Cinehack at Maker Faire UK

A weekend celebrating 'maker' culture and an opportunity to discuss low-budget filmmaking, hardware hacking and other creative aspects of 'digital public space' with the 'public' at the heart of the term itself.

Presenting 'Cinehack' at Maker Faire this weekend provided an amazing opportunity for some great conversations with other 'makers' about DIY film and video-making practices, or what we like to call 'cinehacking'...

We took along some of the DIY cinematography tools that we have made over the course of the Cinehack project to-date, including a 'scotia dolly', 'DIY slider' and 'RC car dolly'. We also showed-off Guy Schofield's home-made RC spyplane, the DJI Phantom quadcopter and several mobile phone lens adapters (including a 60x microscope), as well as James Davoll's funnel-and-tinfoil lighting rig and heavy-duty steadicam.

We were particularly inspired by several tales from non-filmmakers who have produced bespoke solutions to specific video requirements from within their own communities. Examples including a sophisticated wire rig for high angle sweeping shots and a long tunnel used to create a shot of a tiny earth fading into the distance have inspired us to wonder how many other examples of DIY projects might be out there that could inspire a suite of Cinehack-type tools, and how might these tools be used to inspire DIY filmmakers of the future?

On the final afternoon of the faire, we were interviewed by Alasdair Allan for Makezine, the online version of Make Magazine; less than an hour later, it was already online and attracting 'likes' and tweets etc.

On the Friday before Maker Faire, there was also a Digital Economy-sponsored DIY Researchers Colloquium, organised by Andreas Reiter of the Horizon DCT at Nottingham University, at which researchers from several universities from across the UK (including Newcastle, Nottingham, Bath, RCA and Lancaster) discussed issues such as ownership, motivation, leadership and liability in the context of DIY/maker culture. It was a rewarding experience, which felt like we'd only touched the 'tip-of-the-iceberg' so we are hopeful it could lead to a special-interest-group for researchers interested in DIY/grassroots technology development and the many unique cultures that surround it.