BFI FILM ACADEMY, HIGHLANDS
This project was led Screen Education Edinburgh. We interviewed Laura McBride for this story.
In Summer 2014, Screen Education Edinburgh ran the BFI Film Academy Highlands, based at Eden Court Theatre in Inverness. As part of the film academy 10 young people achieved their Bronze Arts Award.
The biggest challenge to this project was that the participants came from all over the Highlands, some with a 2.5hour commute to the project. There was also the familiar challenges of lack of technical access, some of the group had additional needs including literacy issues.
Timescale & Content
The project took place over 3 months: 2 shoot weekends in the holidays then every Saturday for 5 weeks. Plus extra Arts Award sessions for 3 Thursdays . For Part A “Enjoying the Arts as a Participant” they used the film-shoot with skill specialisation and shot 2 short films. For Part B “Enjoying the arts as an audience member” the group watched a film at Eden Court plus a Q&A with film-makers Sergio Casci and Paul Wright (who grew up nearby) with a focus on a script. For Part C “Arts Inspiration” each young person picked their favourite film director/actor, researched then discussed with group. Part D “Arts Skills Share” the participants taught each other their film-shoot specialisation – camera, sound, script, acting, director, clapper, continuity. Groups of 3 or 4 shared skills with each other. Part D was part of the sessions which also wrote up the other parts/portfolio completion.
Making sure young people had specific time within their session to work on their award was really important. The geographic distance effected their independent learning time – too far away in body and mind.
You can see the 'making of' film can be found by clicking here.
This project used ArtsBox, as Laura said, it’s very difficult to do a film based Arts Award and create a paper portfolio. This had it’s issues – especially as the adviser had taken much of the film and photos and there is currently no capacity to share an Adviser’s library with their Artists on ArtsBox. However, ArtsBox is a safe digital platform and the ability to access your artists library/pages, outweighs the negatives.
The portfolios were a mix of mostly film, image and audio files.
There were also issues caused by the geographical spread of the participants – if they left a piece of work at home, it was not possible to pop home for it that day. Some of the participants also had internet access issues – such as dial-up only, or internet only on a Wednesday.
If you're on ArtsBox, you can see a couple of the portfolios here and here. Thanks for sharing these Laura and Innes.
Laura’s advice to other advisers:
Certificates take a long time to come through after moderation – it’s something important to build into your planning. When it comes to preparing for moderation, space it out a bit through the project so you don’t have the moderation rush.
Make sure you’re not doing all the work – give the young people the ownership and the responsibility. They take it up better if they’ve got the responsibility rather than being told what to do. Speak to other people doing it – that makes it easier. Making sure it’s built in to the programme and not an add on. It’s all work you’ll be doing anyway – it’s not hard to just build in time to gather evidence and be creative on how it works.