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The Space: 10by10

  • Date: 25 July 2013
  • Artform: None
  • Area: National
Woman running down street 10by10 offers a unique journey across the UK from a Black British perspective, photographer: Tim Smith

10by10 is a collection of 10 short films by 10 writers from Black and minority ethnic backgrounds based in nine cities around England.

The writers were chosen by Eclipse Theatre on the basis that they would benefit from both the experience of contributing and the exposure gained through the project. All the writers took as their starting point Chester Himes's novel A Rage in Harlem. They developed a script that was relevant to the city in which they were based, and where the film was to be shot.

The films were published on The Space over a three week period, which enabled interest in the project to be built via social media and press coverage.

Key challenges and learnings

  • A key challenge was managing the scale of the project and its national nature
  • A major learning was in developing its skills in producing online drama

Dawn Walton, Artistic Director for Eclipse, said:
"The Space allowed us to fulfil a long-held ambition to develop a number of dramas across the regions at the same time. We knew we were going to have to transfer our existing theatre skills and learn many new ones in order to deliver high production values in a very short timescale. This was only possible because we took the choice to create a partnership with an experienced film producer."

Impact

  • Established an online drama-led presence for Eclipse Theatre
  • Enabled the company to increase its digital media presence through Twitter and Facebook, thereby connecting with new audiences for its live work
  • Gave the company the confidence to move forward with its plans to develop a drama-led digital TV channel
  • Established that there is a need for a regionally-based writer development programme for Black and minority ethnic writers
  • Raised the profile of Eclipse

Dawn Walton commented: "Taking part in The Space has raised the profile of the company, and its Artistic Director, with significant organisations including Arts Council England, the BBC and Creative England".

Successes

Through 10by10, Eclipse Theatre was able to:

  • Work with 10 Black and minority ethnic writers
  • Attract and work with a quality cast
  • Establish a relationship with a film producer
  • Produce 10 quality short films

Legacy

The project has given Eclipse the confidence to work in film, and will inspire them to work on similar projects in the future. Dawn Walton said: "Every single day was a learning experience, which I very much enjoyed, and loved, and ate up and grabbed hold of, and just got as much as I could and, I hope, improved throughout the whole process and I feel very confident about approaching film now, which I didn't before The Space. To be truthful, I didn't know whether I could do it, and now I feel I definitely can, and I can't wait for the next time to do it again".