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The making of People and Places

This movie was the winner of 2003 CEMRIAC Inter-clubs Competition. David Newman interviewed its maker, Chris Bradley of Community Arts Workshop in Leamington Spa, about his work...

Community Arts Workshop is a non-profit making organisation that offers people opportunities to develop their skills in areas such as graphic design, film and radio. ‘People and Places’ is a portrait of the southern side of Leamington, an area culturally rich, with Hindu, Sikh, Polish and Portuguese communities, but not without its problems.

The film received no direct financial support. However, Chris managed to secure benefit in kind from a number of sources: for example, a discount off camera equipment in exchange for a mention of the supplier in the film’s credits.

Chris showed considerable ambition in his presentation style. Interviews with local characters were filmed, together with complementary shots of the local environment, often with very dynamic camerawork. Two 4500 lumen video projectors were then used to project the images simultaneously onto a pair of tenfoot square screens during weekend presentations of the finished film. What a magnificent sight it must have been!

“The film really resonated with people who had lived there for years”, said Chris. “Large numbers of the community were brought together under one roof.” The popularity was such that tapes had to be produced with the two images edited onto a single frame, which is of course how the film was shown at the Inter-clubs Competition. One recipient was Coventry University, who requested the film for use in courses training people for community work.

Chris said that it was a fantastic experience making the film because he came across such a wide range of characters. “I was able to go into people’s homes to interview – quite different to being interviewed in the street or by the Council.”

Finally I asked Chris if the film had produced any long-term benefits. Maybe it had. There was a scene with a man outside a medical centre left unfinished by developers. Now, it has been turned into a fantastic resource for the community. Apparently, local councillors requested private screenings of the film, so it has certainly raised awareness of local issues.

- David Newman    Mar 04

Reproduced here with permission from CEMRIAC magazine Mar-Aprl 2004.

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Page updated on 09 October 2011
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