Recently I have been involved in a filming project that took place in four different primary schools throughout Aberdeen called “The Belmont VideoCollectif.” I had managed to secure the work experience through my college course, and it was an incredible opportunity. Not only did I get to work with brilliant children but also a professional film maker, Tim Flood to be exact. I was based at Gilcomstoun primary in Aberdeen and I absolutely loved it.
On the first day I walked up to the school anxious and excited about the next six weeks to come, this was a new experience for me and I wasn’t sure what to expect. After sitting in the reception are in the school for around ten minutes I thought Tim was never going to arrive and felt more nervous than ever when a lot of worrying questions entered my mind – Was I in the right school? Would I have to teach the class by myself? Would I come across as professional? Am I wearing appropriate clothing? – When Tim arrived my anxiety got even more intense, it was happening! I was relieved once we entered the classroom and all the children were so friendly and welcoming towards me, it was lovely to see that these eleven year old children were so accepting of everyone around them.
Over the next two weeks we managed to complete the planning stage of film making with the class. It was incredible to witness the imagination of children, I reckon there is a part of that we lose as adults and that upsets me greatly because the children genuinely put me to shame with their ideas. We were given the topic of “Aberdeen” then the children were given the choice of themes, characters, title and storyline. If I were given this topic I would probably make a documentary about how oil has affected the town, which seems really boring compared to the themes that the kids chose. They went through many, dance, xbox, France and even bullies, but in the end we chose to go with Superhero Parkour. A very unusual topic for Aberdeen, but it worked and had the fun factor.
When creating the main character for the film we went through many weapons, names and powers then in the end decided to give the superhero a Cheese Gun and call him Cheese Kid, but also give him the alter ego of Bat Kid. Now that we had the character it was time to develop the storyline, thinking it was best to keep things simple we thought that Cheese Kid and Bat Kid would best be able to stop a burglar from stealing somebody’s bag. In the final film, after the bag is stolen, Cheese Kid steps in to help catch the thief with his Cheese Gun! However, people laugh at him and take his ideas as jokes. Nothing to fear though the cheesy superhero’s alter ego Bat Kid steps in to save the day with his trusty bat companions. In the end the bag is retrieved and the day is saved once again by Cheese Kid and Bat Kid.
After deciding on a firm storyline it was time to give our film a name. After many suggestions we came to a joint decision to call it “The Conquest of Cheese kid.” We were ready to start filming, but wait! Cheese Kid needs a costume and a cheese gun. The next week was dedicated to making props and costumes which went incredibly well with, surprisingly, no hitches. Now on to week four, it was time to start filming. This only took 2-3 weeks and the children enjoyed it so much.
Today was the screening of all four of the films made in schools for the project and it was amazing seeing all of the children again and letting them watch their film on a cinema screen. This has been the best experience of my professional life, and I hope to be involved in such projects in the future.