Professor Andrew Burn, Dr John Potter and Dr Becky Parry won a grant from First Light to make and research young people’s film-making in London, Cambridge and Sheffield. The project is a collaboration with Mark Reid and Michelle Cannon at the BFI, the Sheffield Showroom, the University of Leeds, James Durran from Parkside Federation, the Cambridge Film Consortium, and the Cambridge-based machinima company Moviestorm Ltd.
In each of the settings, different practices around acquiring productive moving image literacy is being researched. In the London setting, students, filmmakers and teachers worked with the Cinematheque Francaise on a project called “The Real in Fiction”. The picture shows boys from the London Nautical School working on their short film “No Escape”. There is a project blog with further information produced in conjunction with the BFI here.
In Cambridge the focus has been on using the Moviestorm software to produce Machinima and in Sheffield the process has been based around a project in primary schools with handheld and mobile film-making.
The Cambridge machinima films were made by two Year 7 classes. As well as making the animations, they wrote the stories, recorded the voice tracks, and made and recorded the music. Machinima is a form of animation which emerged from computer games and virtual worlds, and something of the styles of these forms can be seen in the films. They were supported by Martin Sercombe, film-maker, Joel Middleton, composer, Alex Gowland, software designer, Trish Sheil, Cambridge Arts Picturehouse, and James Durran and Claire Tierney, teachers at Coleridge Community College. The films were screened at the Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge, in June 2012. Watch them below. You can read an analysis of film literacy in the first film at Andrew Burn’s site.