We completed the Hidden Keighley discovery day yesterday. Six schools trekking around the town in search of boxes which had been transformed by the children. My role has been to organise the film making element in collaboration with artist Amy Heild.
The process of making a film is a fantastic way for the children to learn so many skills and build their confidence, even a simple interview has so many elements to it. Deciding on the most relevant location to film the story, observing & planning the shots, managing the equipment, problem solving, engaging with the interviewee are only a few skills needed. It's particularly rewarding to pick shy children to work in front of the camera or take a leadership role and see them rise to the challenge.
The brilliant thing about video is that you can re-take if things go wrong. We've had some wonderful conversations about the value of being able to learn from mistakes. At first the children get embarrassed when they make a mistake but soon they're able to have a laugh about it and move on to an improved attempt.
Bringing professionalism to the way the video is filmed and edited can be a huge boost to many children. They imagine that professional film makers have none of the problems they face – being nervous, tripping over their lines, wobbly shots and so on. Once they realise that there are some simple techniques to achieving impressive results they begin to feel so much more confident.
We've had a lot of discussion about whether the process is more important than the outcome – i.e. that a poor quality film is OK provided that the children learn something in the process. I'm sure that the end product is vitally important – especially for a product designed for public showing. The buzz the children get from achieving a film that looks like something they would see on TV or at the cinema is something they can be proud of and will remember for a long time.
This is the model of Keighley Picture House. Inside is a screen on
which interviews about of the old cinema play. Next week all the films
will be shown at the real cinema at a red carpet event for 300 children.
This is from the film Box of Sounds in which we take this animated Victorian girl to re-visit one of the local mills.