A major documentary project called Britain In A Day is about to be filmed – by you. ‘Britain In A Day’ will be based upon Ridley Scott’s ‘Life In A Day’, which was created through people from around the world making video clips about their lives on one day in 2010.
On 12 November 2011 the BBC is inviting people from all corners of the country to film a clip about their life on that day. A unique channel on YouTube will be dedicated to the Britain In A Day Project. Everyone will be able to upload footage of something significant in their lives. This footage will then be used to create a time capsule of Britain as well as a feature-length documentary, which will be screened next year on BBC Two.
The Sheffield/Silent Cities connection
The BBC were conscious that not everyone has access to the technology to take part in this project, or have the confidence to try it. With this in mind, they set up an outreach programme, where they contacted organisations across Britain to help them target disadvantaged groups to take part in the project.
In Sheffield, the BBC contacted Justine Gaubert, the founder of Silent Cities, to be their Sheffield partner and help them deliver a film making workshop to help people who wouldn’t normally do that kind of thing prepare for the day.
We then contacted people who would not usually get the opportunity to get involved in such a project (people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, older people, young people, people with disabilities, people with mental health issues etc) to share a piece of their lives with the nation.
We also contacted volunteers from the University of Sheffield and Hallam to come and partner up with people who were less confident. We had five volunteers turn up on the day, who are also willing to help people out on the day – big thanks to them (and Diane Wright too!).
Justine explains: “We ran the workshop last week on Wed 19 October at Silent Cities offices in Neepsend. We had a great day where everyone learnt some tips about how to film and what the documentary people were looking for, and everyone left really excited about what they are going to film on 12 November.”
Some examples of what our participants said they might film include:
Robert (age 74) from supported accommodation in Sharrow ‘St Barnabas’ is going to film a day at St Barnabas, where one of their residents will be celebrating her 100th birthday. He’s also arranging for the bingo to take place on that day so he can film that.
Andrew, who has Cerebral Palsy is filming his day, which is going to include a rehearsal of his band ‘In the Boat’.
Shauna who is a worker at Roundabout is going to film her pyjama party and read some poetry about Sheffield with the hills of Sheffield behind her…
SOME TOP TIPS FOR FILMING
• They only want footage which is shot on 12 November 2011 – anything shot on other days won’t be accepted.
• Try and get a good mix of shots eg: Establishing shot – tells people where you are eg if we were filming now for example, I’d get a shot of the outside of the BBC building, Mid shot – which would give a bit more info, eg a longer shot of us in the studio and Close ups.
• Try to see things with new eyes – what you take for granted can often be very beautiful to someone else.
• Plan your day, but don’t script it, as it will sound false and not genuine.
• Film the best quality you can – if the sound is important to what you’re filming, then make sure you’re close up to the sound. Better still get an external microphone and get someone to come with you to help. Having said that, if you’ve only got a mobile phone – then use that!
• The material uploaded should be the best samples of your efforts, not an edited, polished film.
• Make sure you keep the original footage for six months. If your footage is successful on getting selected, the production team will contact you for the original footage.
Our message to Sheffieldiers
We want Sheffield’s contribution to this project to be a good one, especially from groups in society who don’t normally have a voice.
We want people to film things on that day that tell the world about Sheffield. If there’s lots of good contributions from Sheffieldiers, we’re thinking we might even make our own film – just about that day in the city.
For example, it would be great to capture some shots of the ‘I love you’ bridge on Park Hill, or someone pouring Hendos onto their meat n potatoe pie in the Riveria café at Castle Market. That kind of thing. Anything that says: ‘Britain’. Anything that says: “Sheffield’.
We want you to show your life, your family, your neighbourhood. Or maybe you have a personal issue you want to talk about? What makes you happy? What makes you proud? What you most fear…
If you know someone who would make an interesting subject – what not capture something about their day too?
Beg borrow, steal a camera for 12 November. If you’re planning on doing something exciting around that time – try and set it up so it happens on 12 November instead, and film it.
If you’re not confident filming, contact Silent Cities and we’ll try and find you a volunteer to come and help you on the day.
On the following Wednesday, Silent Cities have volunteered to have their office as a drop in centre from 10.00 – 3.00 to help people who are having any difficulties in uploading their films. You’re not on your own!
If you would like further information about Britain in a Day contact:
Justine Gaubert, Silent Cities: Silent Cities – 07967819183. firstname.lastname@example.org
Or check out: