BBC Blast Truck in Bristol 2nd and 3rd of August

bristol.jpgThe BBC Blast Truck headed down the M32 Motorway to join Hal MacLean for an exciting two days of film and dance.
Hal represented Ultralab as the lead facilitator at this location. Matthew Eaves, Hamish Scott-Brown and Hal MacLean are on a rotation system throughout the tour, doubling up at some locations to support each other at some of the larger events.
Hal was pleased to work with Gail Taylor, who worked herself on an Ultralab project back in 2002 called ‘The Online Soap’. Hal also spent time working with friend of Ultralab Samantha Beddoes who filmed Hal and myself back in 2004 for BBC Blast’s November TV show, Sam now works for BBC Newsround and worked closely with Hal on Final Cut Pro, Apple’s film editing software.

BBC Blast Truck in Norwich 26th and 27th of July

Riding the crest of a BBC Blast wave, the truck rolled in to Norwich right outside the Forum. There wasn’t enough room to put up the awning, but we had a marquee instead for the dance workshops and music. The main event for me was to work with ‘DJ Swift’ to create a pop video, working with a team of young people who have never handled a video camera before, let alone thought about how a music video is put together!
We had brilliant support from Julian Langham, who normally edits things like Blue Peter – he was a star! Julian gave his time and energy all day long for three days to make sure this project took off.
Also on the team was Louise who presents on Look East… between us we had enough folk to go out into the centre of town and start filming.
There was a lot of local interest in the work, but we spent a lot of time on the top floor of the multi-storey car park… this caused enough of a problem for someone to complain – thinking a bunch of youngsters were up to no good (It’s been a while since I was referred to as a youngster… thanks, whoever you were!). We trekked through the town and into the castle grounds, filming different sections in different places. The best was an underpass, in my opinion, but only because it really seemed to fit the urban landscape of the song.
Using simple reflectors, daylight (boy it was warm) and Sony z1 cameras, we spent two days out filming, plus another editing (well… Julian did). Between locations and shoots we visited the editing suite in BBC Look East, passing by Dr Who’s Tardis and a few Daleks as we went.
In fact, it’s worth mentioning that one spectacular workshop was a radio show where Dr Who landed in the middle of Ambridge, amongst ‘The Archer’s’… very funny, and very topical for the location!
The first night saw the truck crew happily tucking in to a Pizza Express pizza in the forum restaurant when a lightning storm took hold… followed by torrential rain. We found a quick way downstairs out in to the storm, because the site was flooded with two inches of water or more in seconds flat – we really had to shift the equipment off the floor pretty fast! Needless to say we were soaked, so a quick change of crew t-shirts was in order before we could go back to our meal.
This was an outstanding location for BBC Blast and full of fun and excitement. The results for the filming are superb, and there are some fantastic products that have been created.
Tom Baker's TardisThe event lasted for two days and was well received by the younger community.

BBC Blast Truck in Liverpool 9th, 10th and 11th of June 2006

I have been working on the BBC Blast Truck at its first location ever at Liverpool’s Mann Island. Ultralab are working on board the BBC Blast Truck to provide a facilitation roll, while running creativity workshops for young people.

These past few days on the BBC truck have been amazing. I’m really proud to have been a part of the very first location for BBC Blast on Tour, this project is so important to those it reaches.
I’ve worked with some of the finest users of technology for creative purpose in the UK. In a nutshell, anyone who’s anyone in Digital Creativity local to the truck stops… is being asked to run workshops with local young people….in DJing, VJing, Filming, Dance, Animation, Hip Hop, MCing, Poetry, Creative Writing and loads loads more…. We’ve even had the head make-up artist at Mersey TV’s Hollyoaks programme making up the faces of our young people.
I’ve seen young people writing and singing songs from scratch in just two hours, to a live audience……oh and by the way, they could not hum a note prior to the workshop….

I watched in awe as our Shirley Pickford and Levi Tafari ran an urban poet class in Liverpool …. as young people, who started out shy stood up and read out their creative writing poems with passion and pride to an audience….
I saw tears in a mum’s eye as she proudly watched her daughter excitedly demonstrate her animation to her…
One young lad even ran into town to get some scissors to cut up some card to improve his animation…
Liverpool, an awesome place with an awesome team.
Some images from the event:

Tobermory becomes last Lifeboat Station filming location for Lifeboats.TV

17th to the 20th of March 2002.
Tobermory, the last and most ‘eventful’ of Ultralab’s visits to lifeboats stations for the project. Missing a plane, hitting a deer, arriving four hours late, and finally staying in a haunted hotel with two RNLI representatives that were scared of ghosts, what could possibly happen next?
While interviewing on the Tobermory lifeboat a real life shout came in and the Ultralab team joined the lifeboat crew at sea to record this chance in a lifetime event. We’d like to thank the Tobermory crew for all you did, we’ll never forget our days on Mull.
For the Ultralab team Tobermory helped us to understand what it really was like to be a crew member, I remember standing on the back of a lifeboat looking in the the sea, in the dark, in a storm thinking “Matt, please don’t miss seeing someone needing help in the water”….. I remember my heart beating fast.
All the research conducted so far on this project has been done in conjunction with young people, exploring how creative use of technology could be used to enhance their learning, bringing the RNLI bang up to date with its uses of technology at the same time.
Watch a male crew member being asked if he has ever been scared on a shout by our Hamish.
Matthew Eaves (Ultralab)
Colin Elsey (Ultralab)
Alex Blanc (Ultralab)
Micky Slatford (RNLI)
Aileen Thomas (RNLI)
Some images from the event:

Southend Lifeboat Station becomes 5th venue for Lifeboats.TV

On the 6th and 7th of March 2002 the Ultralab digital creativity team were based on the Southend Pier for the Lifeboats.TV project.
All the research conducted so far on this project has been done in conjunction with young people, exploring how creative use of technology could be used to enhance their learning, bringing the RNLI bang up to date with its uses of technology at the same time.
Southend Lifeboat Station became the fifth location for the Lifeboats.TV crew. The lifeboat station is based at the end of a pier and Matthew Eaves and Richard Millwood commented as they walked the mile pier journey that this was their strangest journey to work.
The crew were excellent and lots of footage was captured at this location, all in aid of the RNLI’s new Lifeboats.TV site, a way for the RNLI to reach its young audience using creative technologies.
Watch crew member Lance explain why the lifeboat station is based at the end of a pier..
Matthew Eaves (Ultralab)
Colin Elsey (Ultralab)
Richard Millwood (Ultralab)
Micky Slatford (RNLI)
Peter Bradley (RNLI)
View the pictures taken at the Southend Lifeboat Station.
Some images from the event: