Encounters Festival 2013 – Film Journalism Workshop

Just spent an intensely productive workshop week with a lovely team of aspiring young film journalists, photographers and filmmakers from Estonia, France and the UK at the wonderful Encounters Film Festival at Watershed and Arnolfini.

This was the second time this workshop has run at Encounters and I was involved last year too, but on this occasion we had added Europeans – thanks to a Youth in Action grant! Their mission was to cover all aspects of the Festival, from their own perspectives, through the production of 3 ‘dailies’ and a blog, all in English – I have huge admiration for Continue reading

Bristol Mayorwatch – part 2

A follow-on from the previous citizen journalism project covering the election process for Bristol’s new Mayor. This time we (myself working freelance for Watershed, and Ujima Radio) were working with a new team of young people who were enthusiastic about using radio and citizen journalism techniques to track developments in the City’s transport and economic development since George Ferguson won the election in November. The workshop programme also included coverage of the local elections. For more details see my ‘News from Elsewhere’ blog documenting the project. Continue reading

End of an era – start of the next

Just reached the end of an era – after four and half years my RELAYS contract with Watershed has come to an end. It’s the longest project I’ve worked on and one of the longest for Watershed too. I’d never intended to work on a sport themed topic with young people but sometimes these things work out pretty well and Continue reading

Bristol Mayor Watch – citizen journalism project

Bristol Mayor Watch citizen journalism team reporting on one of the Mayoral Hustings in Bristol

The most recent manifestation of the Watershed citizen journalism strand (and the final one under the RELAYS project – my 4 year contract with Watershed on this project is unfortunately nearly over) has been ‘News from Elsewhere’ – a workshop programme focused on covering Bristol’s Mayoral election in conjunction with Ujima Radio and with support from Bristol University. David Goldblatt – the man responsible for initiating this strand of Continue reading

Film Journalism workshop at Encounters Film Festival

Since the success of the Media Camp in Weymouth this summer (which had developed from the citizen journalism workshops I’ve been producing with Watershed since March 2011) I was invited to be part of the two-person team running a Film Journalism workshop that took place at Watershed in late September as part of the Encounters International Short Film Festival. Young filmmakers, a photographer and aspiring writers applied for a place on this experimental project, the nine successful candidates winning a full pass to the festival and support from the Encounters team allowing them access to top directors, producers and cinematographers working in the short-film field in every genre – documentary, animation, comedy, fantasy… Continue reading

Brilliant Olympic outing dissolved the skepticism

I spent five packed days in Weymouth over the opening of the Olympics with a group of Bristol students who were there for a media camp I’d organised with Weymouth College and the b-side project as part of my Watershed work. The students were using citizen journalism techniques to report on the impact the Olympic Games was having on this small seaside town, using smartphones to post images, text, videos and audio interviews live to a blog. Continue reading

Watershed: Part-time employment

relays_header_blueredFor 2 days a week I’m the Development Co-ordinator for ‘RELAYS at Watershed’ – a SW Cultural Olympiad project organised by Universities SW and focused on activities for young people. Watershed’s contribution to this programme is to work with young people in a range of settings to create projects that explore the meeting of sport and media/culture.

Activities I’ve been involved with over the last year include a short film project Short Cuts, Media Literacy Workshops for schools – just starting to plan these for 2012 – and a citizen journalism project that’s leading up to taking a group of young people to the Olympic sailing and cultural events that will be taking place in Weymouth in 2012. I’m also covering the developing phases of this citizen journalism project in a blog.

Here’s an audio slideshow that gives a flavour of the Media Literacy strand of this project and demonstrates the enthusiasm that can be sparked in teenagers when you put them into a new setting with some interesting challenges and stimulating people! I took the photographs and recorded the audio during the series of workshops we ran in 2009 with local secondary schools and put them together in Soundslides to help promote future workshops to schools in the Bristol area. The workshops were led by David Goldblatt and assisted by volunteer production staff from the BBC.