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After speaking to our collaborator Geoff Senior from the NWFA, our film screening is now being advertised on their website. Please click on the link below.

Furthermore, the screening is also being promoted by word of mouth by all members of Events Group D. Moreover, posters that we’re made are also being placed around the actual archive and all over arts school to get a large audience.

To ensure that all people are going to fit, we are asking people to confirm if they are going to come. If needs be, there will be two screenings to accommodate the number of people who wishes to view the film.
Posted 1 Apr 2019 17:12
As mentioned in the previous blogs, the town hall was under threat of being demolished and replaced. To get a clearer picture, two undergraduates went to the central library accompanied by one master student. The students reviewed the book ‘Manchester and District Regional Planning and Proposals (1945) which contained local maps, and visualisations of how the town hall may have looked like if the plan was carried out. The book included transport maps routes for highways and trains.

Furthermore, it included breakdown of building types, future proposals for existing buildings. Flicking through the book, this gave us a knowledge and a clearer idea of how the streets, squares and building infrastructure would’ve worked as part of the city fabric. Therefore, in our film, recreating this feeling would be easier.

After reviewing existing films, some video clips did not come out as we wanted. Some we’re skewed or unlevel therefore an hour of the morning was spent recreating these shots. Meanwhile, the team who did not film in the morning, intensive research was done for the different events throughout the years in Manchester. Different news article we’re reviewed to see how the event influenced the population of the city.

Some of the illustrations done online we’re hand drawn by some of the undergraduates to ensure all the recreated events matches in drawing style.The preferred adobe premiere template styles we're also applied to our existing footage for the first time.
Posted 29 Mar 2019 15:31
To start off the day of film editing using Premiere, the storyboard was worked up. From intro, going through the timeline of how the Town Hall represented Manchester’s character. However, as we found out from Geoff Senior, this was not always the case.

In 1945, Manchester’s town hall was under threat to be demolished according to Manchester’s city plan. It was proposed to be replaced by an art deco town hall. However, it was not a popular opinion amongst the residents of Manchester. 15 years later, it was again proposed to be demolished to make way for a monorail. The council considered plans for a £21m, 16-mile monorail. This monorail would have been placed underneath the Town Hall. However, due to economic decline in the 1970’s this was never carried out.
The threat of the character disappearing by the demolition of the hall was then decided to a driving theme to our film narrative. The film takes you to an alternative reality of how Albert Square and the Town Hall may have looked like if it was demolished.

“Throughout the years, Manchester’s town hall held the character of the city. Offering an urban realm for public services ranging from parades to festivals. However, this was not always the case. Its had its fair share of battles”

Furthermore, the group also explored different film templates of how we may represent the timeline (see picture post). This was decided as a group and once settled, different scenes were allocated to each member.
• One member was in charge of the first 10 seconds introducing the town hall in all its glory.
• Two team members used their hand drawing skills to show visualisations of how Manchester may have looked like.
• End credits (20 seconds)
• Literature content writer

Overall, the exercise revealed what kind of shots are missing. Furthermore, the completed shots showed us that we are one missing key aspect, sound. This will be addressed in the next couple of day.
Posted 29 Mar 2019 12:31
Preparation for Film Editing: Tutorial
Sam Heitzman, technical officer for the Edit Suites was kind enough to give a two-hour tutorial for Adobe Premiere to the master students. Sam went through the do’s and don’ts such as the art of hourly back-up especially when working with big softwares.
The interface of the software was broken down into details by Sam such as the film tab and the working tab on Premiere. Sam went through how to put transition effects such as fade to the next scene, fade to black overlay etc. Sound overlays we’re also covered in the tutorial.
Tomorrow, the undergraduates will be getting their first introduction with Sam Heitzman! This time using the actual footage that was shot today!
Posted 26 Mar 2019 19:49
Commencing with the first day of film production:
The afternoon was spent filming the exterior façade of the town hall and the public squares around the perimeter. The film group (2 masters and 5 undergraduates) filmed together initially and the master students gave tips to the undergraduates of some ideas and concepts. The group then split into twos to cover more ground in shorter time.

There were three main challenges.
1. Recreating or extending existing footage – One of the main challenges was finding the same angle the shot was taken from. Other factors such as lighting and weather also played a key role in recreating an existing shot. However due to advancements of film editing software, adjusting lighting levels is now a more manageable task.
However, there are other obstacles that cannot be avoided. For example, a bus was stationary which blocked our view of the town hall from the preferred angle. Therefore, we had no choice but to get on with other tasks while we wait for the bus to move.

2. Moving shots and zoom – A shaky film can ruin a scene and make watchers feel uneasy. Another challenge we came across was ensuring that a moving shot does not look shaky. Additionally, the stability of a camera is more visible when zoomed in. Two solutions were to rest the camera on a tripod and if it was a walking shot, we found that bending your knees whilst walking helps stabilises the camera.

3. People as obstruction – Whilst most people act normally in front of a camera, some act shy or quickly get out of the camera’s extent of view. This may which look unnatural and decrease the quality of the film. One way to get around this is getting some team members to ask the public if they can wait.
Posted 26 Mar 2019 18:32
All successful films have come up with a storyboard before shooting or editing the film. Having split the group into two (film editing and how to use the film archive) the film team came up with a storyboard. The first half a minute was storyboard as follows

•Text Intro: A narrative- this may be a question (0-5secs)
“How does Manchester Town Hall, represent the city’s character throughout the years?”
•Graphical historical map of Manchester (6-10)
-Footsteps of going through the map
Transition – Fade to black (0.5 secs)
•Our own footage (11-15)
Walking to towards Manchester Townhall (Black and white to act as old footage) Point towards the clock
Transition – smooth to existing footage
•Existing footage (16-20secs) - Zoom of Clock Tower.
Edit fingers of tower going back to represent going back through time
•First public event - Manchester Civic Week (1926)

Although the storyboard did not hit the target of 3 minutes, this gave us a clearer idea of what research is needed in order for us to progress.
Posted 26 Mar 2019 16:41
Today is the first day of Town Hall on Screen!

The day was started by the master students giving a brief introduction of the session plan for the next two weeks. We swiftly followed this by showing the films we have copyright for, all relevant information such as the year date, blurb of the film was explored to see how this can be implemented into our film.

The initial challenge we set ourselves was a brainstorming exercise. The aim of this exercise was to get us all communicating as a group but to start bouncing ideas off of each other in order to establish the prominent themes for our events film. The following list are the themes we came up with:

• Religious Symbols inside and outside of Manchester Town Hall
• Other referenced symbols as architectural motifs (Cotton mills, Manchester bees etc)
• Existing footage of the clock tower can be used a transition point of turning back time.
• Townhall as a static landmark parallel to the city fabric developing and growing
• Albert square as an urban realm holding events such as the Christmas market.
• Different architectural styles and how it adapts over the years (Gothic)
• Regeneration and refurbishment of the building as an improvement of access.
• Social agency, platform, gatherings, statement
At the end of this exercise we noted as a group that we would not be able to incorporate all of these themes in our film. Therefore, collectively we settled on some key areas on which to focus. These were: social agency & gathering and how the Townhall acts as a static landmark parallel to how the city’s fabric develops and grows.

In addition to this we noted that some of the films we collected from the archive do not contain any sound. Therefore, we also came up with a few solutions on how to handle this problem.

• Voiceover
• Time-lapse of music then. To be overlaid to the date then and now.
• Radio shows broadcasted at that relevant time of the film. This can be voiced over by one of the Event members.
These were then narrowed down into two themes that may relate to each other in order to get a narrative.
• Town hall and Urban realm acting a social agency, platform gatherings over the years
• However, townhall stays as a static landmark that stays although the city fabric is developing and growing.

Overall these discussions were extremely successful and key to the how we would approach the film making process. Additionally, this was a great exercise for breaking down barriers and getting everyone talking! The afternoon session followed which we will detail in our next post.
Posted 25 Mar 2019 15:48
To get consent for the films, Geoff Senior kindly gathered all necessary information such as Film producers and their details. Further to this, after phone calls we’re made to explain all necessary details to the project. All consent had to in written form to be used as evidence.

We can confirm that we have received to consent existing films that captures Manchester Town Hall.
Themes and different storylines will be the next step into collating all of these films together along with our new footage to be filmed soon.
Group Events D have now secured a `total of 8 films to work with for the project.
The list of films is as listed:
Opening of Manchester civic week
Manchester coronation decorations 1953,
Metro news
Northwest renaissance
Manchester millennium
1000 lb. per square inch guaranteed
Democracy day march
Manchester city returns to Manchester with cup winners' 1970 cup trophy
Posted 14 Mar 2019 22:19
Having secured a screening room, LB02 in the Corner House, we reviewed the place to familiarise ourselves with the room. All the controls such as volume, screen brightness adjustment etc were noted. Overall, it gave us an image of the potential screening day.
Posted 26 Feb 2019 13:49
North West Film Archive (NWFA) offers special access for Manchester Metropolitan Students, however this often goes unrecognised. One of our aims is to produce a series of promotion blog to promote usage of the NWFA.

This poster contains a short summary of what kind of work and collections the archive contains. For further information, please click on the link below.
Posted 11 Feb 2019 21:24
We have now booked The Cornerhouse to be the cinema theatre to show our film. The lecture theatre holds 56 seats. All who wish to view the film must bring their MMU card with them.

Location: OX LB.02
70 Oxford Street, Oxford St, Manchester M1 5NH
Posted 4 Feb 2019 21:07
This week we were lucky enough to have Geoff Senior from the NWFA join us and give us an introduction on the archives history and how to use their extensive collection of films. The introduction consisted of us learning about the history and use of film, the organisation and the different users of the archive.

The main users of the archive can be divided into three different categories; higher education, public and commercial. After the presentation, it was concluded that the less dominant user is the higher education group. Through the use of the blog, we aim to promote the archive's readily available resources to us as architecture students in hope of increasing the amount of students that use this exceptional resource.
Posted 27 Jan 2019 21:33