Roll out the red carpet, TAPE turns 9!

On June 17th TAPE Community Music and Film turned 9 years old. TAPE is a truly inclusive community arts charity which provides spaces, support and equipment through which anyone can explore their creative ideas, whatever they may be. Over the past 9 years, TAPE has;

  • Engaged and supported over 20,000 people
  • Delivered workshops, projects, events and festivals for people throughout Wales
  • Provided outreach projects and workshops in communities across North, South and Mid-Wales.
  • Created over 100 full, part-time and freelance jobs for local creative people
  • Partnered with in excess of 200 different organisations, businesses, chartities and services
  • Successfully managed over £1.5 million of funding
  • Supported thousands of hours of progressive volunteering for young people and adults across Welsh communities
  • Supported people with housing, employment, advocacy, health and wellbeing issues, through relationships built upon positive, creative foundations
  • Played a key part in developing and demonstrating best practice around inclusion, social enterprise and person-led support through our ethos and delivery

TAPE is a growing charity which is affecting real change for those taking part. You can support our work by donating via Localgiving;

www.localgiving.org/appeal/happybirthdayTAPE

Donating during our birthday appeal will also allow us to access additional funding as Localgiving will be matching donations up to the value of £25

Our birthday appeal will provide support to individuals through TAPE’S Ignite Scheme, which has so far provided one-to-one creative support for over 100 young people and adults across Conwy, Denbighshire, Gwynedd and Flintshire.

For more information and a copy of TAPE’S birthday report, please contact info@tapemusicandfilm.co.uk

 

Fuel for Creativity / Tanwydd ar gyfer Creadigrwydd

Are you unemployed, under 25 and live in Conwy or Denbighshire? If so then you are eligable for TAPE’S Fuel for Creativity project.

We offer free support for

  • Gaining qualifications
  • Building skills and confidence
  • Enhancing education about film, music and other creative activities.We also offer opportunities to gain qualifications in Welsh Language, Creative Media First Aid & Food Hygiene

To get involved simply call us on 01492 512109 or email isobel@tapemusicandfilm.co.uk

 


PROSIECT CYNHWYSIANT GWEITHREDOL

HIR DYMOR DDI WAITH?, NEETS? ECONOMAIDD INACTIF?

16 – 24 OED


Os hoffech gael cymorth gyda:

  • Cymhwysterau
  • Gwirfoddoli
  • Dod o hyd I Gyflogaeth

Cyfle I enill Cymhwysterau mewn: Iaith Gymraeg, Cyfryngau Creadigol, Cymorth Cyntaf, Hylendid Bwyd

 

Am fwy o fanylion Cysylltwch gyda 01492 512109 neu e-bost isobel@tapemusicandfilm.co.uk

Rhyl Reflections; A testimonial from Stuey Jones

IMG_7601

Stuey Jones is a regular participant on our local history project Rhyl Reflections. Stuey has been kind enough to share some words about his time and experience working towards a film that documents Rhyl in its heyday.

I first heard the words “Rhyl Reflections”  from my good friend, David Hughes.
I was told about a Rhyl History project going on at community first on Marsh Road, here in Rhyl, every Thursday. I had worked with David before on a different filming project and my Rhyl local history proved invaluable, especially because of my Aspergers. I can remember, places, dates when things were built and the locality of local landmarks and buildings.

I’ve been working with TAPE for some time now and it has been very enjoyable in applying my knowledge about Old Rhyl. I think that my vast collection of postcard, book, brochures and flyers have really helped bring Rhyl Reflections to life.

Prior to joining, filming had already begun. In November 2015 I had the chance to watch the film with David Hughes and with interviews with local people.
I thought to myself; “I could really help out here”.
At the end of the film David introduced me to Neil Dunsire, the man involved in the ‘TAPE’ project and from there I learned more about the film.

The first Thursday that I arrived, I was nervous! But after settling in I felt I belonged with these people. I’ve made friends with people I’d never met before and from there we have been a great team.
Since, I have worked with many people thanks to Rhyl Reflections and have enjoyed my own research. I have worked on site at Communities First and off site filming in various locations and learning how interviews are filmed. I learned about working with different camera angles, and gained behind the camera experience to see first hand how a documentary comes to life.

It’s been an amazing experience and great to work with different people from different backgrounds. One thing that I have found is that we all have something different in common: we have all had experience is making our own home movies, comedy’s and plays. 
Our love of filmmaking has brought us all together and I think it’s fair to say each and every one of us have learned something from our experience here at Rhyl Reflections and have taken this experience and used it in our own filmmaking skills.

It’s been a journey here at Rhyl Reflections. Looking back at the special film showing event evening we had this year, I did a personal display of all my Rhyl memorabilia, books, postcard showing, Rhyl Brochures, past flyers, pictures of a long gone documented moments in time and not forgetting old Newspapers with a Rhyl Mummy murder mystery!

It’s been great working with Neil and Andy, Lisa, and everyone else. We have had a laugh here at Communities First involved with Tape and it’s been worth every minute, an enjoyable group get together to discuss ideas and even poem writing which I never knew I had in me!

Thank you to Communites First and Tape for inviting me along. I’ve personally enjoyed every minute of it. Thanks Guys ?

Stuey Jones
stuey447@aol.com

Dear TAPE; A letter from Kallum Weyman

Kallum

Kallum came to TAPE as part of the initial taster sessions which led to the establishing of the Backstage Youth Club. He has been involved in so much since then and it seemed like a nice idea to ask him to share a few of his thoughts about his time at TAPE for our blog. It is a heartfelt piece and we are very grateful to Kallum for all his hard work and his kind words. As Kalllum heads off to uni in September, we are delighted to say that he has accepted our invitation to be a co-opted trustee of TAPE and hope that, following his studies, he will move to become a full and active board member.

Kallum’s journey is mirrored by the stories of a great many people who’ve come to TAPE and is a really nice example of how a person’s experience here can develop and grow beyond their initial reason for coming along and how impactful such experiences can be.

Dear TAPE Community Music and Film

On reaching my 18th birthday I wanted to write this letter as a thank you for all my time here so far. I have been coming to TAPE since I was 12 after my teaching assistant gave me a leaflet for a taster session here at time with Afasic Cymru.

From that a youth group was started which became the Backstage Youth Club. Every Thursday I would come here and explore my creativity in a safe friendly environment. One of are early projects was a music video that I will still hide to this day for being so embarrassing. TAPE was away to escape from school and home for about 2 hours each week. With out it I might not be the man I am today. Through Backstage and TAPE I learned communication and life skills that have seen me to where I am today.

I must thank TAPE for taking a huge chance with me when I asked for work experience at TAPE, something that TAPE didn’t do. But Steve let me and on that week I learned a little about how TAPE works. Since then I returned to do a week of volunteer work after doing my GSCE exams and know volunteer on Fridays after finishing my A Levels. Helping prepare for the Coastline Film Festival and testing the new VR system and exploring what can and could be done with it.

Speaking of The Coastline Film Festival in its first year I offered my time to volunteer for the whole weekend. I ended up spending most my time at the Chapel Of Horror which was a blast. The Chapel was an amazing venue and I have offered my time again to the same venue this year hopefully we will have just as many laughs and frights as last year.

TAPE also gave me the opportunity to help others by volunteering at Animation Club on Saturday mornings. It wasn’t always easy but I enjoyed my time there helping young people create small and brilliant animations, it also opened my eyes to working with young people and how fantastic and rewarding it is to see them excel.

As I move on to university I want to say a huge thanks to TAPE without them I don’t really know if I would be in this place now. As I move on I hope that I can continue my relationship with TAPE and that I will come back from university with more to offer to Tape.

TAPE has helped me create a dream for my future of being a filmmaker though helping me to excel I have taken a new aspiration for all things TAPE does and what I can see myself doing in the future. TAPE has given me the confidence to be myself. As I plan to create my own projects I thank TAPE for there support over the years. A heartfelt thank you cannot simply say what I want so I hope to continue giving back to TAPE with my time and effort.

Yours truly,

Kallum Keefe Weyman.

Rhyl Reflections at The Fair – Part 2

IMG_02001

Rhyl Reflections – 7th July 2016 – Back at Tir Prince

Last week the team headed back to Tir Prince Fun Park to film some exciting cut aways!

IMG_0208-001X

The lovely folk at Tir Prince Fun Park once again allowed use of the fair for  our session last week.  This time, the aim of the shoot was to film much needed cutaway shots of rides and delicious treats that could accurately represent what was available on Rhyl Fun Fair in the 1960’s.

IMG_0183X

The group samples lots of the food at the fair…all in the name of the film, of course!  Our favourites included the freshly cooked  donuts and burgers.

IMG_0189X

TAPE member of staff Tom Ellis braved terrifying rides such as the Waltzers, bumper cars and the caterpillar ride (the later he was joined on by Rhyl Reflections group member John)! It is safe to say that this was one of the most enjoyable shoots of the project.

IMG_0210X

IMG_0221X

The group would like to thank Tir Prince Fun Park and all their wonderful staff for helping make the shoot possible and a huge thank you to all of the team who were involved on the day.

Special thanks to those of the group who stayed behind and did vital editing for the final film. Fantastic work by all.

And as always, we thank the wonderful Linda Hurst for her brilliant photos.


If you would like to get involved with Rhyl Reflections, check us out over on Facebook, or contact us via email: neil@tapemusicandfilm.co.uk or call us on 01492 512 109

Poke The Muse – July Update!

STOP PRESS

Poke the Muse at TAPE has had confirmation that thanks to funding from Conwy Communities First and the continued support of creative partners Conwy Wellbeing Team and Conwy Arts, the Open Studio sessions on a Monday afternoon will now be running regularly right the way through to March 2017!

PtM figure web sized
The only breaks will be for Bank Holidays, so if you can carve out a couple of hours between 1.30 and 3.30, come along to enjoy some creative ‘me’ time.  No pressure to produce, just freedom to explore and play with paper, pens, paints, inks, stamps, pencils, collage, words, images: whatever you fancy.  Inspiration and prompts are offered around monthly themes, but you are welcome to work on your own project or simply have fun with the materials and equipment.

 


July’s theme
 is Victoriana.  We’ve tried to include a bit of everything from inventions and discoveries, through social, political and industrial upheavals to the Pre-Raphaelites and Steam Punk – our current take on some of the intriguing machines, inventions, art, fashion and fiction of the era.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Next Monday July 11th Poke the Muse at TAPE is a little different.
Following what will probably be a shorter open studio session we are going to set the hall up for an Open Mic event for people to read and perform their work.
It is also a celebration to mark the publication of Poke the Muse’s first collection of writing and artwork.

Please feel free to bring yourself, friends and family to enjoy the show, have a look at the exhibition of work produced in sessions and buy a copy of The Collection!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sessions are £1 contribution per person – refreshments are available at 50p each.  booking is essential as places are limited.

For more details or to book your place, please contact Dee on 07982 709621 or via email dee.rivaz@gmail.com

Conwy Community Podcast Episode 5 – with Tom Spencer

Our latest guest on the Conwy Community Podcast is Tom Spencer.

Tom has been a regular visitor to TAPE for many years. He is an actor, comedian, presenter, podcaster, impressionist and has just finished studying Performing Arts at Llandrillo College.

All of us at TAPE, including Tom, would like to thank everyone around the world who has downloaded our previous podcast episodes on Podbean and iTunes.

itunes-logo

We hope you enjoy this episode, Please help us to continue this project by liking it, sharing it , subscribing to it or donating to TAPE.
For more information, please contact info@tapemusicandfilm.co.uk. Thank you.
tape_conwycommunity_PRINT

Rhyl Reflections – 23rd June 2016

This week, the Rhyl Reflections team interviewed the lovely Cath Angell, who holidayed in Rhyl circa 1959.

DSC01112

Cath came to Rhyl from the Midlands, and explained that back then, Rhyl was considered a prime holiday destination, and was recommended from one generation to the next.

Cath had many wonderful stories about the variety of different B&B’s she stayed in – all with unique experiences.  Her initial impression of Rhyl was how magical the sea was, and the atmosphere in the area.

Some of her favourite memories included riding the donkeys on the beach, and the hovercraft that used to frequent the sea front.  There were also fond recants of the Water Splash ride!

DSC01151

Cath remembers the packed beaches and the bustle of a thriving seaside resort.  She especially remembers the hunky men in the theatre shows!

Before finally settling in Rhyl, Cath was a regular visitor to the area and holidayed with her own children.  Cath is a well-loved figure in the area and helps out at the local food bank at North Denbighshire Communities 1st.  She lives here with her daughter and her granddaughter – three generations of one family right here in Rhyl.

DSC01102

Thank you to everyone who took part in this weeks session – and special thanks to Linda Hurst for her photography.  Your handwork and dedication to the project is certainly shining through the quality of work achieved – well done to you all.

DSC01139


If you would like to get involved with Rhyl Reflections, check us out over on Facebook, or contact us via email: neil@tapemusicandfilm.co.uk or call us on 01492 512 109

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TAPE!

As TAPE turns 8 years old, it is fair to say that there is much going on and as such, we would like to take a breath and acknowledge some of the projects and developments, which have been part of a fantastic year for us all.

 

I’ve asked folks involved in developing, delivering and taking part in workshops and projects to share some of their highlights and memories which, along with some of mine, are set out in this blog. This is by no means a full list of what we’ve been up to but it does give a nice overview of the diversity of work, opportunities and achievements from the last 12 months.

Where to start? Well, the biggest project we’ve ever undertaken took place in November 2015, The Coastline Film Festival. You can read the full report on the festival here and keep up to date with the exciting plans for year 2 here. In brief though, The Coastline Film Festival is a brand new TAPE event, funded through the Big Lottery’s Coastal Communities Fund

Hosted in 5 venues, across two counties; year one of The Coastline Film Festival focused on launching the event as a cross- community celebration of film. Along with over 40 film screenings, the festival incorporated a series of talks, masterclasses, pop-up events, heritage projects and we currently have
in production, a feature film that will premiere in year this year.

The programming of the festival took place with widespread, community involvement throughout. Local film clubs and societies and community organisations were actively encouraged to get involved, with the overall aim of the festival being to deliver a wide range of films, with mainstream favourites programmed alongside films not often seen on the big screen. Supporting features played alongside feature presentations, comprising work from local filmmakers and archive film.
The grand plan for The Coastline Film Festival is to grow it from the two counties earmarked for year one, into a UK-wide event, with coastal communities from all around the UK getting involved. Already we are planning to screen some fantastic work in venues in Flintshire, Gwynedd and Angelsey, with the festival running for the whole month of November, 2016

The festival offers a number of commercial opportunities for both TAPE and local business. Through involvement, partnership or sponsorship, the festival has the capacity to become an annual event in the cultural calendar, which is recognised as creative and commercial opportunity for people, organisations and businesses in North Wales and around the UK.

I know I support and engage more on a ‘digital’ level at TAPE, but I do love the role.  I have enjoyed seeing the growth of the TAPE ‘brand’ and it find its feet firmly in the online world and on social media.  I enjoy documenting all of the wonderful things that happen here at TAPE and sharing them for the world to see.  The website is quickly becoming the hub for all things TAPE – and I am proud to say it is working well.  People are engaging with us, and the centre is now accessible from the comfort of home.

I am also really enjoying being involved with the planning and running of the Sofa Cinema – the audience is getting bigger by the day, and it is awesome experiencing all different types of people enjoying cinema – even perhaps people who wouldn’t usually go to or have access to a cinema. It is great to see all the initial planning come to fruition on the day, and see everyone having an amazing time.  Seeing the cinema fill up with people, all here for the same reason – the love of film – is a wonderful experience, and knowing you have been part of making it happen, is brilliant.

Being a project worker for the Coastline Film Festival has been great fun.  I’ve really enjoyed the planning process and meeting many new people and making new contacts.  I love how ideas bounce so well between us all, and being able to watch that simple suggestion slowly grow into an amazing event for the public to enjoy.  I can’t wait to see Coastline 2016 come to life!

I genuinely love being involved at TAPE.  I love how every day and every thought encourages creativity, and the support here is second to none.  Being part of the TAPE team has allowed me to expand my skills and experience into areas I’d never have even considered previously, and thanks to such a wonderful network of integral staff, I am able to do my job well, whilst also being a parent to my two children. Long live TAPE!

Zara Whelan, Social Media and Coastline Film Festival Officer.

Backstage Youth Club , delivered in partnership with Afasic Cymru and funded through Children in Need has gone from strength to strength, with a growing cohort of young people eagerly coming along to TAPE each week to take part in a timetable of activities designed by them, covering a huge range of creative activities and life skills. Recently, six of the group became qualified sports leaders and two of the original club members have secured places at University. It is a wonderful project, the success of which has seen similar projects created in Rhyl, Mid and South Wales.

I’ve been with Tape just over a year now and have loved being involved with something so special! I really enjoy the Animation Club (even if it does mean giving up my Saturday mornings! It’s worth it!). Seeing the growth and development of the members of the club, I’m so proud of them and to be a small part of this and their success. It’s amazing seeing their award each time I come in and a reminder of how talented they all are and how hard they have worked.

I am also enjoying my more recent work with you guys as part of the youth club, what an amazing bunch of young people! There’s never a dull moment and they are all truly inspiring with their individual talents and skills, which I have no doubt have been encouraged and embraced as part of the youth club. 

I have also been involved with other bits and bobs on the way and am never ceased to be amazed at how many innovative and inspiring projects are going on. I’m honoured and proud to be part of TAPE and hope to be part of it for as long as possible.

– Lisa Gannon, Workshop Leader

The TAPE Animation Club is funded through families first and has embarked on its second full year of activity with a full cohort twice over and a shiny award!

The club has help build confidence, participation and group work skills in a lot of talented young people. TAPE has worked with participants to learn new skills in animation as well as allowing them to experiment and improve their creativity. In January the animation club won an award for their collective works at the PICS Film Festival at Galeri Caernarfon

– Sam Martin, Animation Club Leader

 

PodcastID_img

The Conwy Community Podcast has transformed in the last 12 months from its previous incarnation as an information and events platform into a more traditional podcast, featuring an interview with a prominent member of the local community. The podcast can be found on iTunes and Podbean and has had almost 3000 plays, all around the globe, during its first four episodes.  The podcast has enabled a core group of people to learn and deliver every aspect of the project, from arranging interviews through to editing and uploading the final piece. Have a listen, subscribe to the podcast and help spread the word about this fantastic show.

Ghostbuskers can be traced back to the first year of TAPE and is still a key activity in the TAPE timetable. Over 30 people come along every week to play, sing, socialise and enjoy the amazing atmosphere of this wonderful community music project for people of all ages.

ghostbuskers

The Structured Day Program, delivered in partnership with CAIS, has been in the TAPE timetable since the program was established five years ago. The last year of creative activity has seen a number of animation and film projects developed and delivered by participants on the program, all of which have received public premiers and screenings and supported a number of ongoing volunteering opportunities for people following their completion of the Day Program. The latest film, ‘Bendixed’ can be found on TAPE TV and is well worth a watch!

‘Bendixed’, was a brilliant film project with the Day Program. From scriptwriting, to filming, and through to the editing process the ideas, energy and commitment from all involved was inventive, inspiring and always good fun. One of the best moments came at the premiere when the head of CAIS asked if all the layers of nuance and depth was intentional and we could say ‘Yes’! 

– Jenni Steele – filmmaker and volunteer.

day program

Watching films continues to be a vital resource at TAPE and in the last 12 months we have been able to upgrade our cinema facilities to a very high standard.  The Coastline Sofa Cinema is a fantastic screening facility boasting professional HD projection 5m wide electric screen, JBL Control 7.1 surround sound, 15 two seater leather sofas, electric blackout blinds and Blu-Ray playback via a PlayStation 4.

This inclusive cinema space boasts a range of free cinema clubs that include:

  • Baby Cinema
  • Saturday Kids Movie Club
  • TAPE Community Film Club
  • Special Event Screenings
  • Screenings of limited release or community made films

star wars screening

Poke the Muse is a new but already flourishing drop-in project.  The project has established a new kind of resource for creative folks, every Monday afternoon at the TAPE Community Arts Centre and another opportunity to engage with people in a person-led way.

During the last 12 months, thanks to TAPE’s creative partnership I have been involved in an Arts Council backed project which has given me a rare chance to develop my own skills alongside providing a moment of unexpected accolade for Bruce Douglas, octogenarian artist and poet-philosopher. Our collaborative film-portrait and exhibition was a great success and confidence boost to both of us.  

Currently TAPE is enabling me to grow a community art project that is providing a unique open studio setting, allowing visitors of any skill or experience to develop their creative potential without the pressure to perform or produce specific outcomes.  It is proving an oasis for people whose health, wealth or life experiences have stifled their belief in themselves and their creative ability.

It is largely thanks to TAPE that, nearing my own retirement, I now find myself with the belief that once released from work obligations, I will be able to flourish creatively through my Third Age

– Dee Rivaz, workshop leader.

ptm4

TAPE continues to deliver workshops and projects across North Wales and the UK more widely. The growing team of expert practitioners is able to support creative activities and provide memorable experiences across most creative mediums, always with a person-centered and inclusive approach.

Making films and the many opportunities this medium provides, has become a cornerstone in the work of TAPE. From commissioned work through to the provision of support and facilities for both aspirant and professional filmmakers, TAPE has become recognized as a filmmaking resource for businesses, communities, groups and individuals alike.

Some of our current, ongoing film projects include time-lapse filming for Cartrefi Conwy and Wilmot Dixon, a film about friendship in the lives of people with learning disabilities, being devised and delivered via a partnership-focused Production Team initiative. A heritage film is in production on the subject of the Sychnant Pass above Penmaenmawr and a wonderful wildlife film, focusing on the nesting season of Terns on the Skerries.

Long-form projects

The increasing number of referrals, enquiries and interest in becoming involved at TAPE is forcing the team to look at facilitating more long-form projects, which offer the space and time and options for involvement for a larger group of people, whilst maintaining a bespoke and person centered approach to delivery.

Currently, TAPE has a number of these projects underway and it has become clear that this method of delivery is increasingly suited to the interests of the vast number of people and organisations looking to involve themselves with the charity.

I had just arrived from Spain. I moved to North Wales because my girlfriend got a good position here and I didn’t want to be far away from her. I continued working at home, writing films reviews, reading scripts or planning some shootings in Spain. But at the same time, I was looking to take part in the local way of life. I was interested in developing my career here. My English lessons had started but I still didn’t feel confident in applying for jobs.

One day I opened the newspaper and I found that a film festival was going to be organized in the area: The Coastline Film Festival. Tape Community Music and Film were organizing it and they were looking for volunteers. I thought that it was an excellent opportunity to meet people of my profession and I was brave enough to get in touch with them.

The first day I visited the TAPE, Steve Swindon, the CEO, very kindly show me the facilities. He was very patient because I couldn’t understand half the things he was saying. He repeated the same things one after another. It was amazing: they had very good technical equipment, a small amount but very effective and fully functional. But the most surprising thing was the amount of people involved, of all different ages, coming in and out, always very busy. There were teenagers editing a video, children taking part in animation workshops, and an old man asking how he could the tracks of his mother singing from a vinyl record to a digital system.

I went home very excited.

Four months have passed since that day and I collaborated with them on small projects. I volunteered in The Coastline Film Festival and I was part of the technical team of the feature film British Winters.

The Coastline Film Festival seemed a very good opportunity to get to know new people. As well as being a volunteer, I went to watch Retreat, where Wales Screen explained to us where the film was shot, very close to where we were. We also watched The night of the living dead in the Chapel of Horror.

The shooting of British Winters was an amazing experience. We worked hard for five weeks to complete the feature film written and directed by Andrew Turner.

I have already worked on a few feature films but this one was my first experience in English.  Those intense five weeks were very useful for learning English, especially technical words. I also got to know how a shooting in the United Kingdom works. Within the technical team we felt free to experiment and learn different ways of shooting: with two cameras, during the nights, in small rooms…All these things are not usually allowed by the production companies. I also had the opportunity to know the authentic North Wales and its own culture, different than mine. This would be very difficult any another way and I feel very lucky and privileged because I know that a lot of foreigners cannot get to know it.

But overall I have met a wonderful crew. People with the same interests as me. People, despite speaking another language, who understand the love for watching and making films. British Winters and their crew have helped me to reaffirm to myself that making films is what I like the most. And, even though it is hard job you can really enjoy and have fun making them

– Roque Cameselle, filmmaker.

TAPE’s first full-length feature film, British Winters will premiere at the 2016 Coastline Film Festival. The film is a directorial debut for its writer and has been developed and delivered as a community project which has involved a large number of local people and businesses during the production and filming. It has clearly evidenced the need for an alternate route into the film industry for graduates or those interested in this field and looking to develop their filmmaking slate, CVs and portfolio. With the resources available to us, it is becoming increasingly clear that TAPE is very well placed to deliver this alternate route to creating and screening new film works.

I have been volunteering and freelancing at TAPE since 2012. My background is in filmmaking and I had graduated from Glyndwr University with a BA Moving Image. After leaving university I was frustrated by the lack of opportunity for filmmakers in North Wales but I managed to secure a role as a IT mentor for a Denbighshire County Council initiative, New Work Connections which appealed to my other passion, community work. It was while working at New Work Connections I met one of TAPE’s regular participants; he explained what TAPE was all about. Eager to get involved as TAPE seemed the ideal environment for me as it’s creative, collaborative and  a community centre., I contacted TAPE and sent them a reel of my work and asked about volunteering. 

Initially, I started as a volunteer editor working three days a week and then moved on to help with workshops. It was mind blowing to see how TAPE operated, having worked with other community projects prior I had heard the term “fully inclusive” before but only when working with TAPE has it been used aptly. Working with all ages, background and abilities TAPE never highlights these differences just embraces anyone who comes through the door (including myself).  Eventually, I left my job to freelance and volunteer full-time with TAPE. This was an easy decision. TAPE perfectly embodied the sort of organisation I was happy to devote time to. It has the ties to the community, which gives me the satisfaction of knowing that I am doing something meaningful while also providing a creative outlet in which to hone my filmmaking skills. As my project resume increased so did my confidence and I started to work on my own script, British Winters, based on a book I wrote. The intention was to complete the script, and look at acquiring the appropriate funding to make it into an independent film.

It was some after this time, in 2014, I learned that TAPE had acquired the funds to make a feature film which was extremely exciting news for both TAPE and myself. Having worked on various short films since joining TAPE, I was eager to get involved in something more ambitious. Not knowing the details of the project I was eager to assist in the production, in any capacity, regardless of the project.  It was a few months later that TAPE, knowing I had a completed script came to me and offered me the opportunity to not only direct the feature film but also approached me about having British Winters be the project. Needless to say I was elated. Having left school at 15 and suffering from dyslexia I never thought an opportunity like this would be given to me.

We began filming British Winters in January 2016 after several months of pre-production and planning. Saying that British Winters is a collaborative project is putting it mildly. While the words and vision were constructed by myself, through TAPE we were able to bring together a synergetic team to make my vision into a reality. The filming drew heavily upon the TAPE ‘family’, a family made up of staff, colleagues and volunteers. I was keen to try and get as many TAPE regulars into the film and hopefully use the project to bring new people into TAPE.

The production was intensive we filmed for five weeks only having Monday’s off. We used all North Wales locations and were humbled by the generosity of local businesses and people who volunteered their time and resources to assist. From donating free props to allowing us to take over their premises for a full week it was inspiring to come into contact with so many people who were willing to help out a community project. 

While the production was intensive, the post-production is going to be just as challenging. The editing process has just commenced for me and it’s time to take the raw footage and make my film a reality. The film is going to be premiered at the Coastline Film Festival in 2016 and it’s thrilling to think that at the end of this process my film will be shown on the big screen. What’s equally rewarding is to see the effect British Winters has had on the crew and actors. It really has had a knock-on affect and it’s gratifying to see people pursuing acting, filmmaking and music production after being spurred on by this project.

Having worked at TAPE for several years now and British Winters being the culmination of my time with TAPE, it is easy to see why it has such a strong and fervent links to the community. It provides a creative outlet for people from all backgrounds. Rarely do you meet someone who drops by TAPE who then does not become a repeat visitor. The variety of the activities, the range of the facilities, the inclusiveness of the staff and willingness to help make it a truly innovative and welcoming place. 

On personal note TAPE has given me something I’d be looking for my whole life; a welcoming and collaborative network of people, who’s trust in me has given me the confidence to strive for my dreams. It’s their honest and constructive feedback, which is helping me cultivate my skills making me better at my craft.

–  Andrew Pearson, TAPE Community Music and Film Workshop leader and Director of “British Winters”

‘In the Shadow of the Ferris Wheel’, is a long-form documentary project, which TAPE has been commissioned to develop in partnership with the North Wales Coastal Link of the Chernobyl Children’s Lifeline and Denbighshire Youth Service. To deliver the work, TAPE is supporting a group of primary school children and a young man undertaking his Duke of Edinburgh’s Award to work on the film and produce all aspects of it, from script to screen. It also saw myself and Andy Pearson travel to Ukraine and Belarus to film and experience first-hand, the immense difficulties faced by many thousands of people in these two countries and get some understanding of the ever-present impact of the Chernobyl Disaster, which took place 30 years ago. The film project has already been shortlisted for a National Excellence in Youth Work Award and we are very excited that the film will also premiere at the 2016 Coastline Film Festival.

TAPE has a number of high-end resources, which allow for both event delivery and event support. From our Blow-Up Cinema event screens through to staging, sound systems, event activities, performances and event film and photography. TAPE is increasingly approached to support community events of all sizes, to add value, expertise and atmosphere.

TAPE’s Blow Up Cinema uses incredible, inflatable, outdoor screens, professional HD projection and high quality sound systems to create unique cinema screening events both indoors and out. Blow Up Cinema also offers supported employment opportunities as part of TAPE’s Pathway of Support program, which engages, trains and supports people through experiences and project delivery.

IMG_0378

The recording studio at the TAPE Community Arts Centre is a well-used resource for local bands, musicians and groups for both rehearsal and recording. The studio is run with TAPE’s trademark ethos of support, with professional engineers and equipment on hand to ensure artists come away with the sound and recording they’d hoped for, and having had a great experience at the same time. This year, TAPE’s studio has been ungraded and revamped, thanks to the efforts of two volunteers who approached TAPE looking to further their knowledge and experience. Lukasz is a highly experienced sound engineer with a wealth of technical knowledge, which he has used to support the work of TAPE. He has worked alongside another volunteer, Chay, who was newly qualified when he came to TAPE and was able to learn a great deal from Lukasz and take part in projects, supporting others.

For over two years, TAPE has been a core member of the Conwy County Borough Council Social Enterprise Business Solutions Group. Formed by CCBC and key local third sector agencies, the group meets on a monthly basis in support of the growing links between the work of the third sector and the local authority. One outcome of this group working has been the awarding of Social Enterprise Place status to the county of Conwy. TAPE is one of the 10 groups recognised in this award and in the county’s economic regeneration strategy.

TAPE’s Ignite Scheme has been developed to provide a creative first response to individuals looking to engage or explore creative ideas. TAPE will match a person to a creative professional who will support this participant over a short programme of 1 to 1 sessions whilst looking to develop continuation through existing provision at TAPE or in the community. This scheme has proven to be of significant benefit for an increasing number of young people and adults in the area, for whom engaging with projects or activities can be a difficult experience. We have seen people move into significant and ongoing activities following extended periods of isolation, social and economic inactivity.

Pathway of Support

This programme supports opportunities for training, education and employment for people referred into TAPE from across many partner agencies and organisations. The Pathway of Support has been specifically developed to engage with an individual at a point appropriate to their current situation, level of experience and ambitions for their ideas and interests.

TAPE presents all its work with inclusion at heart. This practice is clearly visible through all aspects of our delivery and in the generation of involvement and opportunity for people at every possible stage. TAPE has engaged with and supported participants from across communities to be part of projects on their own terms and with a clear focus on each person getting the most out of their involvement with us.

Increasingly, TAPE is being sought out by film and media graduates as a destination where they can find opportunities to develop experience and work for their portfolios. For many, moving to an urban centre to further careers, is not an option or desirable. We recognise the role we can play in this area and are increasingly responding to requests for support and involvement in our work. TAPE can offer real world experience on live briefs, working to deadlines and dealing with customer feedback and requests.

It has become increasingly clear that TAPE plays a unique role in the provision of inclusive, creative support in North Wales and has positioned itself as ready to upscale both its infrastructure and thereby generate a significantly greater range of resources and real world opportunities for people of all ages. Amongst this work, is the exciting addition of an HTC Vive VR headset with Leap Motion and powered by a high-end specification gaming computer supplied by Utopia Computers. Our work with VR will create opportunities through both use of this exciting technology and learning around the creation of bespoke software and VR experiences. We look forward to sharing more about this very soon.

It is amazing to consider that 8 years has gone by and it feels like a huge privilege to stop and think about what we have been able to offer people in that time, the friends we’ve made and the experiences we’ve shared.

Sincere thanks to everyone who has been a part of TAPE this year and helped to make so many important things happen for people across the community.

Lastly, I would like to dedicate this post in memory of the wonderful, Keith Forecast, without whom none of this would have happened.

Thank you and here’s to the next exciting 12 months.