The Derek Jarman Lab is the media hub at Birkbeck offering filmmaking training, support and facilities to its postgraduate students. The practical skills we teach are complemented by media theory insights and multidisciplinary collaboration. The Lab is also active in organizing events, producing films and encouraging moving image research.
The Derek Jarman Lab is part of the Birkbeck Institute and is chaired by Colin MacCabe. We are also supported by the University of Pittsburgh.
Our first feature-length documentary, The Seasons in Quincy: Four Portraits of John Berger, premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival in February 2016. Go to seasonsinquincy.com for details.
The Seasons in Quincy is the result of a five-year project by Tilda Swinton, Colin MacCabe and Christopher Roth to produce a portrait of the intellectual and storyteller John Berger. It was produced by the Derek Jarman Lab in collaboration with the composer Simon Fisher Turner. It premiered at Berlin International Film Festival in February 2016. See seasonsinquincy.com for details.
The Derek Jarman Lab offers an array of training and support for researchers who would like to include filmmaking as part of their practice.
At the core of our teaching is our four day ‘essay film course’, which is an introductory course covering basic technical filmmaking competencies as well as some conceptual approaches to incorporating film into academic practice.
In addition to this, the lab has worked with various departments and partners to design and run courses for specific needs: from generalist one day introductory workshops to courses in specific technical skills such as audio editing or subtitling.
To find out more about our courses and the dates of any upcoming events: click here.
The Derek Jarman Lab is actively developing a slate of exciting feature length essay films – we are constantly looking for new subjects and potential collaborations. We have a number of projects currently in development. Click here for further info about some of those projects.
The Seasons In Quincy, Lab’s first feature length film premiered at Berlin in February 2016, and is currently screening around the world. Visit the Seasons website for full details about upcoming screenings.
Working with academics from various fields and disciplines, the Lab produces and supports a number of short research films. Our recent work has involved collaborations with architectural historians, researchers in the medical humanities, and the Foundling Museum in London.
A selection of our research films are available to view here.
Our patrons: Keith Collins, Isaac Julien and Tilda Swinton
Bartek Dziadosz is the Director at the Derek Jarman Lab. He studied Law in Cracow and Contemporary Media Practice at the Westminster Film School. He made a successful career as a cinematographer and editor before devoting most of his time to the Lab. Bartek has just finished his doctoral research on editing. He was cinematographer on Spring, A Song for Politics and Harvest in The Seasons in Quincy sequence. He also directed A Song for Politics and edited Harvest. His own documentary on the sociologist Zygmunt Bauman, The Trouble with Being Human These Days, has screened around the world.
Lily Ford is Deputy Director at the Derek Jarman Lab. She produced the feature-length documentary The Seasons in Quincy: Four Portraits of John Berger for the Lab and continues to work on films and research there. She completed her PhD on aerial views and the culture of flight in 1920s Britain in 2015, then worked as Researcher in Residence at the Ben Uri Art Gallery and Museum, and Cultural Engagement Fellow at Birkbeck. Her illustrated cultural history of flight, Taking to the Air, will be published by the British Library in 2018 and she is currently working on a film essay about women in aviation factories in the 1910s and 1920s.
Colin MacCabe chairs the Derek Jarman Lab. From 1985 to 2008 he produced features, documentaries and installations for directors as varied as Terence Davies, Derek Jarman, Isaac Julien, Chris Marker. From 2008 he has devoted himself to research led filmmaking establishing with Bartek Dziadosz, Lily Ford and Sarah Joshi the Derek Jarman Lab in 2012. For the Lab he has produced all the films for The Seasons in Quincy and directed Ways of Listening and A Song for Politics. He is also a critic and his next book is Perpetual Carnival: Essays on Film and Literature which will be published next year by OUP.
Eddie is Managing Producer at the Derek Jarman Lab. Beyond his role developing and producing projects at the Lab, Eddie is a freelance filmmaker who spent a number of years working in fiction film production after completing is MRes at the London Consortium in 2012. His recent short film GUTS is currently showing on the festival circuit.
Bea is a researcher and filmmaker. Following her Masters in Research at the London Consortium in 2013, Bea has developed her own research on the cultural and material history of East London, as well as her work as a filmmaker. Bea worked as assistant producer on The Seasons in Quincy: Four Portraits of John Berger for the Derek Jarman Lab, and is a producer for Smart Docs Limited. She has also developed independent projects, filming with conservation researchers in the Peruvian Amazon in 2015, and with midwives working in Paris in January 2016.
Rebecca Wright recently completed her doctoral research on representations of energy in early twentieth-century American thought at the London Consortium. Between 2014-2015 she was a Research Fellow on the AHRC collaborative project ‘Material Cultures of Energy’ at Birkbeck College and a British Research Council Fellow at the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. She is currently a short-term Dibner Fellow in the History of Science and Technology at the Huntington Library in California, where she is working on the aesthetic management of energy systems in Southern California.
Walter Stabb is the Head of Post-production. Walter has worked as an Editor, Assistant Editor and Assistant Producer on documentary projects screened by BBC:Storyville, BBC:Arena, HBO America and at festivals internationally. Since completing the London Consortium MRES programme, where he explored the relationship between documentary film, trauma and animation, Walter has had the pleasure of leading practical workshops for students on editing and overseen the post-production of The Seasons in Quincy.
Robyn Jakeman is a producer at the Lab and a PhD student in the English Department at Birkbeck. She completed an MA in English literature at the University of Leeds in 2012 and is currently working on her doctoral research on Italian Futurism and its role in the development of British literary modernism. Robyn is developing new sales and exhibition projects for the Lab.
Francis Gooding is the Head of Research at the Derek Jarman Lab. He is a writer and researcher. He writes on art, music and film, amongst other things. He worked as a researcher and author on the Colonial Film: Images of the British Empire project (colonialfilm.org.uk). He is a contributing editor to Critical Quarterly, and is the author of Black Light: Myth and Meaning in Modern Painting (2009).
Date: 1st April 2017 G10, 43 Gordon Square WORKSHOP/PERFORMANCE organised by The Derek Jarman Lab in collaboration with Rebecca E Marshall A roundtable discussion, workshop and performance… Read more “Meshes of Time”
In 2016 the Derek Jarman Lab had the pleasure of collaborating with Dr Luciana Martins, from the Department of Cultures and Languages at Birkbeck, on her British… Read more “Many Lives of a Shield – with Dr Luciana Martins”
One week ago John Berger died. Below we offer a reflection on John from The Seasons in Quincy director and producer Colin Maccabe. John Berger was an… Read more “Farewell to John Berger”