Stonehenge: sky, stones, landscape, people, meaning

There are many interpretations of Stonehenge: a short film produced by Creative Wiltshire working in partnership with English Heritage is designed to help education visitors understand where the debate begins. Staff and students from Wiltshire College have been working with Creative Wiltshire for over two years to produce an educational media toolkit for Stonehenge.

The project was initiated by producer, Richard White in collaboration with Creative Wiltshire’s creative industries associate, Alan Graves. Alan brought his feature film line producing expertise to a series of film and still photography shoots at Stonehenge working with Bournemouth University Film Production students.

At the Interactive Media Centre in Chippenham music technology lecturer, Oli Brand, supported his students to produce powerful soundscapes evoking the mysteries and majesty of the stones. Students from a range of courses and backgrounds were involved in making and researching media for the film. Charly King (BTEC Film and TV) played a key role in researching and identifying existing footage and photographs of Stonehenge and went on to organise a shoot of authentic Bronze Age metalworking at a remote location. A group of BTEC Games Development students worked on producing computer animations of the raising of the great sarsen stones and degree student Mat Gray created an animated map.

“ It was an exciting and collaborative process”

Returning Chippenham College students came to work on the project as paid graduate interns including Tim Fernandez who gained his media degree in Falmouth and Elliot Jackson, a recent Bournemouth University media graduate. Resolving the twin demands of archaeological accuracy and maintaining accessibility for the target audience was a significant scrip development challenge. With facts and approaches established Mark Bishop from Big State Theatre Company helped Richard White finalise the script. Creative Digital Media degree students recorded the script with Mark and Julie Black, also from Big State, at the IMC studios in Chippenham.

The most recent shoot involved Tim and Elliot recording ancient technologist Neil Burridge creating an authentic Bronze Age furnace and casting an axe head in a cave near Lands End. This shoot provided a series of stunning action sequnces and a documented process for the film.

With the film completed the next phase of the project will involve packaging all the media assets gathered and produced so that they can be reused by education visitors coming to Stonehenge. The plan is that they will be able to download sounds, images and sequences and mix them with their own to create their own story of Stonehenge.