Bad Pitt and Halle Berry are in danger of being upstaged by a class of 10 year olds thanks to £30,000 funding to Glasgow Media Access Centre (G MAC). The children from St John’s Primary in Ayr have written scripts which will be the basis for two films to be produced by 82 young people aged from 13 to 21 in Glasgow and South Ayrshire and shown next year at the Glasgow Youth Film Festival.
Said Beth Armstrong, Project Manager at G Mac: ‘It is very exciting. One of the scripts from St John’s will be produced by a group of 16-19 year olds who are not, currently, in education, employment or training. The other script is similar to an idea already commissioned so a separate group will create an animation in partnership with the Deaf Youth Theatre and Solar Bear Theatre.’ The outcome will be a film with no dialogue which can be followed and enjoyed by anyone who is deaf or who has a hearing impairment and making it more accessible globally.
Said Beth: ‘First Light, the funding body, is a key partner. They support film making across Britain. This enables us to create opportunities for children from all walks of life so that they can aspire to become an active part of the film and media community, not just be consumers. By developing their creativity and giving them skills, we can raise the hopes and expectations of these young people who might be disadvantage or socially excluded otherwise.’
First Light funding – which comes from National Lottery money – enables young people to work with industry professionals on high quality, youth led, digital media projects. They will be involved with every aspect of the production process from drawing storyboards and writing the scripts to directing and lighting the films alongside industry professionals.
Said First Light’s Chief Executive Officer, Leigh Thomas: ‘The fantastic ideas we receive are grown from the young film makers’ own imagination and innovation and tackle some very important issues relevant to them.’
Another partner in the creation of the First Light productions will be The Arches venue in Glasgow. Based at 103 The Trongate, Glasgow Media Access Centre will celebrate 30 years of innovative work next year. These films by young people will be part of the year long celebrations.
Daniel Montesinos-Donaghy from Glasgow has just landed his dream job – working on the next James Bond film. Daniel, from the Clarkston will be a Production Assistant at Pinewood Studios on the full length feature film starring Daniel Craig and directed by Sam Mendes.
Daniel’s chance came when he signed up for the talent development programme Second Light. Second Light was a pilot scheme giving young film makers from diverse backgrounds, supported opportunities to move into the film industry. With the backing of Pinewood Studios Group and BAFTA, Second Light provided bespoke training, work placements and mentor support over 18 months.
The project is an off-shoot of First Light, a nationwide organisation which helps young people from all backgrounds develop their potential by providing opportunities to work with industry professionals on high quality, youth-led, digital media projects.
Around 75% of Second Light graduates have used their new skills to secure work on a variety of projects in the film and TV industry.
Said a thrilled Daniel: ‘Being a Second Light apprentice has allowed me to experience challenges and opportunities that,
otherwise, I wouldn’t have known how to reach. I’m extremely grateful to be given the chance to work on Bond 23.’