Flying Monkey TV at the Castlegate Festival, Sheffield, UK 20th & 21st June 2015 @CastlegateFest @YArtspace #CastleHouse #FlyingMonkeyTV

COCOA Castle House graphics v1

After something of an enforced hiatus, Flying Monkey TV has been invited to be part of the Castlegate Festival in Castle House (the old Co-op building), Sheffield, UK over the weekend of 20th & 21st June. Please note, I will only be there on Sunday 21st but will have some video showing on the 20th.

I will be making micro docs & promo videos, 15 seconds long so that they are Instagram-friendly, and publishing them online. I will be covering the set-up of the event on Friday 19th, and will be on-site for chats and a kind of drop-in nano workshop on the Sunday. It’s not a workshop exactly, but I will be making short videos and showing my methods and how to make the media suitable for online social media channels.


Castle House, a disused department store.


Castle House, the building is huge, both spooky and inspiring.

The event is a collaboration between the University of Sheffield and Studio COCOA (Castlegate Open Community of Artists), a collective of artists organised by current Yorkshire Artspace artist-in-residence Paul Evans.

More information about the Castlegate Festival and Studio COCOA is here:

If you are not already aware of what Flying Monkey TV is all about, it is a project conceived by myself and artist / media producer Matt Lewis back in 2010 to make documentaries using domestic-level, available technology and open-source software to manage the media overload that the proliferation of cameras has produced.

We applied for a number of funding sources and did attract a small amount of money for some research and development of both the ideas and techniques. However, “available technology” has advanced so quickly, it has been difficult to know where to place the goal posts and we have not been successful in attracting any funding more than a few hundred pounds here and there. Consequently, the project is running on an as-and-when basis. This is one of those whens.


Castle House has seen better days.

This iteration of the project will be using an iPhone 5s (I know, not the most available technology) with RØDE smartLav+ microphones and a stabilizing camera mount in order to shoot the best possible quality video and audio (for a domestic set-up). The iPhone 5s has a superb built-in camera, but the Camera app only gives limited control and does not allow capture of audio from external mics. I will be using an app called FiLMiC Pro to shoot with, and Final Cut Pro 6 to edit the video. Finally I will be compressing the videos for online delivery using Apple QuickTime Pro. The videos will be shot and edited with social media channels in mind.

I will also be capturing the whole thing on CHDK-hacked timelapse cameras (obvs).

This is not a no-cost set-up, but it is intended to show how you can achieve near broadcast quality with only a tiny, one-person set-up. Below are a couple of very quick videos I made recently using the iPhone 5s and the smartLav+ mics (I have ordered a stabilizer to smooth out some of that camera shake). I will be around all day on Sunday 21st so please come along and say hello.

Richard Bolam
Twitter RBDigiMedia
nstagram bolam360

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