Valley of Lights, Todmorden

After severe flooding hit the Calder Valley twice in rapid succession this summer, the local communities reacted brilliantly to this devastating challenge. Businesses and individuals pulled together, demonstrating the indefatigable local spirit and individual outlook which characterises the upper valley, bringing together neighbours and strangers alike.

With many residential and commercial properties affected for months by the floods, it’s been a tough year, and collectively the area deserved a reason to celebrate their achievements since… and let their hair down. Fast forward six months and cue the Valley of Lights; a unique initiative spearheaded by Totally Locally, supported by Calderdale Council and creatively led by Handmade Parade. Embracing the pool of talent, enthusiasm and skill of hundreds of artists, performers, producers, retailers and members of the public, it’s an event spread over ten days in the three towns worst affected by the flooding here – Todmorden, Hebden Bridge and Mytholmroyd.

Designed to celebrate the Upper Calder Valley; its people, its creativity, its uniqueness and its hundreds of small businesses, it combined community initiatives with a series of spectacular performances, outdoor markets and displays. It’s a gloriously welcome way to usher in the start of the Christmas period, and the switch on of the lights in each town.

It was Tod’s turn first on Saturday 24th November, and as luck would have it, the heavens opened just before the start of the celebrations. Ironic considering the heavy rain in the summer. However folk round here are hardy and won’t easily turn down the excuse for a celebration and performance… especially one designed to showcase their triumph over the natural elements. Besides, we do parades and parties well around here, such as the Pollination Parade early this year.

After the Christmas Lights switch on, performers and musicians led a Lantern Parade around the town, before a spectacular fire finale in at the Rose Street / Bramsche Square site. Tod Market stayed open late, with both regulars and local artist makers selling their wares, encouraging shoppers to spend their pounds close to home. Musicians and street performers weaved among the heaving crowds, raising smiles and spirits through the rain.

Meanwhile there was a spectacular wharfside flotilla along Fielden Wharf on the Rochdale Canal, featuring lit-up inflatables by Spacecadets (you can view some panoramas of their work from Preston in 2006 and the Lowry, Salford in 2007 respectively). Live music was performed by Daniel Weaver from an open narrowboat: you can just spot him through the crowds during the timelapse video above.

Friends and food clients alike, local food heroes Porcus and the Bear Café set up stall to warm the hearts (and bellies) of the brave souls who ventured out in the rain. I set up my trusty GoPro and recorded a (very soggy) timelapse video of Porcus serving up their homemade rare breed sausages, while I tried out my new DSLR in wet weather conditions. All in all it was damp but delightful night, perfectly showcasing the diversity and distinctiveness of the local area, and making people rightly proud of what they have and hold dear!

Collecting History exhibition launch at MCDC

Click/tap the image above to view a panoramic 360° view of the scene in your browser

Click/tap the image above to view a panoramic 360° view of the scene in your browser

Click/tap the image above to view a panoramic 360° view of the scene in your browser

Three aerial panoramas shot during the launch of this spring’s Collecting History exhibition, celebrating thirty years of the wonderful Manchester Craft and Design Centre (MCDC) in the Northern Quarter.

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Bramsche timelapse: a day in the life of a new café bar

Here’s a standalone timelapse and photo slideshow, capturing the opening day of the new Bramsche Bar in Todmorden on Friday 9th December 2011.

Anti Limited was commissioned to install one of our self-contained, discrete timelapse camera units to capture the whole of the opening day; from the shutters being removed outside the venue, all the way to cleaning and closing up, almost 21 hours later. The video was then edited and placed online, and was used as exclusive launch content for the bar’s social media strategy. It provided an exciting, cost-effective and engaging piece of content for the audience, whilst demonstrating exactly how the space can be used at different times of the day.

After several years lying vacant, a new team has carefully refurbished and renovated this property, designing and fitting it out with care and passion. The fare concentrates on the best of local food and drink, but with a wider European bar and café influence as well. When you consider the well-stocked jukebox, a great selection of cakes, a small but perfectly formed menu, and some seriously good coffee, it’s a perfect daytime destination.  Add a great range of ales from Lancashire and Yorkshire, and an equally solid range of continental beers alongside a good cocktail list, and you’ve got an essential new addition to the Upper Calder Valley’s social circuit.

All timelapse, stills photography and editing by Anti Limited. Music credit: Minotaur Shock – Ocean Swell, courtesy of Melodic Records.

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Bonfire Night across Manchester from MediaCityUK

Click/tap the image above to view a fullscreen panoramic 360° view of the scene in your browser

Here’s a sneak peek at some footage I shot on Bonfire Night, as part of a wider collaborative project. I’ve got a long tradition of shooting timelapses of November 5th (here’s a link to an epic one from 2006) but this was particularly fun to shoot.

A grandstand view, 22 stories up in an apartment in MediaCityUK, using 2x Canon EOS DSLRs, and 3x GoPro Heros. The panorama above gives you a better idea of the location, and the attachments for the GoPros. Below are two of the timelapse videos I shot on the night: there are full descriptions of both on their respective Vimeo pages.

View this location in Google Earth by clicking or tapping this icon…

Thirty six hours in three minutes: the Octagon, Bolton

We’ve long enjoyed working within the North’s vibrant arts sector… an area where artistic and technological innovation are natural (but sometimes uncommon) bedfellows. So we were very pleased to be invited to bring our experience to bear and develop a solution for the Octagon Theatre, Bolton (described by the Guardian as one of the best, most revitalised regional theatres in the country).

As a forward-looking theatre, working hard to connect with a wider (especially young) audience, they wanted a high impact way to highlight all aspects of the theatre. Traditionally the public tends to focus on the talent onstage, to the detriment of the expert support teams whose stagecraft ensures a smooth, seamless and professional experience. Another key feature of the Octagon is the ability to reconfigure the auditorium in three distinct and highly different layouts, tailored for each performance.

We took the brief and applied our experience to develop an integrated, cost-effective solution to help shine a light behind the scenes at the Octagon – a permanent timelapse feature in the main auditorium. An unobtrusive, user-friendly camera allows the theatre staff to capture performances, rehearsals, training… or in this case, a wholesale reconfiguration of the theatre between performances. Staff can then use this internally, and integrate it with their wider social media strategy… you can view some of the results on their YouTube channel. As you can see, it provides an exciting and compelling visual narrative. Best viewed in HD for the maximum impact!

This integrated, easy-to-use solution was accompanied by comprehensive training, to ensure a value-led package with multiple applications across the theatre. It was great to help focus a spotlight on the talent offstage, as well as those treading the boards…