Come along to see what Experimental Film is all about!

Filmmaking on the edges: interrogate your medium, change the perspective, wreck the lens, burn the frame, extend your senses. Work closely with experts in their field to learn experimental film practices and processes, including skills and methods in animation, sound, image, props, costume and set design, digital/analogue translations, different film gauges, projection/installation and exhibition, experimental film concept and context.

LEVEL: Suitable for ages 16+ and beginner to intermediate level

Sessions are on the following dates – full details below

SATURDAY 30th July   :    SATURDAY 13th August   :   SATURDAY 20th August

COST: £5/4 per workshop session

Workshops take place at BEEF’s current home: The People’s Republic of Stokes Croft, 14 Hillgrove St, Bristol.

SIGN UP: Email : with subject BREAK THE RULES!
State which workshop(s) you wish to book a place on with your name, contact number, and email.


DAY ONE : Saturday 30th July  :  EXPLORING YOUR MEDIUM
This set of workshops may be taken singly or together. Close attention will be paid to the role of sound and the senses in experimental film, the advantages and creative applications of different film formats and the consideration of audience.

10-12 am: Elspeth Penny: Narrative – Communicating through Media

A narrative is the unfolding of a structured communication to an audience. Story, genre, time, space, theme, style, plot, characterisation and dialogue, sound, movement, image. This workshop uses practical exercises to explore theme – and how a well worked out theme effects everything we communicate.

Elspeth Penny makes films, tv, literature, theatre…. always ideas led. An experienced creative workshop leader, Elspeth has taught for over fifteen years, including running an MA module in Narrative at Norwich University of the Arts, and loves to work with people of any age and level of experience.

1-3pm: John Hodgson: Antiquarian and Current Film Gauges                                 

Using 16mm and 9.5mm equipment and stock, this workshop will have a historical tone and will be combined with practical exercises.

John Hodgson began making films as a 1960s teenager, trying out various genres and modes including 9.5mm and 16mm film and analogue video.  We shall explore the history of some of these formats with examples of John’s work over the years.

4-6pm: Shirley Pegna: Sonic Hide and Seek – Exploring & Listening           

This workshop offers experiences of ear extensions, creative cooperation, enhanced listening, explorative clambering and tea drinking.

Shirley Pegna is a sound artist and musician based in Bristol and member of BEEF. She is interested in sound and vibration travelling through different materials, exploring it as a connecting agent over extreme long distances as well as for more localised sounding events.


DAY TWO : Saturday 13th August

12-4pm: Deborah Weinreb: Abstract film documents.

A four hour workshop making short abstract film documents of Stokes Croft. You will be shown a range of visual inspirations. Go local to shoot and then we will review what has been captured. This session should prove to be fun, experimental and relaxed. No experience necessary. Please let us know what camera you have (smart phones are fine).  A small number of basic digital cameras can be provided on request.

Deborah Weinreb is a practising artist and photographer. In this context she is interested in how small amounts of visual information can illuminate a great deal.



1-3pm: Vicky Smith: direct on film animation                                            

Through the method of marking directly onto film, principles of animation such as metamorphosis, timing, sequences and motion analysis will be learnt. Experimental film factors of the single frame, rhythm, continuity /discontinuity and drawing sound will be considered.

Vicky Smith has been making animated films for 30 years and has exhibited work internationally. She has run many hands-on filmmaking workshops.

4-6pm: Alex Stevenson: filmic processes through improvised costume                                          

An exploration of filmic processes through improvised costume. With costume and film-makers Alexander Stevenson and Hannah Sullivan.

Alexander Stevenson mines information using processes usually associated with anthropologists, historians and researchers to create artworks, journeys and films. Huge fabric sculptures, live theatrical performances and costumed narratives generated from remote locations are just some of the outcomes of these interests. The work is informed by knowledge systems; how history is made and re-made through storytelling, objects and activities. Previously I’ve looked at how cultural activities, shared beliefs and personal myths can be appropriated, amalgamated, or re-presented.


Header Image by Esther May Campbell