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Archive for the ‘Stories’ Category

The power of music: stories from Jump Studios

Knowle West Media Centre’s Jump Studios programme provides opportunities for young people aged 10-25 to experiment with music, develop their technical and creative skills, and explore new careers. Below are a selection of stories from young people who have been part of music-making programmes at KWMC.

Alex – making a musical ‘bucket list’

Alex, 19,  first engaged with Knowle West Media Centre when he attended the Sound Wave music retreat in 2019. During the retreat he learned mixing and mastering techniques to help give his music a more professional sound – which he passed on to a friend who also produces music when he got back! The retreat experience also helped him create a musical ‘bucket list’ of things he wanted to achieve and skills to develop further.

Alex says that before the retreat he didn’t engage with many people and wouldn’t share his music with others. He says: “now […] I’m not shy about letting people listen to my music. I can take on feedback and I’m not as critical of myself.”

Josh – trying new instruments and experiences

Josh, 21, got involved in The Male Room – a two-night, three-day retreat that took place in 2019 to support musicians and creatives to develop their craft and examine ideas around modern masculinity.

Josh had recorded an EP before the retreat, but the experience inspired him to record more music and fine-tune what he had already finished. The retreat also provided space for him to experiment with new instruments in a supportive environment. He says: “my main instrument is guitar but I hopped on the bass and tried on keys […] It pushed my skills.”

Since the retreat Josh has become a paid freelance member of KWMC’s Jump Studios team, working with young people to help them develop their skills in arts, media and technology.

Of his new mindset Josh says: “My confidence has grown because when I feel a bit low or anxious I have to remind myself that I did [the retreat] and if I could do that I could do this!”

Elisha – recognising talent and progress

Elisha first came to Knowle West Media Centre in 2018 when she attended the From Her Tracks retreat – a two-night, three-day experience designed to support young women to develop their musical skills and self-confidence.

She says the retreat helped her to realise that “the presence of someone else’s talent isn’t the absence of mine” – and she’s ‘learning to treat myself as a friend and be kinder to myself.’

After the retreat Elisha went on to create content for a local youth magazine, enrolled on a further music course at KWMC to hone her technical skills, and has performed at music events around Bristol.  She’s now planning to get her own equipment and work on an EP or small album.

She says: “I’ve learned to acknowledge my progress. Before I did the From Her Tracks retreat I didn’t actually think that pursuing music or a creative career was an option. It was only after that I thought that this might be worth pursuing.”

Kira – getting stuck in!

Kira, 11, attended the Jump into…Music programme at KWMC during February Half-Term in 2020.  During the practical sessions Kira and the other young people in the group experimented with singing and playing instruments, and learned to use music applications including Sound Trap. At the end of the programme Kira performed her original song for the group – singing and playing guitar – while her friend played drums.

Kira enjoyed her time at KWMC, advising others her age to “do it, be confident and get out there!”  Jump Studios’ Music lead Mike described Kira as ‘confident and always up for collaboration – the song she made has a great message.’

For more information about music opportunities at KWMC contact Mike on 0117 903 0444 or e-mail

From 2018 to 2020 our music programmes for young people were supported by Youth Music.

KWMC selected for new environmental programme

Knowle West Media Centre has been named as one of ten cultural initiatives that will receive support to become more environmentally sustainable.

The Accelerator Programme, from Arts Council England and Julie’s Bicycle, will provide organisations with space, resources, time and expertise to develop new and innovative approaches to environmental practice. This includes expert mentoring and a residential training programme.

Sustainability has long been vital to KWMC’s work and ethos – from the construction of our strawbale building to our projects with communities.

As part of the Accelerator Programme, we will be exploring how we can support the community of makers and creatives at KWMC: The Factory to adopt more sustainable making practices. This could include increasing Factory members’ understanding of the lifecycles of materials and products, and helping them incorporate circular economy principles into their work, such as reuse, recycling and responsible waste management.

Factory Digital Fabrication Technician Fiona Dowling commented: “I’m really looking forward to immersing myself fully within the Accelerator Programme and identifying ways for us to improve sustainability practices across the training courses, memberships and services we offer at KWMC: The Factory.”

This is the second Accelerator cohort to receive support from Arts Council England and Julie’s Bicycle. As well as KWMC, the second cohort includes our fellow Bristol organisation Brunel’s SS Great Britain, and the Norfolk and Norwich Festival.

Andrew Ellerby, Senior Manager, Environmental Sustainability & Combined Arts, Arts Council England, said of the programme: “The Arts Council is committed to supporting the cultural sector’s increasing ambition when it comes to addressing climate change, and through our work with Julie’s Bicycle we want to nurture their creative and innovative approaches to sustainability practice.  It’s been fantastic to see the first Accelerator cohort’s projects grow and develop over the past 18 months; the proposals set out by the second cohort are equally exciting and I look forward to seeing what they can achieve.” 

Julie’s Bicycle and Arts Council England have worked together for over a decade to support cultural organisations in becoming more environmentally sustainable. This collaboration led to policy intervention in 2012 when the Arts Council became the first cultural body in the world to make environmental action part of its funding agreement with National Portfolio Organisations (NPOS).

Keep an eye on @kwmcthefactory on social media to find out more about how we’re putting learning from the Accelerator programme into practice.

Image by Holly Webb.

KWMC supported by business ‘scale up’ initiative

We’re excited to announce that KWMC has been accepted onto a new programme supporting creative businesses in the West of England.

The Creative Scale-Up programme, funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, will see £4 million invested across three regions in the UK – the West of England, Greater Manchester and the West Midlands – giving creative businesses bespoke support to help them grow their business and become ready to take on investment.

The West of England Creative Scale-Up programme was launched on 22 January 2020 and includes 15 businesses in its first cohort.

Businesses, including KWMC, will receive a package of tailored business support over six months, including mentoring, facilitated face-to-face peer support, training and workshops. We will also be supported to engage with networks of investors.

Being part of the Creative Scale Up programme will enable us to develop and expand the work of KWMC: The Factory, our micro-manufacturing hub and maker space at Filwood Green Business Park. KWMC: The Factory was established in 2015 and supports a diverse community of creative people, technologists and businesses to develop new skills in digital manufacturing and business development, create and test new products and prototypes, and connect with other makers.

Other businesses on the West of England Creative Scale Up programme include: Arcadia Ltd; Crack Industries Ltd, Luke Jerram Ltd; Trigger Stuff Ltd; Waller&Wood; Cognitive Paths (Cables and Cameras); Complete Control (Uk) Limited; Limina Immersive Ltd; Auroch Digital Ltd; The Wardrobe Theatre CIC; Encounters Festivals Ltd; We Are Anagram Ltd; Visuable Ltd; MAYK Theatre CIC.

Following the launch of the West of England programme, Tim Bowles, West of England Mayor, commented: “I want our region to become the go-to place for the creative and cultural sector. We’re already internationally renowned but I want the world to know that the West of England will welcome talented people and businesses with open arms, and help them grow into the big names of the future. That’s what our Creative Scale Up programme is all about.”

There will be two further Creative Scale Up cohorts starting in April and June. Find out more here.

Discounts and deals in 24hr Flash Sale

The 24-hour Culture Flash Sale is back for 2020: for one day only, discounted tickets and offers are available at a host of venues across Bristol and Bath!

These include shows, events, exhibitions, workshops, gigs, talks and plays from over 30 arts organisations and venues.

The sale begins at 10am on Wednesday 15 January and runs until 10am on Thursday 16 January 2020.

Read on for details of discounts on our discounts, as well as offers from other organisations involved in the Culture Flash Sale.

Please note: web pages for booking tickets are now live but discount codes and special deals on free tickets will only be activated at 10am on Wednesday 15 January – if you book before this time the discounts and deals will not apply.

£15 off: Colour, Pattern, Surface course

Love bright patterns and bold colours? Create your own textile designs in this six week course! Learn how to paint with transfer and disperse dyes, screen print with laser-cut stencils, and create designs for digital embroidery.

Deal: £15 off the usual price of £185. Visit our online shop during the Flash Sale and use the code flashtextiles20
Date: Thursday evenings from 27 February to 2 April 2020. 6.15pm – 8.15pm
Venue: KWMC: The Factory, Filwood Green Business Park

£5 off: Make your own…Laser-cut Jewellery

Design your own jewellery and stand out from the crowd! Learn how to design and make laser-cut pieces in wood and acrylic at this weekend workshop at KWMC: The Factory. Beginners welcome! Ages 16+

Deal: £5 off the usual price of £55. Visit our online shop during the Flash Sale and use the code flashjewellery20
Date: Saturday 1 February, 10am – 2pm
Venue: KWMC: The Factory, Filwood Green Business Park


Free music studio access when you book the Audio Lates course

Audio Lates is a ten-week beginner course that aims to give you the skills to start writing and recording your own music. Learn the basics of digital software including Logic Pro X, MIDI, sampling and synthesisers, and pick up handy hints and tips on mixing and arrangement.

Deal: Book for Audio Lates during the Flash Sale and receive four hours’ free access to the KWMC music studio at the end of the course.
Date: course runs Tuesday evenings from 28 January to 31 March 2020. 6.30 – 9.30pm; free studio access to organised with KWMC at the end of the course.
Venue: KWMC, Leinster Avenue

Free producer support when you register for our January Project Night

Project Night is a free evening every other month for anyone who makes art or creative projects in a community setting. Join other creatives to eat together and share ideas and feedback in a supportive environment. 

Deal: The first four people to reserve their place at the January Project Night during the Flash Sale will also receive a free one-hour session with a KWMC Arts Producer to provide producing advice, guidance or support for a project you’re working on. E-mail after 10am on Wednesday 15 January and quote flashprojectnight20. To claim your free producer session you must attend Project Night in January 2020.
Date: Project Night takes place on Thursday 30 January, 6.30 – 8.30pm; producer support session to be arranged with KWMC at a mutually convenient time (weekdays only).
Venue: KWMC, Leinster Avenue

Free CD when you register for a behind the scenes exhibition tour

Enjoy a behind-the-scenes tour of the exhibition 100 Years of Knowle West Style with local makers and artist Holly Beasley-Garrigan. The exhibition marks 100 years since the first council estates were built in Bristol and explores what this South Bristol estate has meant to people for over nine decades. The interactive exhibition includes archive film, photography, music, video and more. It includes commissioned work by artists Holly Beasley-Garrigan, George Lovesmith and Lukus Robbins, made in collaboration with local residents.

Deal: Reserve your free ticket to February’s behind the scenes tour during the Flash Sale and receive a free CD by South Bristol artist Kala Chng, whose music features in the exhibition. CDs available while stocks last. One CD per attendee. To claim your free CD you must attend the behind the scenes tour and collect it in person. CDs will not be posted.
Date: Saturday 8 February, 11am – 1pm.
Venue: KWMC, Leinster Avenue

Other deals in Bristol and Bath

Search #CultureFlashSale on social media and read the full list of Flash Sale offers on the Visit Bristol blog.

About the Flash Sale

The Flash Sale is co-ordinated by the Bristol Arts Marketing Network in co-operation with Arts Marketing Bath, Bristol and Bath Cultural Destinations Project, Visit Bristol and Visit Bath. This is the 12th edition of the sale and sees 35 organisations across the two cities taking part.

Sennheiser UK repurposes audio equipment for KWMC

Earlier this year, Sennheiser UK were seeking a suitable home for some repurposed audio equipment – and they found Knowle West Media Centre!

The Sennheiser team kindly provided us with 15 pairs of HD 25 headphones, which had been assembled by Sennheiser UK staff as part of a team training session and were in need of a permanent home.

Tim Constable, Channel Sales Manager for Sennheiser UK, explains: “Bristol has a great reputation for creative energy and passion, and KWMC has had a positive and inclusive effect in a part of the city that is often ignored and forgotten about. After seeing the work that KWMC has done over the last 20 years to create equal opportunities in their local community, I wanted to help where I could.

“An opportunity came along at Sennheiser UK to repurpose some HD 25 headphones and the fit was perfect!”


The headphones have already been put to good use as part of our exhibition 100 Years of Knowle West Style. Each section of the exhibition includes an audio station where visitors can listen to two audio tracks: the first is an audio guide that will read the exhibition text to you, while the second is an audio description for visitors with visual impairments.

Founded in 1945, Sennheiser is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of headphones, loudspeakers, microphones and wireless transmission systems, with the aim of ‘shaping the future of audio and creating unique sound experiences for customers.’

If you have a business and would like to find out more about supporting KWMC please visit the Support page.

Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport visits Knowle West

On 24 September we welcomed Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Nicky Morgan MP, to KWMC during her visit to Bristol.

She met the teams behind our Jump Studios young people’s programme, We Can Make housing initiative, and the recent Making It and From Her Digital training courses, which supported women to develop vital skills to help them progress in the digital industries.

Both Making It and From Her Digital were funded by the Department of Digital, Culture, Media & Sport: part of the West of England Combined Authority project WIDJET (Women into Digital Jobs, Education and Training).

During the visit, KWMC Director Carolyn Hassan emphasised the importance of working with our WIDJET partners, such as Boomsatsuma, to start to address issues around a lack of diversity in the creative and digital industry workforce across the region, and the need for this work to be sustained and invested in going forward.

Our team shared how KWMC and KWMC: The Factory support people of all ages to develop the skills, confidence and networks to succeed and develop personally – and be a positive force for change in their community.

We also discussed the impact and importance of taking a creative approach to tackling issues identified by communities, and our programmes supporting individuals and groups who have experienced barriers to accessing the opportunities that Bristol has to offer, from education and enterprise opportunities to full participation in culture and community.

If you’re interested in finding out more about KWMC, please contact us to book a tour or call 0117 903 0444. You can read more about the impact of our work here.

Discounts in 24hr Flash Sale

The 24-hour Culture Flash Sale is back for autumn 2019: for one day only, discounted tickets and offers are available at a host of venues across Bristol and Bath!

Over 30 organisations are taking part across the two cities, offering discounted tickets and offers on a range of shows, events, exhibitions, workshops, gigs, talks and plays.

The sale begins at 10am on Thursday 5 September 2019 and runs until 10am on Friday 6 September 2019. Offers are limited – when they’re gone, they’re gone!

Read on for details of discounts on our discounts, as well as offers from other organisations involved in the Culture Flash Sale.

10% off: Make your own…Laser-cut Jewellery

Design your own jewellery and stand out from the crowd! Learn how to design and make laser-cut pieces in wood and acrylic at this weekend workshop at KWMC: The Factory. Beginners welcome! Ages 16+

Deal: 10% off the usual price of £55. Visit our online shop during the Flash Sale and use the code laserjewelleryflash19
Date: Saturday 14 September, 10am – 2pm
Venue: KWMC: The Factory, Filwood Green Business Park

10% off: Make your own…Christmas Laser-cut Jewellery

From snowflakes and sleighbells to stockings and Santa Claus: learn how to design and make Christmas-themed pieces of laser-cut jewellery at this weekend workshop at KWMC: The Factory. Beginners welcome! Ages 16+

Deal: 10% off the usual price of £55. Visit our online shop during the Flash Sale and use the code laserjewelleryflash19
Date: Saturday 7 December, 10am – 2pm
Venue: KWMC: The Factory, Filwood Green Business Park

Limited-edition ticket / art postcard offer: the We Can Make Chat Show – Live

What would happen if communities had the power to build the homes they want and need?Join UK pioneers for a live Chat Show exploring the future of community-led housing. Book your ticket during the Flash Sale and receive a pack of limited-edition postcards produced with No Bindings, featuring poetry and artwork created by Bristol artists in response to the We Can Make project and its approach to putting local needs and know-how at the heart of development.

Deal: Book online during the Flash Sale and selected the Flash Sale ticket offer.
Date: Monday 14 October, 5.30 – 8pm
Venue: Filwood Community Centre


Other Bristol deals
15 – 25%: discounts at Tobacco Factory Theatres

Our South Bristol neighbours are offering discounts on a range of productions and events, including Opera Project’s The Barber of Seville, Snow White, Noisy Nativity, Much Ado About Nothing, and Once Upon A Time.

Deal: discounts from 15 – 25%
Date: multiple dates between September and December

20%: Planetarium shows at We The Curious

Fellow explorers in the world of innovation, We The Curious are offering a range of discounts on their Planetarium shows. Planetarium Nights is a special presenter-led, extended show for adults, while Planetarium Sounds: In the Steps of Apollo 3D celebrates the 50th anniversary of the moon landings, combining specially commissioned works by composers from Sound World with 3D visuals.

Deal: 20% off
Date: dates in September and October

Keen to know more? Search #CultureFlashSale on social media and read the full list of Flash Sale offers on the Visit Bristol blog.

About the Flash Sale

The Culture Flash Sale is co-ordinated by the Bristol Arts Marketing Network in co-operation with Bristol and Bath Cultural Destinations Project, Visit Bristol and Visit Bath. This is the 11th edition of the sale, which aims to stimulate interest and sales in cultural events across the region.

Hide the Shark donate photography equipment to KWMC

We’re delighted to have received a generous donation of photographic equipment from the Bristol-based branding and design agency Hide the Shark.

The studio photography kit, worth more than £4k, includes a range of flash bulbs, stands, lighting umbrellas, reflectors, and back-drops. Hide the Shark have also provided a telescopic boom arm which will enable photographers to position lights directly above their models.

Based in the heart of Bristol, Hide the Shark specialises in strategic brand development that gives companies ‘the killer edge’. Its team of brand engineers, digital designers and creatives are passionate about ‘building powerful brands and creating cutting edge campaigns for people to identify with, trust and love’.

Toby Farrow, owner of Hide the Shark, said: “During a recent equipment update we decided to donate, rather than sell, some of our excess studio kit.  When looking around for suitable candidates, Knowle West Media Centre ticked all of our boxes.  It’s innovative, welcoming to all, forward thinking and acts both as a social hub and also as a potential commercial gateway to other forward-thinking Bristol companies for the people of Knowle West and beyond.

“Now more than ever places like KWMC need our support.  It gives me great pleasure to think that this kit is going to be of use in helping to train up the next generation of Bristol photographers and that it will also be used to help document some of the incredibly creative work that is coming out of KWMC’s manufacturing space The Factory.”

Photography has a special place in KWMC’s history: the roots of our organisation can be traced back to a project run by our founder and director Carolyn Hassan in 1996, where Knowle West residents learned photographic techniques and renovated the local darkroom.

1st November 2002: Photography training with one of our first trainees

Hide the Shark’s donation will expand both the amount and the variety of photographic equipment available at KWMC – and will allow more people to use studio kit at any one time.

In the coming months we hope to offer more training sessions in studio photography, and make the equipment available to the makers and creatives who use the manufacturing facilities at our making space KWMC: The Factory, so they can take professional-quality photographs of their products.

If you have a business and would like to find out more about supporting KWMC please visit the Support page. You can also donate online via the link below.

‘It’s like we’ve been through wizard school’

– so said one of the makers on our Making It course, when asked about her experience.

On Thursday 26 July – the hottest day of 2019 so far – we held a special event at KWMC: The Factory to celebrate and showcase the work of the 11 makers who have been part of Making It since May 2019.

Over 50 people visited The Factory to meet the makers and discover how they’ve applied digital manufacturing technologies to a range of fields – from model making and construction to fashion and furniture.

Their work includes delicate laser-cut chocolate boxes, a chest of drawers made from nearly 150 pieces of wood, and an interactive book that incorporates lights, sensors and Augmented Reality.

Making It is part of Women into Digital Jobs, Education and Training (WIDJET) – a West of England Combined Authority project, funded by the Government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport.


Meet the Makers

Hannah created an interactive learning clock with a nautical theme: children can pull out the octopus’ arms as and learn how to tell the time.

“I was confident with computers at the start, but I’ve learnt so much more. I now have a good grounding to do more projects and I’ve worked out I can do self- led learning. I’ve spent a lot of time suppressing my creativity. But I learnt to explore my ideas and giving myself permission to do that.”


Ingrid explored how to use laser-cutting and CNC cutting for printmaking purposes. She took rubbings from the bed of the Factory’s CNC router to create a range of abstract designs.

“I have learnt that I’m actually more comfortable with the software than I thought I’d be. Seeing that I could laser-cut textiles, engrave on fabric and make the stamps opened up new avenues. I can now use the software as a tool to aid my work without losing the handmade edge.”


Steph drew on her experience of making installations for festivals and events to produce a large moving sculpture: visitors could watch a caterpillar eat its way through the apple as it rotates.

“It surprised me how accessible the software was to use – it was a simple introduction into something I can do at home. As a self-employed artist, this will open doors for future work.”



Charlotte used Sketchup software to design a camper-van conversion for a VW van, including a flatpack, flexible bed and storage system.

“I wanted to do the course to try and advance where I am professionally – I needed digital technologies to keep up in my industry. I am now already using what I’ve learnt in my freelance work – I can now take on work that I wasn’t able to before.”


Emily also used Sketchup and has created a large hexagonal light-box for designers and makers to use in their studios. It includes colour-changing lights and has an integrated cutting mat.

“This is what I’ve always wanted, but this course has made it more possible. I can now look at something and have a good understanding of how it was made.”


Alfie designed a chest of drawers using 2D design software – putting together 142 individual pieces of wood and hand-painting the drawers to create a truly unique piece.

“I didn’t realise I could accomplish something so big with such a small amount of experience. In a perfect world I would become a freelance illustrator/designer. In September, I’m going back to college to start my journey towards this.”



Nikki made a laptop-inspired chair using 2D and 3D design software and a range of techniques including vinyl cutting, heat pressing and CNC cutting.

“I wasn’t sure this was for me but I persevered and I’m glad I have. I’ve learnt that a lot of ideas I have I could actually put into practice. My biggest achievement has been regaining my confidence.”


Becky developed an interactive story book inspired by Norse mythology, which combines traditional craft skills and new technologies, including Augmented Reality (AR).

“I always thought things like Arduino would take years to learn and this was out of my reach. I’ve had these doors opened now and seen how everyone else is also still learning. Everyone on the course has been so encouraging and facilitating to make the project a reality.” 


Kathryn crafted a collection of custom gift boxes for her homemade natural chocolate business. She utilised a technique called a ‘living hinge’ to make circular 3D boxes using the laser-cutter and 2D design software.

“I want to carry on making designs and using these techniques for my products – both for the packaging and for stalls. I’m one step closer to making my business a reality and opened it up to a whole new market as well.”



Bella drew on a range of inspirations including Bristol graffiti, kitsch postcards and vintage fabrics to create a range of clothing and accessories that combine digital fabrication techniques with traditional fashion design.

“My biggest achievement has been translating paper designs into physical products using digital design and the kit here. I’ve learned to keep going with what I’m doing and be more confident about my work and what I can achieve.”


Anika designed an interactive puzzle and engraved fabric piece inspired by Ilish/Hilsa – the national fish of Bangladesh. Her project explores conservation and the effects of climate change in Bangladesh.

“I like to make things people can interact with – I like people to share an experience. I now know how to use 2D design software and how to utilise things like SketchUp for 3D design, which requires a different mindset to what I’m used to.”


Making It

Making It is part of the Women into Digital Jobs, Education and Training (WIDJET) project, which is led by the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) and aims to support women to find jobs in digital roles and address the under-representation of women in the digital sector.

The Making It group came to The Factory from all corners of Bristol: from Withywood, Ashton and Knowle West to Hanham, Easton and beyond. Over three months, the group learned a range of skills including how to use digital design software, follow a design process, and use digital manufacturing technologies and machinery such as laser cutters, digital embroidery machines and 3D printers.

These structured training sessions were followed by open access days where they put their new skills into practice as they designed and implemented a creative project of their choice.

The group also had the opportunity to take part in specialist workshops providing introductions to disciplines including Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality, coding and puppetry.

West of England Mayor Tim Bowles visited The Factory in June 2019 and returned to see what the group had produced at the showcase event.

He said: “It was great to see how our WIDJET project is supporting everyone on this course to improve their skills and improve their career prospects. One of my ambitions as Regional Mayor is to improve job opportunities for our residents. I’m also working hard to ensure that businesses in the West of England have a pool of talent to recruit from, particularly in key areas such as digital and tech.”

What’s next?

The Making It group will be able to access regular open access sessions at The Factory from September 2019. It’s been a privilege to join this group on their journeys and we can’t wait to see what they make next…

In September 2019 we’ll also be launching a new Membership Scheme for KWMC: The Factory. Beginning at just £5 a month, benefits will include access to our digital fabrication equipment, wood workshop and prototyping lab, and a programme of members’ events.

You can fill in this online form to be kept up to date with Membership at The Factory or call 0117 403 2306 to find out more about how you can join our rapidly expanding creative community.

Photography by Ibolya Feher.

Film training programme puts volunteers in the spotlight

In early 2019 the Our Digital City team were approached by Hartcliffe & Withywood Community Partnership (HWCP) and asked to help teach a group of local residents and community leaders how to shoot, edit and produce their own short film, showcasing the excellent volunteer work being done by local residents  and groups within their community.

Today’s consumer technology can empower almost anyone who can think creatively. You can use smartphones and tablets to write a bestselling book, record a number one song, capture a profound moment through photography, and even tell a story through film. They say that the best camera is the one you have with you…

The group decided that shooting the film with smartphones would be a great idea: as many people own smartphones, the group wouldn’t need to rely on high-end and expensive equipment, thus creating a sustainable model for future film projects. The Our Digital City team shared their skills and knowledge with the group, supporting them with the initial storyboarding, advising how to achieve their desired shots most effectively, and helping with filming techniques and editing processes.


From there, the group went out into their community and interviewed a range of volunteers and groups: by implementing the techniques they had learned with the Our Digital City team, the group felt confident enough to organise the shoots and film everything themselves.

When all of the footage had been filmed and collected, it was time to put the final piece together, so the ODC team taught some members of the group how to use Apple’s iMovie editing software in order to produce a finished film.

In order to make a film that was truly accessible for all viewers, Sam from the HWCP group (left) added subtitles to the whole film.

The project was a great success and the group finished with a completed film that showcased the great work that is being done by individuals and groups within the communities of Hartcliffe and Withywood.

Participant Sam Parker said:

“I really enjoyed the sessions with KWMC. I really enjoyed the editing of the films –  really simple and easy to understand but now I look like I really know what I’m doing!”

This project also demonstrates that by utilising the technology we carry in our pockets in a creative way, we can be empowered as a community to shine a light on those who work hard to make a difference in their area and enable them to tell their own stories.

The sessions were delivered as part of the Our Digital City project – please get in touch with Jess or call 0117 903 0444 if you would like to run something similar in your area.

Contact Us

Knowle West Media Centre
Leinster Avenue
Knowle West
+44 (0) 117 903 0444

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