celebrates and shows the growth of the museum and its audiences over the years.
We were very happy as well to work with Ceridwen Smith, talented actress and resident of Forest Hill who lends her voice to the film and brings the narrative of the museum to life. Her enthusiasm for the museum was clear when we recorded and I think it shines through in the video. She is the first person to thank in our list of thanks that also include, Adrian Murphy and Victoria Brightman from the Horniman Museum as well as all the staff and visitors who shared their stories with us from families through storytellers to curators and directors, the video would not have been what it is without all your help.
You can view the video here and don’t forget to like and share with your friends: