When I was initially given this brief I felt excited but also apprehensive about the project as i am not an overly experienced film maker and neither had i worked filming public communities. The first meeting with Arif at Hamara left me feeling daunted and slightly out of my depth but it also made me more eager to begin organising when we were to be at the centre in order to make myself more familiar with the people and the enviroment.
After spending only one day with the HALO group i was put at ease and felt totally comfortably due to the welcoming community atmosphere provided by the group (this is a point i have stressed through out the project). We used the first week to get to know HALO and did not bring any cameras, i feel this was hugely beneficial to us because when we began to film the members and staff already knew who we were and seemed comfortable being filmed. We decided as a group to take on a ‘fly on the wall’ approach with our filming and proceeded to capture all the activities and the general day that went on at HALO. I was pleased that in this project we were all able to involve ourselves with any aspect of the project whether that be filming, editing or directing. I feel we all attempted each job and every one was able to experience individual roles.
I found it difficult taking on the task of group coordinator as at times it was difficult trying to organise myself and then also the rest of the group. But i am also glad i had this role as it is not normally in my nature and before this project i did not believe i had any leadership skills but i have proven myself wrong throughout this experience.
We did not come across many difficulties during filming but during post production we came across a few problems. A small portion of the footage was filmed on a different camera to the one we used for the majority of filming and therefor the footage was of a completely different quality and we were unable to use it. We decided to split the editing process into 3 sections, we made an audio narrative first using out interview footage we then put corresponding visuals with the audio and finally we fine edited the film and tried to make it look as professional as possible. At times we struggled to agree on creative decisions but this made us grow stronger as a group and learn to express our opinions and discuss the best solutions to the problems.
We also ran into difficulty when it came to the exporting of our film due to us editing at college and also from a home desktop using the creative cloud Premier Programme, which was not compatible with the college soft wear. This required us to finish the editing and export the footage from our halls. In future i will be sure to do all editing at one location and to make sure all the footage used is compatible with the programme being used to avoid any stress.
Over all I am pleased with the out come of our film and i feel we stuck to our original idea of expressing the strong family ethos of HALO. I have gained an unforgettable experience from working with the people at HALO and i have truly grown as a person, this experience has made skills that i didn’t realise i had come to service. The Tetley Feast was some thing i was proud to be apart of. I had never been part of such a community based project before, and to start with i was sceptical about it. But after this experience i am excited for future projects similar and i’m eager to be more involved with community projects such as this.
Anne-Marie Atkinson hosted the photography workshop at Hamara with the HALO group. She told me she had worked with the Tetley before holding a similar workshop in the Trinity Shopping Centre for teenagers that was a success. I thought this linked nicely with our project with the Tetley and it was interesting being able to talk to her about her experience.
>Anne-Marie Atkinson graduated with a first class BA (Hons) in Photography from Leeds College of Art in 2011. Her work has been recognised by a number of awards and grants. Developing long-term documentary projects utilising portraiture, diaristic imagery and landscape, she explores the resonance of social, cultural and environmental issues on
Anne-Marie leads educational workshops, curates group exhibitions and shoots commercial and reportage pieces. She is available for commissions.
A staff member at HALO gave us a DVD of a promotional video for the ‘Calvert Trust’. This is a trust that gives people with disabilities the opportunity to enjoy exciting outdoor activities in a countryside environment.
> Founded in 1978, Calvert Trust is the inspiration of John Fryer-Spedding, whose vision was to enable people with disabilities to benefit from outdoor activities in the countryside.
Despite Harold McMillan claiming that “the National Parks are for all people for all time” in 1951 when the first Park was opened, John Fryer-Spedding realised this was not quite true and that a lack of accessible facilities restricted people with disabilities from truly enjoying our beautiful countryside and benefiting from outdoor activity.
The First Centre.
With this in mind, John Fryer-Spedding enlisted the help of Elinor, Viscountess Rochdale. Together they looked for people with the same vision and it wasn’t long before a small group of people had been found and the decision to form a Trust had been made.
The Fryer-Spedding family donated two farmsteads, Old Windebrowe and Little Crosthwaite, to the Trust and, in 1978, the Little Crosthwaite Adventure Centre was formally opened.
Back then the centre had just one warden, a secretary, one instructor, two horses and two dinghies. But soon demand grew and Calvert Trust Keswick was born. Today the centre employs 35 permanent staff and has many facilities – welcoming over 3,000 people every year, from groups to families, to individuals.
A Second Centre…
With the Calvert Trust centre in Keswick becoming so successful, the founders realised that a second centre was required. In addition, there appeared to be a need for a centre to accommodate families, with so many groups visiting Keswick.
Despite considering many sites, Kielder, with its magnificent man-made reservoir became an obvious option, and so Calvert Trust Kielder became a reality and after much fundraising, this second centre was opened by HRH Princess Alexandra in 1984.
Today Calvert Trust Kielder welcomes over 5,000 visitors every year and as well as the centre and all its activities, there are also 10 wonderful fully accessible self catering log chalets set in the beautiful Kielder forest. Whilst many families visit, Kielder also welcomes many groups and individuals, and has its own adult respite care service.
And so to Exmoor…
With two centres in the North of England, there was still scope for development, particularly as people from the South of England were reluctant to travel such a distance, and so a challenge was set to find an ideal location in the South.
And where better than the Exmoor National Park with wonderful countryside, fantastic beaches and good access to the road network?
When a farmstead, right next to Wistlandpound Reservoir, came up for sale, fast work was needed. With an anonymous donor and many other generous gifts, the purchase went ahead and Calvert Trust Exmoor became a reality – opening in 1996.
Today Exmoor welcomes over 3,500 guests and has its own on-site riding school, an indoor climbing wall, and caters for groups, families and individuals.
Each centre still retains much of its independence, but the three are now formally united under the Council of the Calvert Trust.
The Calvert Trust has been built upon the spirit of its visitors. It has also been blessed by the dedication of its staff and many voluntary supporters. It is indebted to the grant-making trusts, companies and individuals who have shown it great generosity.
We can say to all these people and bodies that their faith, commitment and energy has been invested well and we will continue to concentrate on challenging disability through outdoor adventure and helping our visitors find out “it’s what you can do that counts”.
february 11 2014
We spent the last week of the project editing our footage into a film that we felt reflected our time and experience at HALO accurately. We were keen to have the main emphasis on the family aspect of the group and tried to visually describe the organisation as a community.
We started off by looking through interview footage to put together a general narrative that was clear and portrayed the message we wanted to portray about HALO.
Only having 3 minutes made it difficult for us to choose what the best clips were to put in the film as each of the staff had so much to say about the group but the natural passion in their speech gave us more choice which was a huge benefit!
Once we had a general linear structure of the audio narrative we began to pick out visuals that corresponded with what was being said in the interviews. This was also a difficult task as we had so much footage, it took an entire day to look through all the footage and pick out the best shots and even then we still had too much! It was also difficult pleasing every one in the group, but as the process progressed we learned to compromise between our selves till we all came to a happy agreement.
After creating the overall structure of both audio and visual aspects of the film we then came to the fine editing process which I personally found one of the harder jobs as this involved making the film run smoothly and flow as a narrative. I was conscious of making the film look over edited which i felt would distract the audience from the important information and message we were trying to display in the film.
We experimented with audio and having the natural background noise running the whole way through the film (apart from in the interviews, which needed to be clear), however due to the liveliness of every activity and the general atmosphere in the HALO group the background noise was slightly over powering. This is when we started to look for a music track that we could play throughout the whole film and then turn down to background music whilst speech was going on. We needed a track that was upbeat and created a sense of positivity and fun. We looked at many tracks, e.g:
Here come the sun- The Beatles
Graceland- Paul Simon
Fake Blues- Real Estate
And others, but we felt the songs we were looking at were too well known and would agin distract the audience from what the film was about. We finally found a song that was upbeat, happy, was not too famous, where the melody was the main focus of the song and the lyrics were although meaningful and relevant to the family theme of the film, were less audible than the other tracks.
Using a music track also meant we were required to make sure each scene was in time with the music and the changing of scenes corresponded with the beat of the music. The audio aspect of film making is always some thing i enjoy and i found this side of editing the most interesting and experimental.
Over all i was happy with the end result of the film, i felt we portayed a strong sense of family and community in the film which was the key point of the project. We also showed a wide range of activities and gave many examples of the diversity of the group. I feel the film was upbeat and personal to not only us as a group but also to HALO which was a personal goal i wished to achieve from this project.
Working with the HALO project was an unforgettable and extremely enjoyable experience, and i feel it has honestly made me grow as a person. When we were given the brief and initially introduced to the centre and every one it was daunting and i thought i was out of my depth. But after just one session at HALO i saw how familiar every one was with each other and they treated every body as if they were their family, the members and staff made us welcome and allowed us to emerge our selves in their community, thus giving me one of the best experiences that i never thought of having but couldn’t be happier that i did.
february 3 2014
On the 3rd of February Rees, Chloe and myself went to collect our last bits of footage at the Hamara centre. The HALO group were holding a sports day for the members, they set up indoor football knockouts, tennis and table football.
Every event was popular and the room was full of excitement and movement, every member and staff were active and taking part in all the activities. We were encouraged to join in and interact with every one, as usual. The day provided us with some fun and exciting footage, and as usual the natural energy created such a positive atmosphere.
I don’t ever want to sound like i am repeating myself but its difficult not to when every day that i have been at HALO has had the same fun, welcoming, enthusiastic atmosphere! Its never quiet or boring being with every one in the group. Its easy to see how much the staff enjoy their jobs! Every staff member that i have spoken to has said it is difficult to think of what they do as a job with such a lively family orientated group of people, not only in the HALO group but within the whole of the Hamara community.