digital:works is an arts and educational charity that works with communities, providing training and creative assistance to produce arts and media projects. We are committed to a participatory approach ensuring that those we work with have a major say in the direction of any given project. Creative arts are an exciting way for people of all ages and backgrounds to engage with and learn about a subject or issue - especially if they are the ones shaping and leading the creative process.
Thanks to our breadth of experience and expertise, we can provide training and creative support in a wide range of media, from web development, video and stop-frame animation, to textile and oral history projects.
Many of our projects are run by us from beginning to end, conceived, fund raised and implemented by our staff. On other projects we might deliver a discrete aspect of something much larger. In either case, we have experience both of delivering large scale projects and also of working in close partnerships. Partners we work with come from a variety of areas including schools, local authorities, arts organisations, faith groups, youth groups, Tenants and Residents Associations, museums and archives.
Our collective skills mean we are also able to undertake projects directly for other organisations. We make films, undertake photography, graphic design, web design, illustration, animation and writing projects for clients.
Accessible Projects for All
Our commitment to participation means we place great emphasis on inclusivity. Our projects actively involve people from all corners of the community - be they young or old, visually or hearing impaired, or someone for whom English is not the first language.
The skills required in taking part in our projects do not depend on advanced media literacy or prior experience with digital equipment.
Our goal with all projects is to encourage and maintain participants' sense of ownership of both the process and the final product. This, we believe, is the guiding principle of true participation work.
Visit our Governance page to catch up with our annual reports, accounts, minutes of meetings etc.
We work in a range of different creative processes depending on the aims of each project.
Digital video projects are an fun and effective way of engaging with a subject matter, from young people having their say about an issue that affects them to older people reminiscing about their youth. Dramas, documentaries, music videos, magazine-style programmes and inter-generational projects all lend themselves to community-based film projects. We also undertake commissions to produce films and provide a variety of training courses in digital video for all ages. In addition to technical skills, our projects examine how to construct a film, whether it's fiction or documentary, from start to finish using story boards, interviews, lighting, tripods and sound. We can also cover editing skills so that participants can undertake the whole project, from planning, to filming to finally editing a film. These projects may take place over a number of weeks or months, or could just be a "Digital Video in a Day" workshop where participants film, edit and complete a two minute film in just one day.
An ability to gather information from someone on a subject is an important skill in life, and particularly so if you are making a documentary, a news podcast, or writing an article for a newsletter. It is an integral part of Oral History work which helps to gather life stories or personal testimony of real life events or memories of a particular time or place. Our workshops cover the basics in interview skills - what is an open question, the importance of listening and responding, use of eye contact and body language and generally building the skills and confidence needed to carry out an interview.
Images are everywhere in our multi-media world and photography is a fundamental medium, more so when you build in digital manipulation programmes, which take photography to a new art form. We can guide groups or individuals through technical concepts as composition, lighting and depth of field and look at how to apply these creatively. We can also look at meanings in images and different types of photography. Photography can also be part of a web or print based project. These days most of our work now focuses on digital photography but we also run workshops on film photography and dark room skills.
Projects run by digital:works aim to make use of all participants' creative strengths. Time can often be limited and teaching new digital technology from scratch is not always possible. Using artforms that participants are already familiar with can be a way of maximising their creative input in a short amount of time.
We have used young people's drawings and sketches as a basis for digital illustrations and as models in animated films and interactive games. We have also used tracings of photographs by young people who don't feel confident drawing or using digital technology as a way to encourage everyone to make a creative contribution to a project.
When making stop-motion animated films, characters can be modelled from plasticine, paper and clay. Set and background design from drawings, paintings or sculpted rooms are vital to setting the scene in any animated film. We have even used cut out paper silhouettes in an animated film to put the emphasis on the background scenery and storyline.
Effective design and layout will make people want to look at and read the information and ideas you want to get across. We cover the basic design principles including typography, page layout and colour theory in a fun and interactive way, looking at magazines, newspapers and websites, often getting scissors and pens out to work through ideas. The end result is that participants can make informed decisions when designing material for print and screen. The specific project might involve producing a newsletter, or just a flyer, but the principles are the same.
All effective websites are a collaboration between clients, users and builders. We work with young people and adults to develop websites and content that considers the potential user. Effective navigation, look and feel and content can be achieved through fun and interactive processes. There is no more effective way to ensure that a large audience has access to regularly updated information about your organisation or project. We also cover issues around accessibility and the specific challenges posed when designing websites with all of the various platforms and devices on which people now view them.
Clear effective writing which talks directly to an audience is a vital way of communicating ideas and information. Our projects involve workshops which look at styles of writing and use of language, and explore the most effective way of addressing a particular audience. Depending on the project our workshops cover writing headlines, news articles, features, and turning jargon loaded information into readable copy.
digital:works is an arts and educational charity that works with communities, providing training and creative assistance to produce arts and media projects.
Visit our blog for up-to-date news about our work, new projects etc.
Check out our Vimeo channel to see some of the films and animations we have made.
Catch up with our annual reports, accounts, minutes of meetings etc.