Union Street’s new incubation… the Earth Clinic soft launches

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Sign up to Earth Clinic

For a year our little wellness squirrels have been scurrying around gathering earthly resources, problem solving routes to success and making small steps towards new ideas, people and places… the reason being… Earth Clinic.

Brainchild of our directors Natasha and Roop,this new offspring of Union Street is the new health and wellbeing strand of work that makes us what we call a ‘Company for Life’ – a holistic organisation that is providing innovative solutions to the meaningful development of people, society, the economy, environment and more. So we help organisations and people to promote their work and spread knowledge; we do grassroots community and social work; and now we tackle root causes of ill health and encourage vitality through health, wellbeing and spirituality. You don’t get more holistic than this!

We believe that the human experience is to learn, evolve, share, love and be and we see our role as supporting that journey.

We provide a range of holistic and accessible services that assist people’s health and wellbeing. We promote vitality and healing and we share our knowledge through our professionally trained, loving and compassionate practitioners.

Our philosophy is to understand the person as a whole and look at their health and wellbeing in its entirety, with the aim of devising protocols that incorporate different therapeutic objectives and forms of healing according to the individual’s needs.

Whilst we feel that tackling issues, such as isolation, marginalisation, discrimination, voicelessness, inequality and poverty, is important, we also see an urgent need to understand and address the root causes of these issues. We believe that the root causes of many of our most critical issues can be found in the physical, emotional and spiritual health and wellbeing of people, communities, society and the earth.

Our health and wellbeing practice was founded in 2014, drawing experience and knowledge from a vast range of disciplines, energy healing systems, evidence-bases and techniques, such as naturopathic nutrition, naturopathy, herbal medicine, reiki, kundalini yoga, shamanism, quantum field healing, crystal healing, meditation and sacred geometry.

The Earth Clinic’s products & services are listed below:

Reiki – taking bookings now

Crystal therapy – taking bookings now

Naturopathic nutrition – training coming soon

Hopi ear candle therapy – taking bookings in February

Personal & professional development coaching – taking bookings now

Spiritual guidance – taking bookings now

Campaign/project management – taking bookings now

Training – training launching mid Jan 2016

Resources – launching on website in March

We would love you to sign up to our mailing list to hear news & information about our launch including competitions, giveaways, products & services in the meantime. Do that HERE.

Stay tuned in to what is going on with Earth Clinic through our Facebook and Twitter Profiles – our website will be launching soon!

If you’d like any information or to book in with one of our practitioners, call the office on 0161 877 3124 or email info@unionstreetmediaarts.com


Happy New Year!

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2016 is going to be THE year we solidify our mark on the world…

What will 2016 be for you?

Out with the old – in with the new?

Set your intentions true and brave – manifest them in 2016 – evolve into you.

Watch out for ways to transform yourself and your projects this year with training, blog articles, services and support from Earth Clinic and Union Street this year….

Sign up to Earth Clinic’s mailing list HERE

Follow Earth Clinic on Facebook and Twitter

Sign up to Union Street’s Training Mailing List HERE

Follow Union Street on Facebook and Twitter

LOVE & LIGHT FROM US ALL AT UNION STREET


Union Street’s PC Support and Repair Service

Suffering from a stuttering Skype over this festive period? Not sure if you’re going to make that Xmas deadline?  Want to start the new year with a super fast computer? Or just want to get the most out of your PC?

Here at Union Street we don’t just provide support for MAC users, we also have a PC Support and Repair service. We can fix your slow computers but also help you improve their functionality, upgrade your systems and even build a computer from scratch! Pretty much most things PC related we can work with.

As with all our work, we abide by a very strict ethics code so you never have to worry about extortionate prices. Give us a call on 0161 877 3124 for a free telephone consultation and assessment and we’ll be able to give you a quote form there.

So don’t suffer at the hands of your slow PC give us a call instead!

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As the Light begins to fade

International year of light

As 2015 comes to end so too does the International Year of Light.  This event has been celebrated all over the world throughout the year by different organisations from all sectors, arts through to engineering.

For us it held special meaning as we worked with the globally renowned International Commission on Illumination (CIE) preparing films for their 28th Quadrennial Session (conference) which was held here at the University of Manchester.

Working very closely with CIE we designed two films; a promo for the event and the main film ‘A History of CIE and Light – 70,000BC- 2015’. Shown at the opening ceremony of the conference to set the scene for the lighting field and CIE’s crucial role, history and place within it. Check it out HERE.

We captured some beautiful Manchester time lapse’s and spent 35 hours filming for the promo. The final film took a staggering amount of work to complete, the research started in January 2015 and by the time June came we had done a total of 56 hours of filming, over 150 hours of editing and 102 hours of motion graphics and animation work to get it completed! And that’s not including the uniquely composed soundtrack!

We got to use our specialist camera rig for shooting cars and driving scenes. This was exciting as we had our hands on a Audi S4 for a day which was a delight to drive and the footage we came away with was excellent. You can see this in the film later on around the date 2011 when LED lighting was first used by the car industry.

Possibly the highlight for me was the visit to Thorn Lighting in Durham. An amazing space dedicated to the progression and manufacture of lighting in Britain. One of the only light manufacturers left here. This was a special place, we could feel it as soon as we went in. Huge assembly warehouse producing everything for lighting from the streets all the way to aviation. Thorn has great heritage and they also pride themselves at being involved in research, design and teaching of light technologies. The Thorn Academy of Light’s key objectives are to improve knowledge of and creativity in professional lighting and design, and deliver the ideal balance between light quality and energy efficiency. We were able to visit and film some of these advanced specially built laboratory which measure light, radiation and even radio interference.

‘A History of CIE and Light – 70,000BC- 2015’ starts at the beginning to show the first primitive lighting devices which were hollow rocks soaked in animal fat at around 70,000BC all the way to modern LEDs used today.

The light invention timeline includes great people such as Nicola Tesla and his invention of neon lighting. Other visionaries like Howard Woodward a Canadian who actually invented the Light Bulb.
The timeline is tied together by animated light tunnel which guides the viewer through all the eras of lighting. This is Interwoven with all the history of CIE dating back to 1911 to show their creation, progression, advancements and integral role in the history of lighting.

We were so lucky to get such a great education and deeper understanding of the lighting industry. Being able to work closely with Scientists and engineers doing some of the acclaimed research at the fore front of light and its intricacies. We had the pleasure of working with the chairman of CIE UK Nigel Pollard, CIE President Prof. Ann Webb and Dr Andrew Smedley from University of Manchester. All who are very experienced light designers, engineers and atmospheric scientists.

Another interesting piece of tech from the early years is a ‘fish lamp’. Which was a large sardine with a reed pushed through it! Crazy but genius! This was used in 30,000 BC due to its high oil content it would burn slowly and for a long period of time.

Due to snagging this incredible piece of work and the fact that we are such a small, local company, we also had an article published in the official magazine of the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce featuring our work!

 

 

Sept 2015 GM Chamber of Commerce Article


Importance of Accounting and Financial Management Software

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Even as accounting and financial management is required by law due to the necessity of limited companies to publish their annual report, it gives the management a daily insight how the company is performing. In this way it is possible to compare with previous months, years or competitors. Furthermore accounting is the basis of Cashflow-Management which has to be monitored in order to avoid liquidity problems. This can be achieved through traditional manual bookkeeping but Financial Management software makes it much easier as it allows automatic checks which can already happen during entry. If invoices are created with a Financial Management Software such as Quickbooks. They are immediately posted in the accounts and listed as receivables and it can be monitored how long the payment may be overdue. The profit-and-loss account, balance sheet and other kind of reporting as the mentioned receivables can be seen instantly. Another advantage of financial management software is that backups can be made regularly therefore reducing the risk of losing data through loss or accidents. This type of software has really revolutionised accounting and finance management for small companies such as ourselves. The time saved is priceless. The directors can manage their account quickly still leaving time in their day to fulfil all their tasks. The capacity of a director is often limited in the accounting area as they already have so much on their workload such as marketing, staff and making sure the companies runs as its supposed to and maybe the company cannot afford to have an account full time. With these types of software like Quickbooks you do not need to have accounting experience the programme does it for you. Basic maths obviously will help but it calculates everything for you too!

Keeping on top of all your receipts and invoices can be a pain. I know, sometimes you misplace a receipt or cant remember what you spent that cash withdrawal on, if you begin to implement finance management software you can log on easily and write it up on the day you did the transactions and it is done in seconds. This is a much better process and sustainable way of working for any small business. The main problem comes when you have done no management and it comes to the end of the financial year and all the stress kicks in. Trying to investigate and find all your spending and income its not good for you and for you business.

There are some cheaper solutions for small enterprises which have a basic functionally which normally also allows you to create invoices within the programme and print them or send via a PDF-File. There are even some open-source-software solutions as Turbocash, GnuCash or others. They also have to be set-up but it could be a free alternative worth trying.

When it comes to end of financial year and submission time you can easily reconcile your accounts with your bank statements in the software and send the main file to your accountant where they produce your final submission documents and send it off! Simple and you will save loads of money on accounting fees! Its the way forward as small company.

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Creating Music for Film: The Editor’s Perspective

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Our Guide to Creating Music for Films: The Editor’s Perspective 

Union Street’s sound designers and music producers work to evoke emotion, reflect mood and reinforce messages in our visual mediums to act as the audible glue that helps transform the story into a complete composition.

From our tailored tracks to our archive of diverse sounds and music, everything we make is individual and often involves creative collaborations across different disciplines.

Here is little bit of insight into the process and how we make this happen…

We always start with having an idea about the atmosphere we want to create for the film we are working on as soon as the concept has been envisioned. There are always set ‘feels’ for audio for some genres but it’s all about thinking outside the box and making your film different.

When all the storyboarding and pre-production planning has been finalised we pass this onto the composer. There is a meeting to discuss what we want the music to ultimately do, our vision for it. The key changes within in the film, the special moments of emotion or drama that need to be highlighted and the type of theme music we can imagine. The theme music is regarded as the music which is most recognised and will become associated to this film, so it will cover the intro and the conclusive parts. It is usually the strongest piece musically to allow impact and depth from the outset.

Discussing the intention of the video is also very important. So figuring out the target audience and the purpose of the film is absolutely key. In Terms of purpose whether it’s a marketing video or a documentary on a social issue this all has to be evaluated, understood and communicated between the team to help the composer to know the correct feel and atmosphere he will create.

From here the composer can begin playing around with instruments and draft some sound concepts.

Once filming is complete and we come back to the editing table, we begin creating our first draft. At this beginning stage we use the draft sound concepts created by the music producer & composer to help and act as a reference to the style to inform the editing in terms of pace and flow.

The first draft stage is when we export and send to the music producer and composer so they now have rough visuals for the first time to go off. Now they can actually begin some hard composing and put their musical ideas together and start creating the audio story to complement the visuals. It’s all about harmonising and forging these two mediums together to create a complete composition.

The music producer will take all the composed sounds and instrumentals, mix this into a single track which we can edit to the first draft so when it is screened to the client they can really begin to see what their film will look and sound like. Impact and quality in the initial drafting stages is imperative. Keeping the client happy and on board makes issues a lot easier and you can take their feedback into account going into the second draft. But if your first draft was not on point, it could be detrimental to the working relationship as your client always has expectations from you which they may or may not have made clear (often not!). Always listen very carefully to what the client wants and balance that with your creative and professional opinion. Think about how you are going to keep the client on board and give them what they want whilst cleverly making suggestions and even changes based on your expertise and opinion.

Going into the second and third drafts of the score… The envisioned concepts and themes from the outset will now start to take a grip and ensure the viewer goes on the intended journey! Well that’s what we hope! It really is a case of trial and error at this stage, trying out different ideas or adjusting the tempo, volume, pace, different instruments, whatever you need to do to develop your piece. You’ll have to work very closely with the composer to bring everything together and work through to the final draft… it’s a painstaking and challenging part of the process – communication is key! But patience is the most important tool – allowing the composer to do their job – which they can only do if you work closely with them and make your ideas, issues or problems really clear. Tweaks left right and centre here!

Tying up any loose changes and possibly re-cutting some of the footage to fit the score is always necessary as cutting video and the timing between shots is always different to timing between beats and instruments. Frustration can occur when visual bits have to be cut down to have the intended overall impact. But vice-vera can happen – if the audio needs to be cut down in order to allow another bit of important footage to be inserted – this could alter the shole score. A good composer will keep their cool and figure out a way to make it stretch without the viewer realising.

Last thing to do is master the score so all the levels are at their best performance to maximise the cleanliness of the sound and to adjust and set the amplitude levels with the film. So double checking  any dialogue can be heard perfectly and the music is their to reinforce the content and set the correct mood and not to over power any elements. Raising levels to highlight certain points can control the viewer’s attention and engagement throughout the whole film. Clever little touches like this happen at this stage. Be bold and make quick decisions as time is often running out…

The finished product should be a complete composition with audio and visual behaving as one and producing a rich and entertaining experience for the target audience.

The times when we compose our own music to bring our films to life are when we feel more alive! Adding another dimension to our work with our own hand-crafted, beautifully scored soundtracks gives us so much joy we need to share it with the world. So here are all the tracks we’ve ever made for our films in one place. Chill out to the ambient sounds or check out the quality of our work. Whatever you do, make sure you visit us at soundcloud.com/union_street_ma

 


Storytelling Through Editing

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Telling stories is an art. Ask any author. To tell good stories you have to create pictures with words. But it is not the words that make the story good or bad but the order in which you put them.  And this is the basic principle of editing.

You can have the best shots in the world but if you don’t assemble them in the right order then all your hard work will be for naught.  Alternatively even with the worst footage, a film can be saved in the edit suite.  Whilst an editor often winces the phrase “it can be fixed in post-production”, usually due to a rushed job, inadequate equipment or honest fudge-ups, it never-the-less is true.

Without being too technical, what a person sees on screen is a little over 20 pictures in one second.  So for a two hour film that’s around 172,800 pictures.  To be truly effective, each of these pictures (frames) has to be analysed as one picture – too few or too many can make all the difference.  This could be cutting away to a different shot literally as a person finishes a sentence to add emphasis on what has been said. Alternatively it could be leaving a few extra frames of silence after a person has finished talking to allow the information to sink in.

Both of these techniques can be very powerful and communicate meaning to the audience without the use of words or actions.  To the audience these `choices` may well be subliminal and this is how it should be.  A story should have a natural flow transporting the audience from one scene to the next without them taking note of the change.  A bad edit will jar the audience from this fantasy as something feels off, doesn’t flow quite right or doesn’t quite make sense.

This isn’t to say the edits need to be complex. As with most things, simplicity is the key.  If the choice being made is to make the best use of the footage then the result will be fine.  It’s when choices are made because they are ‘popular’ or a ‘cheap’ attempt to draw attention.  In the 8o’s this used to be the obligatory topless woman shot, even when it had nothing to do with the story.  But the audience began to question this and today it is far more seldom to see such shots.  Instead we have the over-use of special effects.  The mistake producers, directors and editors make is believing that people pay to see special effects rather than stories.  But with people being able to voice their unfiltered opinions instantaneously via social media, it is clear that people want a good story more than fast moving shots, camera flares, explosions and topless women.

The Academy Awards are considered the pinnacle achievements for film-making.  Everyone knows who won best actor or director or what was the best film. But no one ever remembers who won best editor. And yet it is the editor who is the story teller creating a piece of art from a multitude of pictures. So to the editor, storyteller, grafter, taker, giver, artist, art director and everything in between and of course not forgetting midnight coffee junkie of sorts… WE SALUTE YOU!


‘Save The Bee’ – Campaign Film

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At Union Street, we’re passionate about our planet and preserving it for our future generations. Nothing is more at the heart of this than the plight of the bee.

We have created this film to raise awareness on the current issue which is the massive decline of the Bee population. This is a crucial problem facing humanity. If the Bees disappear the human race will struggle. See it here.

Certain flowers, plants & trees will never grow again if the Bee is not helped and supported. Bees are critical pollinators vital to the eco system which we live in.

Maybe we are higher up on the food chain but if the Bees were to die out we would certainly feel the effect. Plants & animals which we have within our own diets would disappear.

We have no real way of knowing what devastation this will cause to the planet.

One of the main reason this is happening is the over use of Pesticides and Insecticides. These have dramatic affects on the situation. They effects the Bees brains causing brain damage and instant death. This leads to all sorts of bad outcomes.

So lets take some action now and stop this before its too late. WATCH THE FILM NOW.

First step is to sign the 38 Degrees petition to ban the use of these horrible chemicals. Please share the film wherever you can and get the word out.

Please click the link below and sign;

http://www.38degrees.org.uk/page/s/ba…

https://home.38degrees.org.uk/?s=bees

Here are some helpful websites which give tips and info on saving the Bee in your own garden:

http://www.queenofthesun.com/get-invo…

http://www.buzzaboutbees.net/save-the…

http://sos-bees.org

http://savehoneybees.info

http://www.saveourbees.org.uk

Celebrating the Creative Breaks Programme

Creative Breaks is a pioneering career development programme for unemployed and underemployed people in Greater Manchester who want to pursue a career in the arts, culture, digital media and community engagement/development sectors. We were lucky to receive funding from the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities to develop and run this programme with PANDA and now Year 1 is coming to an end…

We’re celebrating the work that has been achieved by the participants, and showcasing the work we’ve been up to on the 11th December! See the event invitation below – join us for a pre-Christmas drink?! Book on at bit.ly/1PQMQRn

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About Creative Breaks

In July and August, people from all over Greater Manchester applied to be part of this year’s programme. We are delighted to have accepted just under 20 applicants to benefit from this programme over the next 6 months and have an incredible variety of training, support and work experience to offer them.

The programme started with an intensive 2 week training programme that covered personal development, community engagement, project management and film production.

Following the training programme, the applicants form groups and develop a proposal for a “campaign” to raise the profile of a social issue, a cultural organisation, a creative idea, an environment or a group.

Their objective is to find something that is not visible and make it visible locally, nationally and internationally in order to raise awareness of it, make it heard, and/or attract attention, visitors or investment to it.

As part of the campaign the participants must identify their audience or potential audience and how they will target them. Part of their focus will be on promoting to people within and outside of Greater Manchester with the aim to encourage people to uptake more cultural activities and visit areas within Greater Manchester.

The campaigns that the participants choose will highlight the richness of culture, sport, environmental and business in these areas and promote them locally, national and internationally therefore reducing social exclusion, opening up communities and encouraging the uptake of services and activities in those areas. This will make communities more visited, proud and promoted, therefore more inclusive, also impacting upon the economy and pride of place.

With more people visiting and moving around different communities as a result of the young people’s campaigns and films as well as the uptake of activities, and a new awareness of what communities have to offer, community cohesion will no doubt see a long lasting and sustained positive change.

To mark the end of the project and exhibit the work, we are planning a Celebration Event on Friday December 11th in the city centre of Manchester. This will be a chance to watch the films the groups have created, hear and see some fantastic speakers and performers and network with leading organisations in the social and cultural sector of Greater Manchester.

We have also been invited to exhibit our work at the European Parliament in Brussels in 2016! We need to fundraise a little more to get us all there for a couple of night and will be reaching out to you all for donations and support!

For the DEDICATED PROJECT BLOG, with lots of articles on the different groups, project approach, organisations inovled and much much more, VISIT to www.creativebreaksblog.wordpress.com

This is a partnership project between Panda Arts and Union Street with the funding coming from the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities.

Get in contact with Sue from Panda Arts panda.suec@gmail.com or Natasha from Union Street natasha@unionstreetmediaarts.com or 07595 583822/0161 877 3124.

www.panda-arts.org.uk

www.unionstreetmediaarts.co.uk

Save the date- creative breaks


Union Street in Bermuda – Host of the America’s Cup

Did you know that Bermuda is home to whistling tree frogs and ‘Dark and Stormies’ (Rum & Ginger Beer).

Well now it’s host to the America’s Cup!

For all those who aren’t aware of this seafaring sport, the America’s cup is a racing circuit featuring the best sailors in the world, competing on foiling, wingsailed catamarans.  This high octane sport is not only watched by millions around the world but attracts well known sponsors such as Louis Vuitton (who sponsors the whole race), and team sponsors such as Emirates, Land Rover, Oracle and many others all of whom sponsor millions for their teams.  This is no low key, relaxing sport, it is Formula 1 on water!

Americas Cup Americas Cup Blog Post The_America's_CupAs Bermuda is synonymous with sandy beaches, clear waters and of course sailing it was a real coup for Bermuda to become the host for the 35th cup.  And as the Bermudian hospitality is as warm as it’s weather, the crews having nothing but glowing praise for their hosts.

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