Wetlands Crowdfunder Donations to SIFA Fireside

Thanks to your generous donations to our Wetlands crowdfunding campaign we have been able to give SIFA Fireside some much-needed items. Today we delivered sleeping bags, hats, socks and boxers, along with a bag full of food and groceries.

We are now well into the rehearsal of the Wetlands series and the reaction from the group has been overwhelming. Everyone is excited about the project and we are documenting our progress – so maybe we can give you all a peek behind the scenes soon.

Thank you all again for your support.


Creative Connections Showcase

Reel Access worked with three Birmingham primary schools as part of the Creative Connections programme. The children, aged 4–10, made their own artwork looking at the themes of heritage and identity at school and responding to their visits to Ikon gallery’s exhibitions by Vanley Burke, Fiona Banner, Dinh Q. Lê and Janet Mendelsohn.

The work produced included a sculpture, calendars, postcards, maps and a series of short films.

A weekend showcase of the children’s artwork, curated and promoted by young ambassadors from each school took place at Ikon.

The project was organised by Ikon in collaboration with Arts Connect.

Happy New Year from Reel Access

Raising Aspirations Through Sound and Vision
Raising Aspirations Through Sound and Vision

At the new Reel Access Studios we are jumping straight back into lots of exciting projects and ready to lose our Christmas bellies. Thanks to all the people we worked with last year for making our work enjoyable and satisfying.

Let’s take a look at some of the projects coming up in 2015:

We will be working with Into Film to challenge young people to make a film in just six weeks. See It Make It will be challenging, but I have a feeling that the young filmmakers of Birmingham will succeed!

Following the success of making our film ‘Life and Love in Ten Songs’ with people who have experienced homelessness, we are in the beginning stages of making another film ‘Wetlands’, which is definitely going to be one to watch out for this year.

We are also helping the children of Audley Primary school to make a very creative film about attendance.

We are still running our Young Filmmakers Club at mac on a Wednesday during term time, call us on 0121 5723030 if you you know of anyone who is interested. Check out our youtube channel for some of the films made by the YFC, including an award nominated short, ‘Problems’.

There’s plenty more going on at Reel Access, don’t forget to check out our Facebook page for more information.

We hope to have a fulfilling year helping people find their creative voices, and we wish all of you a very happy new year.

Life and Love in 10 Songs Trailer

In September we screened ‘Life and Love in 10 Songs’. The film was a huge success and we had lots of positive feedback not only from the participants who acted and helped us make the film but also from members of the general public. We are planning great things with the film and it will be shown nationally next year. For now though here is the trailer, enjoy.


Twilight Of The Freakin Gods
Last weekend saw the screening of our feature length film ‘TwilightOfTheFreakinGods’. It was a film based on a surreal theatre production by Stan’s Cafe, which was based on Wagner’s Ring Cycle. Languidly drifting through surreal visuals and hypnotic sounds, TOTFG was a truly unique experience.

Super 74’s – A Voice 21 Film

In August this year we worked with a group of  young people from Sandwell’s Voice 21 editorial group to create a film, using archive, digital and newly filmed Super 8 footage, that gives an insight into life growing up on the Friar Park estate in Wednesbury during the 1970s.

Over the course of 5 sessions, using Wednesbury Museum and Art Gallery as a base, the young people designed and shot a story involving the discovery of a time capsule which leads to reminiscences from local residents. These interviews take in stories from those residents who were teenagers during the 1970s as well as young peoples views about the estate now, in 2014. The film received its premiere in front of an invited audience at the end of September at the museum and art gallery where the group presented a new time capsule to the museum containing objects representing life today.

The film will go on to be part of a 1970s exhibition at the museum and art gallery in the coming months. If you are unable to visit the museum and art gallery you can watch the film below.

The project was commissioned by Black Country Museums Partnership in conjunction with Sandwell Museum Service and was managed by Liam Smyth and Tiffany Gee. Rich Franks of Blue and White Creative was the project consultant, setting up the premiere screening and created the Super 74’s branding. The archive footage used in the film has been kindly donated by the Jubilee Arts Archive.

Ignite: The Planet In Our Hands

In February 2014 Reel Access had the opportunity to work with Thinktank’s Young People’s Forum, Ignite, and interview Professor Sir Mark Walport and Professor Alice Roberts to make a film about climate change.

We began by giving Ignite a crash course in filmmaking. None of them had ever made a film before so we started by going through what pre-visual information a film maker might need. They learnt about shot selection and how filmmakers use various shots to focus on character. They then moved on to thinking about their own film and how to shoot the main component, the interview itself. We got them thinking about how to shoot the two Professors and what questions they might ask. We also got them to explore the Thinktank looking for locations for filming and to consider how suitable they would be. We finished our first session by having a look at the cameras were going to use and practicing setting up for the interview.

In our second session we got the group to film the shots that will surround their interview. They were quite amazed at the amount of material that needs to be shot even to create their short film. Part of the group captured the shots that establish the location and were to be used as cut aways. A second group interviewed other young people about climate change and the role they play in it.

In our final session at Thinktank we finally met Professor Alice Roberts and Professor Sir Mark Walport to film the climate change interview. The group started by filming some of cut aways with Mark and Alice walking around the museum and exploring some of the exhibits. They then filmed the interview itself, asking Mark and Alice a range of questions ranging from the affects of the recent floods to the role of young people in tackling climate change. They finished up by filming the questions again, this time with the Ignite group being filmed asking a question each. These would later be edited in to look like a full interview. We then took all this footage away and added graphics and music to bring the whole film to completion.

Ignite are a group of young people aged 16-24 who volunteer for the museum. To learn more about the project head to the Thinktank blog –

Handsworth – The Comic!

Handworth resident and renowned cartoonist Hunt Emerson has formed HANDSWORTH CREATIVE CiC and is looking for your help.

HANDSWORTH CREATIVE CiC is looking to create Handsworth – The Comic! – the history of Handsworth in comic book format, featuring stories from the Neolithic to Now! The project is in its first phase and Hunt and his team are looking for people to get involved in a series of FREE workshops where people can get involved in telling stories about their lives in Handsworth, designing characters and learn about the local history of where you live.


So why not apply and find out more.

The workshops are due to begin in March and continue through July 2014 For workshop bookings simply email or phone Surjit at: and 0777 904 6529.

For any further details about HANDSWORTH CREATIVE CiC contact Hunt Emerson at: hunt@handsworthcreative and 07852 632676.

For general information about Hunt Emerson fans should visit his own website at: