Sneaky Peak Behind-the-Scenes Photos of Cipher’s Rehearsal of Upcoming ‘Past Lives’ Musical/ Archive Film Performance


Cipher

Over the past year and a half the @MACEarchive Media Archive for Central England‘s, @HeritageLottery Funded, Full Circle Project Curators Kay Ogilvie (@KayOgilvie) and Lucie Kerley (@luciekerley) have worked alongside local community and history groups throughout the midlands to collect over 200+ home-movie, industrial and amateur film collections relating to the East and West Midlands.

One of our West Midlands Full Circle Groups Norman Bartlam and the TNT News Team with the Mayoress Councillor Ward at a film screening event in Ladywood, Birmingham.

Dave Sturt and his creative musical troup – Cipher have collaborated with visual artist Anthony Hatton to produce a thought-provoking and engaging visual and live musical experience using little seen footage from the Media Archive of Central England, including local images of Lincolnshire, Derbyshire, West Midlands and Nottinghamshire.

Cipher's Dave and Theo

Cipher's Dave and Tony

MACE were delighted to be able to work with Cipher to give these previously hidden, film heritage gems new musical accompaniment in order to bring these silent home-movies to life! For more information see here.

Cipher during a rehearsal session of "Past Lives".

For tickets, please contact the venues directly.

Tour Dates:

08/03/12 – Lincoln Performing Arts Centre T: 01522 837600

09/03/12 – The National Centre for Craft and Design, Sleaford      T: 01529 308710

27/03/12 – South Holland Centre, Spalding T: 01775 764 777

25/05/12 – Holymoorside Village Hall, Chesterfield  T: 01246 567118 or 861997

27/05/12 – The Broadway, Nottingham T: 0115 952 6600

30/05/12 – Solihull Arts Complex T: 0121 704 6962

24/06/12 – The Ritz cinema, Belper T: 01773 822 224

27/06/12 – Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry T: 024 7652 4524

29/06/12 – The Public, West Bromwich  T: 0121 533 7161

07/07/12 – The Quad, Derby T: 01332 290606

08/07/12 – Gothic Warehouse, Cromford  T: 01629 824297

19/07/12 – Stamford Arts Centre T: 01780 763 20

http://www.cipher.f9.co.uk/index.htm

The music is composed by renowned musicians Theo Travis(flute, sax – David Sylvian, Steven Wilson, Robert Fripp) andDave Sturt (fretless bass/sound design – Gong, Steve Hillage, Bill Nelson). They will perform with guest musicians Deirdre Benscik (cello) and Clare Bhabra (violin) from the renownedSinfonia ViVA

Past Lives Rehearsal with digitally projected Full Circle films in the background.

Chair of Belbroughton History Society and Full Circle Depositor Sarah Bradley chats with pupils at Belbroughton Primary School during a screening of some local archive films from the MACE Full Circle Project.

Child engaging with vintage cine-film camera that was found during the MACE Full Circle Project at BBC Reel History Event in Leicester.

Dave Sturt chats to Sarah Bradley about her father's beautifully shot cinefilm collection, some of which will feature in the Past Lives performance.

the workshops…….some venues will be running workshops on the day of the performance – please ring to check.  They will demonstrate how to create a soundtrack and will give people a chance to play to a scene from the film. The workshop willinclude basic improvisation techniques, ‘capturing a mood’, exploring musical themes, using music technology in live performance and discovering the hidden potential of musical instruments. Interested musicians of all ages and all standards welcome.

our sponsors…….

A very big thank you to the following sponsors who have helped make this happen – The Heritage Lottery, Arts Council England, Derbyshire County Council and The QUAD, Derby

For more information about Dave Sturt or Cipher check out:
http://www.session-bass-guy.com
http://www.myspace.com/davesturt
http://www.cipher.f9.co.uk
http://www.jadewarrior.com
http://www.planetgong.co.uk
http://www.billnelson.com
 

If you have any cine film, tape or moving image material relating to the Midlands region and want to know how you can preserve these items for years to come and have relevant material digitised as part of the Full Circle Project, please get in touch with:

Lucie Kerley – Full Circle Project Curator: Community & Acquisition – 07919 896 505 or 01522 837756 (Wednesday’s) email: lkerley@lincoln.ac.uk

To learn more about the Full Circle Project, and check out the MACE website  for more Midlands film gems!


Cannon Hill People’s Park celebrates their Victorian Open Weekend with a spot of archive film!


Last weekend, Saturday 18th- Sunday 19th June, the Cannon Hill People’s Park put on yet again another fantastic community event! The film was another excellent opportunity to screen some of the archive film found by MACE’s Full Circle Project relating to areas such as Balsall Heath and also Cannon Hill Park in an open air environment.

Cannon Hill People’s Park Friends joined with the Adult Services of Conductive Education in Birmingham to pay tribute to the Victorian Ms Louisa Ryland whose gave Cannon Hill Park in 1873 as well as many other gifts to the Town of her birth.
A history detectives house exhibition by the Park friends, with local history groups in Victorian dress brought the history of Birmingham’s Victorian social scene alive.  A MACE Full Circle Project archive film shows in the garden featured life in the local areas and Cannon Hill Park from the 1930s to 1970s, which people enjoyed with the Victorian Tea Tent, croquet, plant and bric a brac stalls. Throughout the weekend the Mayor and People of Birmingham learned more about their City benefactor, the Park and open natural spaces, as well as her Victorian Villa house, with tours featuring the wonderful restoration work undertaken since the Council handed it over to the Conductive Education Institute, as well as the domestic quarters in the roof and cellars which could be seen in the original state.
Tony Fox, Chair of Cannon Hill Peoples Park
 
 “‘Who do you think we are?’ is a Peoples Park Video with the range of encounters with Victorian Birmingham in Cannon Hill Park House, once home of Louisa Ryland the Town and peoples benefactor. From health and breathing places, investment in people to supporting parks and local business, thousands of Park visitors over the Open House and Garden Weekend 18-18 June enjoyed Victorian Tea and Plants marquues, archive film shows, tours of the Grade 1 house restoration by it Conductive Education Adult Services owners, and another enjoyable day in Cannon Hill Park courtesy of Park Friends and community history alive groups.
Further local living heritage activities in the Park over ArtsFest and Heritage Open Week 8-11 Sep 2011. Details: Peoples Park Events cannonhillfriend@aol.com
www.cannonhillpeoplespark.net

Come revel in a little community nostalgia of times-gone-by at Cawley Hall, Eye at the Full Circle Film screening on Saturday, 25th June


“NORTH HEREFORDSHIRE REPRESENTED IN FULL CIRCLE’S FILM SEARCH.”

Frank Dale used his cine-camera to capture local events in and around Leominster from 1953 onwards.

On Saturday, 25th June, the North Herefordshire Full Circle group invites you to a MACE introductory screening of locally found films shot by people in the Leominster and North Herefordshire area at Cawley Hall, Eye, 4 miles from Leominster.

Cawley Hall, Eye near Leominster. © Copyright Richard Webb and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

The screening will include examples of the type of film footage that has already been donated to MACE and explain the importance of preserving these previously unseen gems.

Full Circle is a 3 year Heritage Lottery Funded project run by MACE, The Media Archive for Central England. Full Circle will support local history societies and other organisations in finding, identifying and using film and video for the benefit of their community. The North Herefordshire Group are one of the many community organisations/ history groups helping Full Circle as they embark upon a search for Midlands related moving image materials, such as film, tape or videos hidden away in the community.

 

The Cawley Hall bar will be open from 6:30pm and the film screening will commence at 7:30pm and go on until around 9:30pm with a 30 minute break in-between for refreshments. Tickets cost £5 on the door or £4 with a Truffle Card.

Over the 12 past months the MACE archive (The Media Archive for Central England) has worked alongside over 60 community organisations, museums & history groups to search for old film hidden in their community to find material that relates to their local heritage.

Anita Syers-Gibson, along with the help of the North Herefordshire group have so far unearthed a vast amount of film that shows life from the 1930s to the 1980s. Many of you may know the Dale family, and many of you may indeed remember Frank Dale himself carrying around a cine-camera, capturing local life, agricultural events, shows and also family moments.

Anita said about Full Circle: “It’s been a very exciting project and the collections we have found so far have been full of surprises!”

You may also be familiar with The Baldwin family of Eye whose grandfather Sir Archer Baldwin, Former MP for Leominster, travelled to Africa, capturing those moments on film to bring back and share with his family. There is also a selection of footage from the June Lloyd Collection, showing family life on the farm and other local Leominster events from the 60s to the 80s.

Some of you may even recognise yourselves, your family or friends in the films shown. It is a chance for us all to celebrate the fact that these 3 collections, out of the 115 that have been found so far, can now be shared and continued to be enjoyed by generations for years to come.

If you feel that you may have some old reels of film, tape or home videos that may be of interest to Full Circle’s search, that relate to the heritage of the Midlands, please get in touch with: Anita Syers-Gibson on 01568 615836

 

 Additional information concerning the Full Circle Group’s and their progress with the Full Circle search can be found at www.macearchive.org or follow our success stories at the MACELive Blog: www.macearchive.wordpress.com

BBC Radio Leicester’s Tony Wadsworth interviews Full Circle Curator Lucie Kerley about Midlands Film finds


 Yesterday I was kindly invited by BBC Radio Leicester’s Tony Wadsworth @WadsworthBBC to talk about MACE’s Full Circle Project and why it is important that people hunt their old films and ensure that they are preserved in the best possible conditions.

If you missed it you can listen again here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00gwpfy

I am on from about 1:09:00 to 1:22:44

Enjoy!

If you have any home-movies relating to the Midlands area please get in touch with us here at MACE to find out about your nearest participating Full Circle Group who are looking for films in your area.
Lucie Kerley – Full Circle Project Curator: Community & Acquisition – 0116 252 5931 or email lk99@le.ac.uk

 

Film Showing Tonight! Balsall Heath Local History Society joins hunt for Midlands Home Movies!


Downton Family - William Edward Street, Balsall Heath - Back-to-Back Houses

Balsall Heath Local History Society

Tonight there will be a MACE Full Circle Film Screening of ‘Balsall Heath on Film’ at The Balsall Heath Local History Society group AGM meeting . The screening will commence at around 7:30pm and will take place at: 

St. Paul’s Community Development Trust
Hertford Street
Balsall Heath
B12 8NJ

Tel: 0121 464 4376

Downton Family - William Edward Street, Balsall Heath - one of the many films found by the Full Circle Project that has now been digitised and put back into the Balsall Heath Community.

Chris Sutton – Development Worker for Balsall Heath Local History Society, has invited along a MACE Full Circle Curator, Lucie Kerley, to talk about the Heritage Lottery Funded Full Circle Project and explain why it is so important that the screen heritage of the Midlands is preserved for future generations. 

Watch this Central Television clip taken from Here and Now programme 239 : Minority ethnic magazine programme. This week: The Balsall Heath is Beautiful campaign; the Afro Caribbean dance group Kokuma; and an interview with the playwright Caryl Phillips.

http://www.macearchive.org/Archive/Title/here-and-now-programme-239/MediaEntry/907.html 

 

Balsall Heath & Highgate - Past & Present Project

The Society was founded in 1979 with the aim of promoting interest in local history.

There is usually someone in on Mondays, which is the day the Family History/ Genealogy workshops are held in the computer suite.

The Society is based in The Venture on Malvern Street. It has a part-time Development Worker (Chris Sutton) and has an on-site Archive of memorabilia and artefacts.

Over the years the Society has achieved considerable success, working with schools and community groups, organising exhibitions and events, collecting resources and producing its own publications.

The Society also has a regular monthly meeting with guest speakers. More on these can be found on the Society Website

The 30 minute Balsall Heath on Film compilation will also be reshown at The Balsall Heath Carnival on 2nd July, and also at The Balsall Heath Church Centre on the 7th July.

For more information on how you can get involved with the Full Circle Project check out:

http://www.macearchive.org/Full-Circle.html

MACE Volunteer Ria Krause accessions Full Circle female filmmaker collection


Meet our new Volunteer Ria Krause, a Photography & Film Graduate from Edinburgh Napier University.

Ria is currently working at the archive to give the MACE team a helping hand.

By helping to accession  the many new film collections deposited at the archive, Ria will also create receipts for the material which will then be sent out to the depositors and the community groups responsible for finding the collections.

The MACE, Heritage Lottery Funded, Full Circle Project, will run until March 2013 and has so far helped generate a phenomenal amount of interest which has made people aware of the heritage value and importance of preserving film and home-movies created in the Midlands.

On Friday 25th March, Lucie Kerley – Full Circle Curator for Community & Acquisition  and Cal Edwards from Full Circle Group The Mansel Lacy Community Association met with Wyn Preece in Hereford to find out more about her cine-film collection.

The Wyn Preece Collection, is just one of many collections that has been found by a History or Community group over the course of the project, it is quite rare however to find a female film-maker, as we have noticed that the majority of the collections being found were shot by men.

So we are always quite excited to see a collection like this turn up!

The films will be accessioned and preserved at MACE so that future generations can enjoy watching them for years to come.

Wyn Preece, 87,  a former Short-hand Typing & Business Studies Teacher at Hereford Technical College – took up painting when she retired and is now a keen Oil & Watercolour Artist.

Wyn has lived at the Hereford family home since she was 13 years old – the walls are adorned with her beautiful paintings of family members, landscapes and also flowers. Wyn paints from real life and has many attended painting classes over the years as she found great pleasure in art.

When asked how she came to own  a cine-camera Wyn explained that she had always been interested in art and that she saw cinematography as the way forward, and enjoyed filming from an art point of view.

Wyn purchased her camera in the 1960s and along with a fellow female amateur filmmaker friend, now aged 90, would go off and film their outings, their local area, family,  holidays and also games of golf.

Wyn’s collection is just one of many that will be digitised by MACE’s Full Circle Project and copies of the material will be put back into the community to be enjoyed at local screenings, schools and events.

Equiries contact: Lucie Kerley – Curator: Community & Acquisition 

Email: lk99@le.ac.uk Telephone: 0116 252 5931 Mobile: 07919 896505

Photographs © Lucie Kerley

Fownhope Local’s Rewind and enjoy an afternoon of Herefordshire Archive Films


Amanda Huntley of The Huntley Film Archives addresses the audience at Fownhope Memorial Village Hall

 

On Wednesday, 9th March the Fownhope Local History Group, one of the Full Circle Project’s participating groups took part in hosting one of the screenings for Rewind Festival 2011. The event which took place at Fownhope Memorial Village Hall featured a screening of “rare archive film featuring Herefordshire and Shropshire from 1900 onwards.”

The venue was packed to the rafters with around 115 in attendance who came from all over Herefordshire with some also travelling as far as Wales to reminisce of times gone by, watching footage of local events caught on film some 60 and some 70 or more years ago. The screening featured some fabulous material from  Huntley’s Commercial Film Archive Collection with some footage estimated to date back to the early 1900s.

“REWIND, the community film archive project from Flicks in the Sticks in collaboration with Huntley Film Archives is delighted to present this extraordinary programme, the result of a year long research, at venues in Herefordshire and Shropshire in February and March. Volunteers have been trained as film archivists and have catalogued footage from the Huntley Film Archives which brings the past, including some of the sights and sounds of the two counties, to life.”

Highlights of the screening included :

Hereford May Fair in 1910
Tommies march out of the City in 1914
Kington Carnival in the 1920s
Cider making in the 1930s
The old cattle market in the 1940s
Leominster Three Counties Fair in the 1950s.

Following the Rewind Screening which was really brought to life when accompanied by Amanda Huntley’s animated commentry, the audience was treated to home-made cakes and refreshments before settling down for the second half.

The screening of archive material was particularly poignant for one member of the audience who had no recollection that he had even been caught on film as a young lad working the land with fellow Herefordshire farmers over 60 years ago and was able to watch this footage for the first time.

The Fownhope Local History Group Chairman, David Clark, used the occasion as a platform for showing what film collections had been found as part of their group’s involvement with the MACE archive’s,  Heritage Lottery Funded, Full Circle Project. The group have been looking for archive footage relating to Fownhope and the local area for the past 8 months and have been hugely successful in unearthing around 7 collections with more popping their heads up all the time. The event was a chance to show the people of Fownhope and the wider area, the results of the footage that had been digitised with the help of MACE & HLF funding.

It was a fantastic opportunity for myself, Lucie Kerley Curator for Community & Acquisition at MACE and my colleague Catherine English Full Circle’s Cataloguer, to meet the depositors of the film collections in person for the first time and to hear how much joy they and their families had gotten from the collections being digitised. Smiles all round!

Full Circle Depositor Joanne Probert was delighted with the result of her digitised cine collection that has now been seen by many of her relatives living in AustraliaPeter Davies holds his DVD copy of the cinefilm collection that was digitised with the help of the Heritage Lottery Funding received by MACE's Full Circle Project, Peter has also deposited more reels of 8mm film to be digitised and archived at MACEPeter Davies holds his DVD copy of the cinefilm collection that was digitised with the help of the Heritage Lottery Funding received by MACE's Full Circle Project, Peter has also deposited more reels of 8mm film to be digitised and archived at MACE

Midlands We Need Your Home Movies!Screening of Herefordshire based ATV archive footage at Fownhope Memorial Hall

Peter Davies holds his DVD copy of the cinefilm collection that was digitised with the help of the Heritage Lottery Funding received by MACE’s Full Circle Project, Peter has also deposited more reels of 8mm film to be digitised and archived at MACE

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The group will continue to look for more moving image materials in their area that are in need of digitising to ensure that this valuable window into their local history is one that is not lost but can long be enjoyed by both our generation and those yet to come.

Screen Heritage and the Big Society…the challenge for the public film archives


Screen Heritage and the Big Society…the challenge for the public film archives

by James Patterson, MACE Director

The Media Archive for Central England Film Store

(This is an edited version of a paper delivered to “Film Heritage, Digital Future”, a conference held at Birmingham City University 4/3/11.) 

The last time I wrote about how I saw the challenges for the film archive sector was nearly 2 years ago. It was not the first time I had written about the subject.

 I’m writing about it again and I suspect that it won’t be the last time.

 And why would it be the last time? The film archiving itself is always challenging, the approaches we take as archivists are always developing and the context in which we operate – the political context with a small p, and in consequence the funding context, is always in flux. So the challenges we face are always changing. What is unchanging is our responsibility to develop a service which meets the needs of the community and realizes all the potential in the collections we develop and care for.

 I must preface my remarks by saying that my views on the matter are my own – borne out of nearly 32 years working in the film archives in the public sector and the last 20 of those at a senior level in both a national and regional context. I am not suggesting that I am representing anyone else’s views.

 I am limiting my remarks to the film archives in the public sector and the challenges faced there because this is the sector I know. It is not in any way to ignore the important work done for the survival of our moving image culture by other organizations. In fact, I think it is really important that we begin to develop appropriate and closer working relationships across the whole sector as soon as we can.

 I’ve called this piece Screen Heritage and the Big Society not because I want to discourse on how we can develop community action in support of our sector – though I may touch on this – but more as a shorthand for the wider current context of our services.

 And what is that context? What is the current challenge?

 The public film archive services are currently delivered by 2 UK wide archives (BFI National Archive and IWM); there are services for Scotland and Wales delivered from departments of their respective National Libraries; and there are 9 small archive services operating in the English regions.

 All of these archives are independent of each other – the relationships between them and the way the funding works are complex and have been made more complicated in the past few years – partly by devolution of responsibility to the nations, partly by a lack of a clear strategic and shared overall vision for the services in England.

 “The current political context is one of decreasing public funds and of being told to do more with less.”

 The drive from the current government to reduce the perceived unnecessary bureaucracies has impacted as much in the film world as elsewhere.

 The UK Film Council (UKFC) is being closed with all public support for film activity transferring the BFI. The regional screen agencies (independent, though closely tied to UKFC) are working out how they will become (or engage with) a new body to support screen related creative and cultural industry activity outside the capital. That body is called Creative England. The proposal is that it should have three hubs North, Central and South.

 Creative England is now working with the BFI on defining their relationship so that strategic priorities and delivery paths for the range of areas in which they have some responsibility can be achieved.

 These discussions are ongoing and will be resolved during the coming year (2011).

 Creative England is currently consulting on an interim strategy document which covers the financial year 2011/12. Driven by even further reducing funds, it is clear from the consultation documents that there are expectations of a structural change of the regional film archives in England.

 The nature of the change is currently defined only in the sentence ‘there is an immediate need to develop a more cost effective/aggregated out of London network of RFAs…’.

 There is an old story about a man who, travelling in Ireland, stopped and asked a farmer for directions to Dublin. “If I was going to Dublin”, the farmer replied “I would not be starting from here”. The circumstances we find ourselves in seem to me to resonate with that. The starting point for our journey is one that we might not have chosen.

 But matters are further complicated by not having great clarity at this stage about the destination. Indeed, some of the sector like the place we are in and want to stay. But we have been and are being told that we must travel and some of the sector feel the need to travel and that a journey would be beneficial in many ways, but the problem we face is that the necessity to travel is not, at the moment, being combined with a clear destination. At best we have a sense that – to stretch the metaphor towards breaking point – we know that we should probably head towards Dublin because Dublin is where we probably ought to be. We hope to be engaged in a conversation in which we agree that Dublin is our destination. But our worst fears are that that conversation may take place without us and we might end up being sent to Cork.! (a place I am very fond of by the way but which must for the purposes of the metaphor represent an inappropriate destination).

 The public film archive sector in the English regions is currently perceived, rightly or wrongly, as being fragmentary and as needlessly and inefficiently duplicating resources, activities and facilities. Because it is seen this way there is a sense that the aggregation of the sector will reduce costs.

 This is our starting point. And in the current climate where strategic bodies which have served the English regions are being reduced typically from nine to three, where regionalism is out and where the public purse is too stretched to cover the kind of more peripheral public service activity that we represent, we are not, in my view, in a good place to make the case for the retention of the status quo.

 “So change is the order of the day.”

 Is there anything else we can glean from the Creative England document?

 I am greatly comforted by a recognition that, at least in this transition year, CE have made the whole area of broader film culture (which includes the heritage sector) one of their three priorities. I am equally comforted by the their desire not to undo or damage the benefit we have managed to accrue from the very welcome investment of capital into the sector which led to the Screen Heritage UK programme which is currently in train.

 I know that not all my colleagues concur, but I for one think that there is a strong case for the aggregation of elements of our work. I have been advocating this approach for some time…not because I think it will save money, but because I think it may be possible to improve the services we offer by taking a different approach.

 And in all of our consideration of these challenges the service…what we do and how well we achieve it must lie at the heart.

 So what is our role?

 I have moved away from defining the archive in terms of “collection”. I see the role of the regional film archive as being about engaging people with screen heritage to achieve positive benefit.

 Now clearly a key part of that is the core work of uncovering the region’s screen heritage, ensuring that it is secure now and for future generations and available now and for future generations. And there are particular and specialist archive facilities, functions and expertises that need to be made available to do that work.

 Some of these things have to be located in the region in order for the organization to work effectively in delivering a regional service, some of them – the more backroom functions – can be shared and provided more remotely.

Steenbeck and view of Store

Our responsibility is to make sure that things are done to the right and proper standard to achieve the outcome…not necessarily to do all of them ourselves.

 “But each part of the country has its own identity and has its own priorities and imperatives. Each part of the country presents different opportunities for engagement – and if we are to work effectively at a local level in engaging people with the very remarkable resources we are developing, then we have to be alive to the variety of the opportunities and potential partnerships – and that means working on the ground locally and having the right capacity to facilitate that.”

One of the collections of film found in the Midlands during the HLF funded Full Circle Project

 And working out how best to develop individual and shared responsibilities for the film archive sector must be an inclusive conversation. A conversation in which all the partners, national and regional, come to the table and, recognizing the value and the complementary nature of their different services, their different approaches and the different kinds of contexts in which they work, sort out a genuinely strategic network of service.

 The film archives do not exist in a vacuum. They are part of the wider cultural offer – they are part of the broad cultural landscape and have the potential to impact across a very wide range of cultural partnerships. We need to build on existing relationships nationally and regionally and locally and take care not to damage it in the changes which lie ahead.

 And if all of the changes that lie ahead of us are driven by the need to reduce the amount which we see from the public purse, then developing a new business model and one which is sustainable is probably our biggest challenge.

 To create a new model to deliver a sensible and engaged service to over 40 million people outside London with a Treasury settlement of less than the £290,000 which is, this year, shared between the 9 English regional Film Archives is very challenging indeed.

 It would be quite wrong of me to suggest that £290,000 is all the support we have because for all of us this is only part of a much larger basket of Lottery and other project funding and institutional and in kind support which we have very successfully each developed over the years around this central plank. But it is the central plank and is of considerable importance.

 That the sector has managed to deliver as much as it has with such a small core platform gives me some encouragement for the road ahead. Clearly there are entrepreneurial people working in the sector. But we need to be open to ideas which challenge the received wisdom about how we develop income to cover our costs.

 Sacrilegious maybe, but we must examine again what our ‘public service’ remit means in the current climate.

I believe, and have done for some time, that we must make a contribution, and a more considerable one, to covering our overheads.

We are “not for profit” organizations but that does not mean that we are “not for income”.

The more we can generate, the more we can deliver. We must invest time and energy into the development of innovative ways and means of getting our resources into use and to generating income from that use.

 We must argue for the retention of a core funding platform – without that we can do nothing. We must continue to make the case for that core platform to be set at a level which is realistic – but we must expect to deliver a responsible level of financial return ourselves – just as we must continue to raise funds from Lottery and other project sources and through partnership working. We must at the same time take care to make sure that our development plans and our core activity is not unduly skewed by chasing funds with inappropriate priorities.

 And yes, we must engage community help – we must respond to the so called Big Society.

 It’s not that all of these things mean we must suddenly start to do things which are different. We must simply adapt to the times and the circumstances – as we always have.

 The sector faces some hard decisions and there are many things that will discomfort us in the months ahead.

 But actually at heart I’m optimistic. I think that, challenging as the coming period is likely to be, there is also opportunity – and I, for one, though not without some anxiety, am looking forward to it and believe that, with an appropriate attitude and a spirit of collaboration, the coming changes could just develop into something very good.

 James Patterson

Director, MACE, March 2011

Belbroughton History Society visit MACE archive to see the Full Circle Project’s cinefilm digitisation process.


 

Sarah and John from Belbroughton History Society visit the MACE archive

Merry Christmas Midlands from MACE’s Full Circle Project!

Over the past 6 months we have collected nearly 50 collections as part of the Full Circle Project’s search for Midlands home-movies! It has been a truly phenomenal response to an appeal for members of the midlands communities to search through their attics and dig out any old cinefilm or home -movies they may have stashed away.

As part of the project we are working alongside around 60 community groups from across the Midlands to search for these hidden gems. On Tuesday we had the pleasure of a visit from Sarah and John, members of Belbroughton History Society http://www.belbroughton.com/History.htm. They had expressed an interest in seeing what happens once the cine-film that has been found during their Full Circle Film search comes to the archive. It was a great day and we were able to explain the different procedures that the films must go through before they are copied and transferred into a digital format which the depositors and groups and members of the public can then enjoy watching for years to come.

When film initially comes to MACE it  has to be assessed – the film collection and it’s containers will be inspected for titles or any other give away information to see if  there is anything of particular social/historical relevance or value to the Midlands region.

Cinefilm collection

An accession number is then allocated  to each item in the collection –  e.g. 001/2010/020  – and this is then logged onto the MACE Accession log  along with the date the film came in, the date it was accessioned, the depositors name & address, quantity, gauge and whether a personal file has been set up and a deposit agreement signed.

We then create a receipt listing of all the film titles in the collection, including any related materials that people wish to deposit – such as projectors, viewers or splicers. This receipt is then printed and sent out to the depositor/donator who owns the collection and also to the participating Full Circle Group to keep for their own records.

The receipt is also placed in their depositor/donator/owner’s personal file which is held at MACE alongside a copy of their signed donation agreement and any other information about the titles in the collection.

Any films that are in the collection that are deemed appropriate and  need to be copied will then be prepared for copying: new white spacer is placed at the beginning and end of the reel and any torn perforations are repaired.  So for example, if there are a number of smaller 50ft reels in the collection these will be transferred onto one large 400ft reel to enable the transfer process to be faster and more efficient.

Once the films are prepared a new entry is created in the MACE catalogue for each title in the collection, so that they will appear searchable on the MACE website: www.macearchive.org, at this stage there is no video clip attached to the catalogue entry.

The film collection then has to be put onto a priority copying list which MACE’s Full Circle Technician Andrew Jenkins then works his way through. Using the Flash Scan and Flash Transfer equipment purchased with Heritage Lottery Fund grant, awarded to the project which will run until March 2013,  we are able to convert  a number of film gauges: Standard 8mm, Super 8mm, 9.5mm, and 16mm cinefilm. We also have the equipment to transfer other moving image formats such as: Beta SP, 1 inch tape, D2, Mini-DV & DV-cam.

MACE's Full Circle Technician Andrew Jenkins

The transfer process can take some time, as films are copied in real time and any adjustments to colour, saturation, white balance and exposure also have to be considered during this time. Once the original material has been transferred into a digital format, an archival copy LTO tape is made and also a viewing copy.

Andrew then trims the footage to make sure that the clips appear as they should do once they are on burnt to a DVD. The owner (depositor/donator) and the Full Circle Participating Group can then choose to have a DVD of the material which will be playable on the majority of DVD players or they can have an editable version – should they wish to compile their own screenings of the material found for public viewing.  Our cataloguer Catherine then looks through the material and keywords it as thoroughly as possibly to make sure that each title is accessible by members of the public. Eventually all material found during the Full Circle Project will be viewable online – on the www.macearchive.org website. Please visit our website if you require any more information about how to care for your cinefilm, or contact us here at MACE on 0116 252 5066 and we will be happy to help.

Full Circle Project - A public screening of archive material from the MACE archive.

If you know of anyone who has a film collection that deserves preserving, please get in touch with Full Circle Curator: Lucie Kerley on 0116 252 5931 or email lk99@le.ac.uk.  If you are a local history or community group wishing to take part in the Full Circle Project and are interested in searching for old cinefilm in your area – please get in touch.

Photographs courtesy of Lucie Kerley.