Them and Their Movie

The BBC ‘Me and My Movie’ workshop which I worked on last week turned out to be a really action packed day with lots of great ideas and enthusiasm from all of the young people who took part.  The finished two minute film will be put forward for a CBBC ‘Me and My Movie Award’ in association with BAFTA.

This article on the BBC Birmingham website gives  a flavour of some of the activities we got up to.  Huge thanks are due to Jenni, Tessa and Andrea at the BBC for all their hard work.  Well done to all the young people, keep on making movies!

Me and My Movie

Would you like to make a movie in a day and potentially win an award in association with BAFTA?

On 28th August I will be running a one day workshop at the BBC Public Space in The Mailbox, Birmingham to help young people between the ages of 6 and 14 to produce a film which will be entered into CBBC’s ‘Me and My Movie’ competition.

You will work with up to seven other young people to produce the two minute film, taking responsibility for scripting, filming, directing and editing the entire film. Winners get to go to a glitzy awards ceremony in London!

Read more about Me and My Movie and then check out the BBC Birmingham website for details on how to apply.

One Wedding and a bike tour…

On 24th May Rachel Smith became Rachel Gillies and for once was the one in front of the camera!

I will be on my Honeymoon, cycle touring through Central Europe, until early August. I won’t be picking up e-mails or phone messages during this time, so if you do need to get in touch please make a note to get in touch in early August.

Rachel Wedding

Be Yourself!

Girls in action

With only a few days to go until I get married, I’m running short on time to type out a much needed post about the absolutely fantastic Mediabox funded project with ‘Girls in Action’. It’s been a whirlwind of a project, with the weeks rushing by in a haze of planning, filming, editing and lots and lots of giggling! However, to give a bit of a taste here’s the press release. I’ll try and write more soon! Well done to Anisa, Sabriya, Hannan, Houaria, Maryam and Eaman for all of their hard work!

Be Yourself Birmingham, Urge Young Movie Makers

A world-premiere brought a touch of glamour to the Millennium Point ThinkTank Theatre last night as friends, family and excited fans were treated to a new film by six young Muslim Women from Sparkbrook, Birmingham. The fifteen minute short-film, Be Yourself, which stars and has been written and directed by members of the Girls in Action group, works to challenge stereotypes and combat prejudice.

Girls in Action was formed as part of the Balsall Heath extended schools programme, in April 2007, as a direct result of consultations with parents and young girls living in the area who wanted a safe and secure place to meet and the chance to develop new opportunities.

The Balsall Heath extended schools programme brings local schools and organisations together to provide young people with the opportunity to engage with new and exciting initiatives including healthy lifestyle projects, family learning programmes and after school clubs such as sports, arts and crafts and cookery classes.

“It has been great to be part of this media project and watch the group develop together,” said Alison Moore, Extended Schools Coordinator. “This film is a great example of the really positive impact schools can have on the community by providing extra opportunities for all.”

The premiere was brilliant and the whole night went so well. In the end, it was a wonderful opportunity for the girls to showcase all of their work and people commented about how impressed they were with the professional standard of the film.”

“Seeing the film on the big screen was a fantastic feeling,” said Houaria Mohammed, 18, one of the young women involved. “  It gave us the chance to show everyone what we have achieved and also give people an insight into our lives and experiences. As young Muslim women, people put us into pigeonholes and it’s about proving to people that we’re more than those religious stereotypes – we have a life with interests and ideas that are common to everyone. Plus, the after party was great!”

With research showing that extended schools are already benefiting the children and communities taking part, every school in England will offer extra services by 2010 ensuring that all communities can participate and benefit in this way. More information about extended services offered through schools can be found at www.direct.gov.uk/parents.

 

Written By Pat Awty
Geronimo Communications

Tuesday Night Live

The ‘Balsall Heath Oscars’ in December where the comedy sketch film ‘Tuesday Night Live’ was premiered was a great success, with so many families turning out to support the budding young actors who make up Balsall Heath Youth Theatre. I especially enjoy Balsall Heath projects; five years in the area and I’m a wee bit territorial!

Special mention should go to one member of the group, who had come out of a coma following a car crash only a few months previously, turned up at the first session still in plaster and then went on to show a level of commitment and enthusiasm which was truly humbling. A well deserved Oscar indeed!

DanceXchange project

I packed my passport and traveled as far afield as Telford, Stoke-on-Trent and Dudley to document the work that the ‘Dance Artists in Residence’ (DAiRs) were doing. The 2007 Tour was the culmination of over two years of dance development work in five areas across the West Midlands. The range of activities is too broad to list here (I’ve now added an Arts and Performance page with further information), but it was so inspiring to see just how much young people benefited from the workshops and performances. As with so many projects I work on, the team running and implementing the programme were great to work with, all credit to them for the positive comments from the young people!

This project was the first one I’ve done with a two camera set-up of a performance. In spite of a few technical hiccups, the end result looks really quite swish! In addition, the DVD features an interactive menu featuring informative slides. Really useful for getting across some of the nitty gritty facts and figures!

Yards Ahead 07/08

The past five months have been incredibly busy, mainly editing, so my plans to Blog regularly have fallen by-the-by somewhat! I’m taking the foot off the pedal a little bit after too many weekends and late nights at the computer, so I think that this is probably quite an apt point to report back on some of the projects that are now in the can or are near completion.

Posts on some of my recent projects should follow shortly, but in the meantime here is the lowdown on a recently completed project, ‘Yards Ahead 07/08′ for Yardley Constituency Libraries.

I’ve now updated the site and created a separate Libraries page to include information on all of the work I’ve completed for the rather lovely librarians, so you can find out a bit more about the project there. As always, it’s been a real joy to work alongside such dedicated and enthusiastic library staff, whose commitment has meant that thousands of children and their families have had really exciting library experiences. I’ve received a lovely e-mail from Jo Avery at Glebe Farm Library commenting on how well the film captures the enthusiasm of the children. However, as with all of the work I’ve done with them, walk into a Yardley Library and it’s pretty inescapable!

The film was premiered at a Chief Librarians’ conference in Solihull and was well received. Librarians will now be distributing the 200 DVDs I’ve produced to a wide range of people to try and convince others that this way of working can play a crucial role in ensuring libraries meet the needs of local communities now and in the future.

Website back up and running!

Apologies if you have been trying to access my website or send me e-mail over the past week. It seems that my ‘ethical’ web hosting company shut down on Tuesday 5th February but didn’t think to let me or any of their other clients know. However, no harm done and everything seems to be back up and running. I have received all e-mails which were sent earlier in the week, though I do have a bit of a backlog to get through!

If you’ve found this post because you’ve googled ‘Greenman Hosting’ or ‘John Ruddy’ then please contact me directly and I’ll let you know how you can retrieve your website and get things back up and running without too much trouble. Well done to my partner James for his detective work finding out what was wrong!