Get the Picture

Get the Picture exists because the state has more or less withdrawn from provision of adult informal education in the UK. The many film-lovers who want to extend their knowledge and understanding of film have been left with few options. For some, solitary study is the answer, but we at Get the Picture recognize that just as many people prefer to view films in a communal setting, so there are people whose learning needs are best met by working in a group.

When Mark Cousins released his film essay series The Story of Film: An Odyssey, we saw it as an opportunity to develop a new approach to community film study. With Mark’s endorsement, we have developed and trialled an approach to community-based film study that works, providing the right mixture of support, challenge and expert input from The Story of Film to create a fulfilling and enjoyable learning experience for participants.

Since this web site launched in 2014, John Salisbury, the creative force behind the Get the Picture partnership, has died after a long illness. John was a fiercely intelligent and independent individual and this shines through in the study notes and materials he wrote for the programme. John was in touch with many Get the Picture registrants right until the end, answering requests for materials – a typical demonstration of his devotion to the project and endless belief in the importance of life-long learning.

The other partners in Get the Picture,  Julia Vickers and Jim Barratt, will be maintaining the programme and ensuring the study materials that John created continue to be available – to assist and inspire as many as possible to find their own way through learning.

Apologies for any break in service and please bear with us while we transfer communications.

John Salisbury served on film society committees in a number of roles, most recently as founder and Chair of Ventnor Film Society. From 2003 to 2007 he was a member of the BFFS (British Federation of Film Societies) management committee, and he edited and produced the BFFS newsletter during this period. John brought to Get the Picture professional skills developed in a lifetime of teaching at secondary and University level, and in the founding and operation of a small publishing company.

Julia Vickers first encountered film societies at university and is currently Chair of Bracknell Film Society, having been an active member for over 15 years. She has worked in independent film sales, acquisitions and distribution and, working with distributors, producers and filmmakers, has helped to bring a wide range of titles to the community cinema sector. Julia advises on cinema strategy at a mixed arts venue and on programming to local and regional film festivals. Her consultancy provides advice and support services to organisations across the UK and Ireland on the development and operation of community-based exhibition.

Jim Barratt has been involved with the community cinema movement in various capacities since 2006, most recently as founding Chair of Llancarfan Community Cinema. His consultancy, Bigger Picture Research, provides research and strategic planning services to the film and creative industries. Jim is a member of the Film Hub Wales Advisory Group. His book about Peter Jackson’s debut feature, Bad Taste, was published by Wallflower Press/ Columbia University Press in 2008.