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As Events is coming to an end, our group worked towards finalising the film. Brushing up on minor errors to ensure it is of high quality. We started off the day by reviewing the final film and making notes of a few improvements we could make to the texts, sound effects, video transitions & etc. Together we worked hard as a team to make these minor changes as time was running low. Sound in particular was adjusted as there were moments were the volume of the footage would appear to get dramatically louder. This was a simple fix and adjusting the sound bar allowed us to fix this issue.

The leaflet team were working on the final output by putting sheets together and adding final touches to the booklet. The booklet had been sent to Geoff Senior for comments and these had to be incorporated in the final booklet, before review tomorrow. It was at this point where we ensured the booklet was referenced properly where appropriate and added the acknowledgements.

The final touches were completed and we’re ready for the premiere of Town Hall: On Screen and the release of the instructional guide tomorrow!
Posted 6 Apr 2019 22:02
Tuesday - 2nd April
Today both teams met in Stopford building in the morning to finish the last parts of the film editing and how the information about the event will be spread to other people around Manchester.

The film editing team is about to complete their work, after retro transition video was made and all footage and images were assembled into a short movie. New impressive sound effects were added, as well.

The booklet team was working on some final details on how to use the North West Film Archive (NWFA) website.
The next step was printing out draft copies for which the format, resolution and scale of the text and the images were carefully taken into consideration. Therefore, the team could get a sense if there was any difference between the way copies and onscreen information looked.
Copies of the latest poster for the Film screening on Friday were printed out and discussed where to be pinned up.
Posted 3 Apr 2019 12:59
It’s the beginning of Week 2! In the morning, we had a quick progress meeting where it was established that teams needed to be mixed around in order for the film to be completed by our deadline. We collectively agreed that the instructional leaflet was progressing well ahead of schedule so members were able to move across to the film team.
The guide team’s activities included finalizing the pages about the NWFA Consent & how to find the location of both Central Library and North West Film Archive (NWFA) as well as collating all pages into the final booklet. The film team were working towards finalizing the intro and outro, whilst experimenting with transitions/ filters. During this time members of the team were also on the search for sound effects that could be added to the film in the final stages. The credits of the film were finalized alongside the blooper real. Content for the film was also being collated in the form of analysis, with maps depicting how the town hall and the surrounding area has evolved over the years. The overall timeline for the film was also finalized, organizing the films and events chronologically. The aim of the following day is to finalize the instructional guide, to be sent to Geoff Senior for comments. The aim for the film team is to import every piece of footage and images minus transitions.
Posted 2 Apr 2019 12:56
This morning we were lucky enough to have Sam Heitzman from the Digital Media Hub give a tutorial to all on adobe premiere pro. Before events began the master’s students decided to use this video editing program to create our film due to the program being available on both mac and PC. This decision was also made because the majority of architecture students are familiar with a variety of adobe suite programs and the layout and functions tends not to differ much between programs, making learning easier.
Sam Heitzman began the presentation by running us through what video actually is and the different types of computer storage devices, including external drives and USB sticks. Sam pointed out the importance of USB as simply a device to transfer information from PC to PC but never a device to work from. This was important our collaborative working but also a helpful tip for all students and how they should handle all their files.
After running through the previous information Sam opened up adobe premiere pro on the presentation screen and ran us through the basic functions of the program and its interface. These basics included how to import and export film footage. The export information was particularly crucial to us as a group as we will be working on different sections of the film on individual laptops and then collating footage into one final film. Therefore, it is important everyone’s export setting match. Sam advised us to use the H.264 setting for export as it creates a high quality video that is good for both online and screen viewing. What’s more it is important to check both the export video and export audio boxes are checked when exporting to avoid creating a silent film.
Sam also helped us identify the difference in formats between the archive footage and the camera and iphone footage we have shot. All archive footage is 1080p as well as our camera footage however while most iphone footage is h.264 with 30 frames per second. This is important as it means when we import footage into premiere pro they will differ in image size and frames per second. Although this is an issue we learnt how this can be rectified. We learnt that by playing with scale we can either reduce the size of the 1080p image to match the iphone footage or vice versa. Sam recommended that we shrink the 1080p footage down to avoid pixelating the iphone footage when scaled up.
This was an extremely informative session that enabled us to gain some of the basic skills required to create our final events film. Sam in particular was extremely knowledgeable and a great teacher. This session also helped raise student’s awareness of the digital media bar as a great resource to students. The digital media bar is located on the first floor of the Chatham Building and open Monday to Friday for students use. More information is available in the link.
Overall the film editing skills they learnt will not only be useful for the final events film but for the second year student’s submission of their humanities film at the end of April. We look forward to finalising our story board tomorrow and testing out the new skills we learnt today!
Posted 27 Mar 2019 13:08
This morning we had the pleasure of hosting our collaborator for a presentation held to teach the first and second year students about the North West Film Archive and how it’s an amazing resource for students. Master’s students took lead of the presentation with Geoff being there for support and filling in students on the more detailed elements of the archive. By the presentation being led by the master’s students it was a great way for Geoff to gage how much the master’s students had learnt and absorbed from the previous presentation he held earlier in the year. The presentation included a brief history of and information on the archives relocation to Charlton Street’s old cotton mills to its new location at Manchester Central Library.
What’s more students learn about the restoration process of film and the process the archive goes through when it first receives new footage to be added to the collection. When new footage arrived to be added to the collection it is not as simple as you might think. Before a film can even be watched all the sprocket holes are examined for tears and splices. If any damage is found this is repaired before the film is watched otherwise this risks causing further damage to the film and furthermore runs the risk of losing the original film entirely.
In addition to the restoration process students were run extensively through the steps of using the archive and the process of requesting footage. One of our outcomes is to produce an instructional guide for students and the wider public on this process, so look forward to us posting more information about this in the near future. During this conversation it was made clear to us the huge benefit we have as MMU students having this resource readily available.
Furthermore, Geoff kindly ran us through the different types of film and how the size of each film, 8mm, 35mm etc. has an impact on the quality of the footage. In essence the large the film the better the quality of the image.
At the end of the presentation we explained to Geoff the brainstorming exercise we undertook yesterday in order to finalise the themes for our final film. It was at this point where Geoff imparted his knowledge of the 1945 Manchester city plan and how the Manchester Town Hall was once under threat of demolition under this plan. This was key. Throughout our theme we wished to demonstrate how the Town Hall has always remained strong and unchanged despite social, political change and the city’s change in urban fabric. However, by Geoff imparting this knowledge we learnt that although this may be the case, this did not mean the Town Hall over the years had not come under threat. Under this plan the Town Hall was to be scrapped in favour of a new brutalist style building. Within our film we now wish to note this and examine the possible implications if this bold architectural move had taken place.
After this the floor was opened up to questions where we asked specific questions about the archive but also questions that would help us shape our final events film and the instructional guide. Through these questions we learnt the colour scheme we should adopt for the instructional leaflet as well as the format it should take. These answers were crucial to our final outcome.
The presentation and the Q&A session took up the morning session and our next step as an entire group was to reconvene after lunch at the Manchester Central library where we would undertake the afternoon session. Read about this in our next blog post.
Posted 26 Mar 2019 17:14
Our research experience. As part of our research it was essential we visited the archive to determine what archive footage we would be incorporating into our final events film. In order to review this footage, we first had to comb through the North West Film Archive online database using the term ‘townhall’. The North West Film Archive holds hundreds of films therefore it was essential we filtered down our search so we just reviewed the relevant films. Once we had established a list of films we wanted to review we emailed across this list to our collaborator Geoff Senior. Not all films are held by the archive in digital form some films still remain as DVD’s. Therefore, not all of the films we requested to see were viewable from the ‘pods’ that sit in the open area of the central library. In order to see the physical DVD’s we had to be taken to a more secure room towards the back of the library. Before you could even enter the room we had to go to a staff member and collect a key for a locker where we had to store all bags, coats etc. Bags were not allowed in this room. Once all packed away in our lockers we were led into the room where Geoff ran us through how to view the films. To not disturb others using the archive room all DVD’s were to be viewed using headphones. As an entire group we then spent the afternoon reviewing the archive footage. Once this was complete we gave our Geoff a list of the films we wished to be included in our events film. Following on our next task was to attain permission from the copyright owners for each film we wished to edit as part of our final events film.
Posted 14 Mar 2019 10:37
Above you can read our schedule for the two weeks of our event, Town Hall: On Screen. Working as a collective and at times two teams our aim at the end of the two weeks is to produce a 3 minute timeline film depicting the Manchester town hall throughout history and the modern day. In addition to this we will be producing a ‘How to Use’ guide of the North West Film Archive as a resource for both future and current students.

During the two weeks students will have the opportunity to learn about the benefits of the NWFA and its role as an incredible resource to students. Students will also have the chance to learn software skills that can be carried forward into their own future projects. What’s more Students will have the amazing opportunity to release the ‘How to Use’ guide to the blog, open for the world to see, experience and enjoy and together students will have the rare opportunity to showcase the film they have created on the big screen at the Cornerhouse Cinema. We’re excited to start our event and can’t wait to get started!
Posted 25 Feb 2019 13:59
Last week we put the skills we had learnt from our presentation of the NWFA to the test.

Before even entering the physical archive we searched through the NWFA’s extensive online database looking for titles which identified footage of the Manchester Town Hall. Once we had collated a list together of films we sent this across to Geoff Senior at the NWFA and a few days later we all visited the NWFA for a research trip. Before our event begins in March it is vital that we have together a collection of films, with all the necessary copyright permissions in place. It can take up to 8 weeks for the copy right permissions to be granted therefore our visit to the archive was essential for the success of our event. Make sure to read our coming posts to find out which titles we selected to be used in our events film!
Posted 11 Feb 2019 13:43
Meet our team members!
We're the MSA master's students working together to co-ordinate Town Hall On Screen.
Posted 31 Jan 2019 22:12