Holborn Community Association Film Project1

Holborn Community Association Summer Film Project: Londoners

20 Nov 2019

Watch a short film produced in partnership with Holborn Community Association inspired by our Summer 2019 exhibitions Get Up, Stand Up Now and Kaleidoscope: Immigration and Modern Britain

This summer we partnered with Holborn Community Association on their Summer Film project welcoming 13 participants aged 14 – 18 to produce their own short film inspired by our Summer exhibitions programme of Get Up, Stand Up Now and Kaleidoscope. Exploring the theme of “Identity” the group attended a series of workshops exploring film production from idea, through concept development, filming and editing and had the opportunity to create their own production company: Rev0luti0n Productions.

The film grew out of a series of exhibition visits and a workshop with Somerset House Studios resident artist Rhea Storr whose film A Protest, A Celebration, A Mixed Message featured in Get Up, Stand Up Now. Rhea’s work explores black and mixed-race identities through digital and analogue film. Her use of 16mm film creates visuals blend the visual language of traditional cinematography with contemporary scenes.

“[Rhea’s film] was shot on 16mm film and explores themes of protest and race. It features Storr narrating over shots of Leeds West Indian Carnival and shows her in full carnival costume in rural places.[…] It also asks questions about the visibility of ‘black bodies’ in rural spaces. I particularly liked the montage segments wherein she used fast paced editing of the Leeds West Indian Carnival alongside music to create bursts of energy.”

Participant Quote

For the workshop Rhea used 16mm film to question the project theme of Identity, the participants were introduced to the medium and the projection equipment used in this “old-school” technology. The group, many of whom had not used analogue photography or film before were firstly encouraged to used their hands, fingerprints and names to create a shared image on a large sheet covered with rows of film. This sheet was then deconstructed and sequenced into a single reel.  

"We learnt about the way she makes her films, getting to work with 16mm film. Rhea taught us how you can use elements such as drawing, sewing and scratching on to film in order to create interesting and engaging effects. She also talked to us about how she is a resident artist at Somerset House and this means she has a work space within the building to create her work. This is an interesting career path as it allows her a lot of freedom [...]”

Participant Quote

The participants then experimented on strips of pre-recorded film and clear film using mark making, Letraset, scratching, stitching and tinting to edit, obscure and create new images. Part of this process was to consider how the tiniest of marks would expand in scale once projected and how fleeting each individual frame would be. Film splicers were used to sequence the excerpts together before projecting the film and witnessing their 2D marks and experimentations transformed into moving images. The group also discussed their concept for their film with Somerset House residents Dartmouth Films who gave feedback and professional industry insight.

“The workshop had an impact on me as I had previously not thought about using analogue film to create my art, and I certainly hadn’t thought about using it in such a creative way.” 

Participant Quote

The digitised footage was incorporated into the resulting film which was shot at Somerset House and other London locations across one week in August. The film explores their relationship with their identity and the city they live in, alongside producing the film the group also completed accredited Arts Award qualifications. The short film entitled “Londoners” was premiered at Somerset House in October and screened as part of Bloomsbury Festival. 

This project was supported by the John Lyons Foundation and Children In Need.

Find out more about the Learning & Skills Team HERE