Today’s post features two young voices describing the process of training, preparation and capturing of the exciting events at the recent Gladiator Games event:
Hello, my name’s Jenny and I’m doing an internship at the Museum of London this summer. For the past couple of weeks I’ve been lucky enough to have been helping with the Stories of the World programme and working with Junction, the Museum’s fantastic youth panel.
I’ve been helping with Junction’s activities during the Museum of London’s Gladiator Games, held recently on the 30-31st of July. In a nutshell, Junction planned to film the Games to produce a short journalistic style video as well as using lots of different social media (such as Twitter, facebook, Tumblr, etc) to document the event. Alongside this, other Junction members would be working on a stall selling t-shirts and creating fantastically gory fake wounds on willing spectators.
Training for the event took place between the 27-29 of July, led by a company called SoundDelivery who specialise in digital media training and production. Our first day of was devoted to looking at how we could use social media channels to promote and document the event, and so Junction created a Twitter account under the identity of ‘Maximus Tweeticus’, a retired Roman Gladiator who would act as Junction’s inside-man reporter.
Junction members started tweeting just that afternoon, with regularly scheduled ‘tweet o’clocks’ to drum up publicity and new followers!
Thursday and Friday focused on getting used to working with the camera and working with Alex, our trained cameraman. Alex started off by getting Junction members to play a game which practiced framing shots, and as you can see from the pictures below it resulted in some pretty inspiring positioning!
In the afternoon, we visited the Guildhall to meet Dan Shadrake of Britannia and to see where the Games would be staged. There was even time to get in a bit of last minute training for Junction member Kay, who agreed to be a trainee Gladiator on the day! Then we headed home to prepare for the long day ahead…
At this point, we hand over to Junction panelist Shakira to describe all the activity of the games:
The atmosphere was buzzing on the day of the event, but an underlying sense of tension and anxiety amongst the gladiators and spectators was apparent. The Roman market had many visitors intrigued by the smells and sights that surrounded them. There was a blacksmith making a weapon to be used for a fight that day, a woman grinding grain, bards singing and playing their instruments, as well as other stalls that sold scrolls, trinkets and food.
The Emperor Domitian made a spectacular entrance into the courtyard in a horse-drawn chariot, accompanied by a squad of soldiers for his protection. The crowds roared and were eagerly waiting for the first fight to begin. They were split into two opposing cities; Londinium in the red corner and Camulodunum (Colchester) in the yellow. The crowd were also expected to take part in the games by helping decide the fate of a defeated gladiator, but ultimately the decision was up to the Emperor.
So, the games began. Spectators were enthralled by the sight of angry gladiators and the sound of clashing weapons. The gladiators were thoroughly impressive, demonstrating their signature moves and mighty skill, but the fake blood still made us squirm. However, there wasn’t time to watch the games as Junction had to capture the action. We were keeping our Max Tweeticus twitter followers updated as well as uploading pictures and interviews onto Tumblr and facebook.
The Junction stall was extremely busy selling t-shirts and wounds (fake of course, although the soldiers were willing to wound visitors for free). The wounds proved to be very popular, they looked disgustingly good.
The stall raised over £800 during the weekend selling wounds and t-shirts. We did a fair bit of practicing on ourselves too, getting some very funny looks on the way home…
- It was a hectic day but we captured some brilliant footage of the games, interviews and photos and were rewarded with ice-cream as it was an incredibly hot day. Success! On the Sunday I got into the character of a pall bearer, fake-wounding myself up and carrying a little brush for the sand. It was a thrilling experience being part of the games, but in the afternoon I enjoyed being a spectator.
To look back, all in all it was a very successful, if extremely busy weekend! The volunteers on the stand did a fantastic job and there was a massive amount of hard work by those who were filming and recording. From my point of view as a newcomer to the Stories of the World project, I think that all of Junction should be extremely proud of what they achieved over those few days – not only creating the films, audio recordings and taking photographs, but also how they all pulled together as team and got everything done on time.
I feel very lucky to have been able to help with the work that Junction have done. I’m really looking forward to seeing their film of the Gladiator Games as part of the Our Londinium 2012 exhibition next year!
P.S. Have a look at Maximus Tweeticus – he always likes new followers.