A woman’s face looks directly to camera, over a vivid blue background. A mirror image overlaps her face creating a distorted effect.

The Digital Darkroom aimed to inspire artists and producers working on studio to mid-scale productions to think creatively about what ‘digital content’ is, what their digital impact could be and what is possible at this scale of work.  The project looked to challenge and overcome preconceptions about who digital work can be made by, how it is made, and who it is for.

The project included a 2 day creative exchange for independent producers and digital platforms/organisations and a series of digital discovery webinars focusing on demystifying the digital.

Presented by China Plate, Warwick Arts Centre and New Theatre Royal, Portsmouth. Supported using public funding through Arts Council England.

If you would be interested to explore running a Darkroom with us on a particular issue or theme, please contact our Training & Development Producer Kristina Hall on [email protected] to discuss.

Photo © Hannah McPake & Joshua Pharo


Digital Discovery Webinars

Lines of red and pink circles curving round.

China Plate delivered a series of online webinars, in partnership with The Space, in April 2020. This programme of webinars aimed to demystify the digital, and give attendees some basic knowledge and user friendly tools to help them jump in and start capturing and creating content without breaking the bank. They were available twice on limited release and we will look to bring them back.

The webinars:

Livestreaming, a beginner’s guide – presented by Joe Bell (Sideburn Panda) and Sarah Fortescue (The Space). This session gives you a 101 whistle-stop tour of the basics of low cost livestreaming your content, including some DIY tips to get your started. The session also includes an introduction to online distribution.

An introduction to VR, 360 & immersive experiences – presented by Dan Tucker (Art x Tech). This session will give you a basic introduction to approaching VR, 360 and immersive technologies as both a creative practitioner and audience member.

Capturing and editing short form film content – presented by Joe Bell (Sideburn Panda). A how to guide to curating, capturing, editing and distributing your own low cost, short form video content – with a view to who your audiences and distribution platforms might be.

An introduction to podcasting – presented by Clare Freeman (The Podcast Coach). A beginner’s guide to creating, recording, editing and streaming/distributing your own podcast, looking at how to develop engaging content, reach audiences and access the right technologies.

Presented by China Plate, The Space and New Theatre Royal, Portsmouth as part of China Plate’s Digital Darkroom project. Supported by Warwick Arts Centre. Supported using public funding through Arts Council England.

Digital Darkroom Creative Exchange

A man sits on a chair wearing a LIVR virtual headset.

The Digital Darkroom Creative Exchange took place at Warwick Arts Centre in October 2019, and brought together a small group of independent arts producers and digital platforms/specialists over 2 days to share knowledge, evaluate current digital opportunities, overcome creative challenges and explore new ways of working together to capture, distribute and create live-digital content.

The exchange explored what the 21st Century digital presence could be for independent theatre-makers and small-mid scale work, whilst also looking at the nuts and bolts of creating and distributing digital content.

“Digital is not a threat but a real opportunity that has the potential to democratise theatre, forge relationships with those who would never dream of seeing a live show, and form deeper ongoing relationships with those who saw it in a theatre… It is good news that China Plate is enabling these conversations, so that theatre can fully embrace change rather than run scared from it.”Lyn Gardner on The Digital Darkroom Creative Exchange

Read Lyn Gardner’s account of the event here.

Photo © China Plate Theatre

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