Ever wanted to try filmmaking with your youth group but didn’t know where to start? This online resource from Garry McHugh, Director of the Young Irish Film Makers, will help you facilitate an introductory workshop in filmmaking and support the young people you work with on the creative path to making their first short film.
Making a film or piece of video content is a fantastic creative process which can engage even a very mixed group of young people in working towards a united goal. Through engagement with the filmmaking process, young people can find their voice, tell their story and explore creative ways to express themselves through the medium. Finally, they get to exhibit their work to each other, their families or friends at a premiere or to a wider audience at a youth film festival. A huge validation of their efforts and acknowledgement of their creative teamwork!
Video camera or smartphone: Make sure it has an on-board microphone to capture sound and it can connect to a projector or large monitor before you start.
Editing software: This can be on a computer or your smartphone. It only needs to be a basic package which can trim video clips, add a soundtrack and titles. (See links section)
Clapper Board– Young people love a clapper boardas it makes them feel like a real film crew. You can buy them onlineand they really make a difference.
Projector / Large Monitor– Make sure you have cables to attach your video camera or smartphone to the projector / monitor so the group can watch their film at the end of the workshop.
Extra kit (if you can afford it or borrow it!)
Microphone & Boom Pole –Not Essential, but really gives you greater control over the sound quality when recording voices. Make sure it connects to your camera or phone.
Lights– Lighting can really add to a scene, so if you have them, great! If not, don’t panic.
A group of 8-10 young people is a good size for making one short film. If you have a larger group, I would suggest splitting the group to allow better engagement for each young person on the crew. A young person’s personality and interests will determine what role they have on the crew. The boisterous ones might be suited to acting; arty types might like to build props, dress the sets or operate the camera; those into computers might like the editing software etc.
Young people learn how to collaborate using their different skill sets; to communicate in new ways and contexts; and to work creatively as a team in order to make each scene a reality. Everyone has a designated role on the shoot, and they must negotiate with each other and co-operate to progress their film. Youth filmmaking workshops will promote the development of creativity, imagination, and self-confidence, as well as social and cognitive skills. Creating a short film in two hours can support young peoples’ belief in their ability to achieve goals! Young people will also learn a range of hard skills including operating a camera, using lights, recording sound, as well as the post production process of editing their masterpiece.
This filmmaking workshop assumes that you have worked with the group before and that the young people are used to working with each other and have established a group contract.
THE 10-SHOT WONDER WORKSHOP (2 HOURS)
Given the short timeframe a lot of youth workers have with their group, and the need to show the fruits of your work together, this workshop was devised to deliver a finished film in a very short amount of time. The workshop is aimed at giving an extremely active introduction into the world of making a film together. It is a high energy taster which will hopefully lead to you working in more depth with the group on the individual elements of the filmmaking process to produce a more accomplished piece of work.