Port William Primary School

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Last week, Port William Primary School, Primary 5 and Primary 6 were visited by a team (‘the crew’) from The London Film School and Transgressive North.

The aim of the workshops, which ran over three days, was to introduce the children to skills relating to film-making.

On day one the children learned about camera skills, sound production and had to make use their literacy skills to help them plan an interview. They also learnt about the equipment they were going to use; cameras, tripods and microphones. Once they had become familiar with the equipment, the children worked in their groups to explore ideas for the filming that would take place on day two. Lots of ideas were explored, however, the children decided on five main themes; the harbour and boats, the charity shop and the work it carries out in recycling everyday items, the harbour master, The mill and life working and living in the woods. Interviews were arranged with Mrs Topping at the charity shop, Mr Brawls, the harbour master, Mr Turner who has previously worked and lived in the woods and Mr Gilmour who owns the mill in Port William.

Day two saw the children leaving the school, in their groups, with their equipment. They spent the entire morning interviewing and filming their specific subjects and making films of objects and views that would compliment their interviews. All of them were ‘buzzing’ when they returned to school ready to find out all about editing.

Day three was a very busy day and started with a look at the first ‘rushes’. One or two of the children from each group then went with some of the crew to make a first edit of their films. The rest of the children enjoyed an activity which had them planning their first feature film. They had to think hard about location, equipment, cast and budget. These children then had to ‘pitch’ their ideas to one of the crew to see which film he would, hypothetically, invest his money in! There was fun all around.

The day ended with the groups all being able to view their edited films. The crew returned the next day to finish off the viewing session. Primary 4 also got to see what the other children had been doing. They are now hoping that ‘the crew’ will return next year to run similar workshops with them.

Port William Primary School would like to thank the five members who travelled up from London and who travelled from Edinburgh to our school to work with the children and also The London Film School for sponsoring the travel arrangements helping to make the whole experience possible. Mrs Pomfret, the class teacher who co-ordinated the workshops, said that she felt that the opportunity for the children to experience this type of learning in school had truly had an effect on the children. They were able to see where their literacy skills fitted into real life. Some of them are now wanting to be camera, sound and editing people when they leave school! The school would also like to thank Mrs Topping, Mr Brawls, Mr Turner and Mr Gilmour for agreeing to be interviewed and filmed by the children and for the time and effort that they all put into this task.

Hopefully, the films will be available for viewing at the school’s open day on Wednesday, June 15.