The aims of the project are:
– To forge greater links across the Saffron Academy Trust (Saffron Walden County High School in Saffron Walden and Alec Hunter Humanities College in Braintree).
– To engage students in a film making project that will enable them to develop new relationships with pupils from another school, learn new film making skills and work with industry professionals to script, film, edit and showcase their films.
– To encourage integration between school film activity and Saffron Screen to maximise this on-site resource for students at Saffron Walden County High School
– To create filmed material that can be used to promote both school
Year 9 students were asked to apply to be part of the project and six students from each school were selected to participate in this project which is spread across 5 days through the Autumn term.
Filmmaker Justin Rhodes is working with the students to develop, plan, film and edit a short film.
In October 2013, the group visited the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, London, for a backstage tour. Tom, at the Royal Opera House, showed the youngsters some ‘life in the day’ films made at the ROH. He then encouraged them to storyboard their journey to school every morning, and the group considered each others storyboards and discussed what makes a good short documentary film.
On their next day, back at SWCHS, the students were introduced to cameras and different types of shots, and made a short film about an everyday object using different types of shots and getting used to handling a camera and working together. They then began discussing with Justin what format their short film should take. Suggestions included an opera, students teaching their teachers, I’m A Student, Get Me Out Of Here!, and a late-night camping film.
Students are currently in the ‘principal photography‘ phase of production. They are either acting, operating the camera or holding boom mikes – but not at the same time! Filming will complete before Christmas. The task of editing will start in earnest in the new year with screenings and a premiere planned to coincide with the Awards season in the Spring.
All the students are enjoying working together and with costume changes and group tee-shirts it is impossible to tell which school the students have come from. A great example of collaborative and creative learning.