This week our project blog focuses on a Blueprint: Film Academy project; the music video at Hoxton Hall. If you’ve been keeping up with our weekly round ups, you’ll have heard a bit about the process. The screening of the video is tomorrow, and Lorna has been hard at work this week polishing up the edit, so it’s an extremely current project which is just about to come to an end.

The point of this project is to inspire young people to be creative, teaching them new skills as they design and create a film. Last term we made ‘Final Rehearsal’, a ghost story which you can view here. This term, the young people decided they wanted to do a music video.

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Twelve weeks ago we had our first session. During the first couple of workshops, we looked at the play that was currently showing at Hoxton Hall, ‘Stella’ by Neil Bartlett. ‘Stella’ is based on the true story of Ernest Boulton, a Victorian drag queen who was the subject of a sensationalised public trial. Drawing on the themes and messages from the play, the group decided that their film would be about identity, and having to keep secrets from people around them.

Over the next few weeks we developed these ideas with the group. The idea for a music video arose from the fact that two members of the group had written a song in their music class. After hearing the song, and the lyrics, it was clear that it was perfect for the themes of the film. We then had to decide on characters and a narrative!

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In what all of the students describe as their favourite workshop, Laura asked the young people to draw around themselves on huge sheets of paper to get the outline of a person. They then wrote outside the figure all of the character traits which would be visible from the outside – confident, arrogant, etc. Then, they wrote how that character felt on the inside – insecure, self-conscious, etc. In this way the group came up with two believable multi-layered characters who would star in the music video.

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The next stage was to put together the plot. Laura worked with members of the group to bring their two characters together, exploring how they might interact and how that might provide a story. The group decided on a narrative of self-discovery. Much like Stella, they wanted their central character to discover something about themselves, and end up more confident and proud of who they were.

Once we had a plot, we went through the lyrics of the song and matched up the scenes with different sections of music. This took the form of a storyboard, which would also be helpful during filming. Our drawing skills could have been better, but they did the job!

The music video took three full days to film, although some of these were split over a couple of weeks. All of the young people got involved, from starring in the video to working the camera and directing. It’s easy for young people to get distracted sometimes, but the group were amazingly focused and we managed to complete all the shooting we had to do.

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This week, Lorna has been editing the footage into a music video! Some of our original ideas ended up not working, so she’s had to move some things around. However, so many of the shots look amazing and the final product is going to be really special.

Tomorrow the film will be screened at Hoxton House to everyone involved and their friends and family. Check this week’s blog (or our social media) for a link to the film!

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