Approaches to making work using 16mm film | Workshop with Luke Fowler

Part of Learning

7 December 2022

CCA, Glasgow
350 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, G2 3JD
View Map


A 16mm film still showing a street scene
Luke Fowler, 'The Harbour Doubts', 2007. Courtesy the artist and The Modern Institute

Luke Fowler leads this workshop for artists who are interested in learning more about working with 16mm film in a small group setting.

When I started working on 16mm I was once told a trick by an older filmmaker; that you could get your film processed for free if you called it a Camera Test’. In those days so much film was being processed by the labs that an extra 100ft was a negligible expense for them and could be the deal breaker for choosing them over their rivals. Of course artists work in different durations and 100ft of film – roughly 2 mins 45 seconds – could itself be an adequate length for a finished work. So the camera test began for me as a way of shooting film economically, but in recent times it has become an essential part of my methodology. In this workshop I will discuss the practical and artistic reasons, and methods, of why I think it’s wise to shoot a camera test before you make your film.” Luke Fowler

The workshop will include a rare screening of two of Luke’s first 16mm films (‘The Harbour Doubts, and Achterhaven Splinters’, both from 2007). Original prints of both works will be presented using a 16mm projector. Luke will also introduce and screen a recent work, Mum’s Cards’ (2018), and share some more recent camera tests with the group.

Participants can expect to learn more about Luke’s practice and working processes as well as some technical information about filming using 16mm. Luke will demonstrate and discuss loading the film, cleaning the camera and using a light meter.

There are 12 places available and the workshop is open to artists working with the moving image who are based in Scotland and are no longer in full time education.


Please email email hidden; JavaScript is required with a short expression of interest (no longer than 200 words) describing why this workshop would be useful for your practice at this time. Please also let us know in which region of Scotland you are based.

We welcome expressions of interest in other formats such as voice notes and video recordings (up to 2 minutes). Expressions of interest must be received by 10am on Monday 28 Nov 2022.

We will select participants based on who would most benefit from the learning opportunity and those who are interested in learning more about Luke’s practice. We will consider participants’ location within Scotland, to ensure that the selected group represents artists from different parts of the country. All applicants will be notified about the outcome of their application by email by 5pm on Monday 28 Nov 2022.


This event will be live captioned and a transcript of the films will be available for participants. This workshop will take part in the Clubroom at the CCA which is accessible by lift. Accessibility information about the building can be found here.

A small access fund is available to cover participants’ access costs. Once selected, we can discuss access requirements and allocate funds to support participation, based on a first come first served basis. For example, this fund could cover your travel to CCA to attend the workshop.


A fund is available to cover the costs of childcare, carers or support workers to support you to attend this workshop. Once selected, we can discuss access requirements and allocate funds to support participation, based on a first come first served basis.

Then, we will pay you £15 per hour and the money will be paid directly into your bank account (alternative arrangements can be made if required). Please make your own arrangements as we are unable to book childcare, carers or support workers on your behalf. This fund will be made available to participants when they have been selected to take part. At that point, you can let us know how much you would like to be paid and you will be sent an expenses form.


A fund is available to cover the travel costs of a small number of Aberdeen based artists to attend this workshop, through support from Aberdeen City Council’s Creative Funding Programme. Once selected, we can discuss your travel requirements and allocate funds to cover your train travel costs. Travel funds are only available to artists living and working in Aberdeen city council wards or artists who have a studio in Aberdeen city council wards, which are requirements of the Creative Funding Programme.


Scottish artist, filmmaker and musician Luke Fowler (1978) has developed a practice that is, at the same time, singular and collaborative, poetic and political, structural and documentary, archival and deeply human. With an emphasis on communities of people, outward thinkers and the history of the left, his 16mm films tell the stories of alternative movements in Britain, from psychiatry to photography to music to education. Whilst some of his early films dealt with music and musicians as subjects, in later works sound itself becomes a key concern.

Image description: A grainy still image, shot on 16mm film, of a street scene including car bumpers, painted road markings. In the centre of the image a person sits on a parked, unusual yellow vehicle.

Live Captions

Transcript of 16mm film works

Access fund available

Fund for childcare, carers and support workers available

Part of Learning

Learn more