Into Film Clubs
Find out everything you need to know about starting an Into Film Club.
Our Into Film Club of the Month for May 2019 is Preston Lodge High School, in East Lothian, Scotland. The Into Film Club is run by Louise Marr, who talked to us about the positive benefits of making films with young people and how they've created films that are now with the National Library of Scotland's Moving Image Archive.
My film club has been running for 9 years. It began as an after school club with a group of S2 pupils who were keen to learn about filmmaking and it has developed from there.
There's so much I enjoy about running my film club. It's been the most rewarding experience I've had in my 22 year teaching career. Many of the films I've made with kids have made me cry because they've been so moving and have captured something very special for all time.
A particular memory I have is from a film premiere we held for a reminiscence film about World War II in our community. I looked along the packed-out church that hosted the premiere and saw all these OAP feet tapping along to the World War II music our music department was playing. We gave the community a great afternoon out that day. And a DVD to take home and be proud of.
I also enjoy making films with pupils as it's so important to record memories and films of places that no longer exist for all time. Through making the films, the pupils saw people and places in a different light and really valued them in a way they didn't before. It's rewarding knowing that these films are with the National Library of Scotland's Moving Image Archive, so that although some of the people and places we filmed no longer exist, their stories will live on forever.
It's also so rewarding introducing kids to filmmaking and seeing how good they are at it and how much they love it. It's great knowing some of them are now studying film at university and aim to go into the film industry post-graduation. The talent you see is quite incredible!
Watching and studying films with classes really broadens their horizons. They are exposed to worlds, situations and themes they would never have come across before, through a medium which they love.Louise Marr, Preston Lodge High School, East Lothian
It's a long story! I was part of a Heritage Lottery archaeology project locally and, as part of that project, I worked with a filmmaker to make a short reminiscence film. Funding became available at school, which allowed the filmmaker I had worked with on the project to come in to school and teach us how to make a film properly. We made a reminiscence film about the school, for its 85th anniversary. It was a great success. One film led to another and we've now made over 20 films!
We've made films of all different types of genres, including seven documentaries, a news report, a zombie movie, a silent movie, a tourist film and several dramas. We've held a film premiere for each of our documentaries. Each film group decides what type of film they would like to make. I can present them with ideas but essentially, it's up to them in the end. It's their film.
Plan ahead first and take advice from others. You need to make sure you have all the equipment you need to get started. Be prepared for enthusiasm. Pupils are keen filmmakers. You need to be very organised though, especially if you have a big class.
In my experience, I've seen pupils grow through filmmaking. I had a pupil who was very shy who gained confidence whilst filmmaking and went on to study film at Edinburgh College. Pupils who may lack confidence in reading and writing can really shine through film work. They have demonstrated some excellent creative qualities. You see pupils who are really good in front of the camera and some who are natural directors.
It's a joy to stand back and let them take charge, discussing their ideas with each other. Team work is essential and if they don't work well as a team, the film struggles to be made.
Watching and studying films with classes really broadens their horizons. They are exposed to worlds, situations and themes they would never have come across before through a medium which they love. Film can make them better human beings.
It's a privilege to be an Education Ambassador for Into Film Scotland. It's so valuable to be given the opportunity to meet other people and to hear about their ideas and experiences. There are many more advantages, including hearing about things first and having access to first class CPD. It's also always fun catching up with the other Into Film Club leaders and the Into Film Scotland team, who are so supportive.
Just go for it. You'll never know how it will work out till you try it. You'll definitely have fun along the way!
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