Fin MacRae writes...
Overall the project was a good one for me. I applied for this residency in the full knowledge that I had no experience of film and thought it would be a good opportunity to develop new skills and work with young people in helping them develop new skills too.
It was certainly a learning experience for me in lots of ways – having never worked with moving image or indeed done any residential work prior to this I really was learning on my feet. However, it has certainly stood me in good stead and although still image is my first love I have worked on a number of projects since then with film and enjoy the challenges that presents.
Upper Achintore Youth Club
Worked within the youth Club and began the group with using still Polaroid photography. Gave the group instant results that allowed them to see how stories are made from a series of images – both in still and moving image. A small core group of 6 then worked with the DV camera over a period of 4 weeks. They developed story ideas and scripted a piece that was titled “Chocolate Cake” and this was filmed and edited by the group with assistance from me.
Lochaber High School, Pupil Support Base
Worked with 2 young people on a one-to-one basis over a period of about 2 months. Had contact with one of the young people through the Youth Club in Plantation so he felt comfortable with me in the school setting. We used footage shot of the pool competition by a number of the boys and edited this down into a short film about the night called “The Nights Final”. Most of this was done by the young person using iMovie. His patience for doing this was quite incredible despite the length of time it took to complete.
The other young person made a film called “The Lochy” that emphasised the difference a few miles can make beside a river. By juxtaposing footage shot at the Lochybridge junction with that of a farm a few miles further up the River Lochy he produced a piece that mixes traffic and the peace of the countryside. This worked well and I found that he took to this very naturally and although did work hard at the editing was definitely more interested in the filming and planning aspect of things.
Worked with the charity Lifestyles, a group that provides housing support for homeless and vulnerable young people aged from 16-25. Made a few short projects where the participants were given the camera for one week only, in which time they were to storyboard and film their chosen subject. 2 short films titled “Free” and “The Smokin’ Guitarist” were made this way and I also worked with them to edit these films too.
Plantation Video Club
A couple of young people decided they wanted to make something a bit longer and so made a documentary on life in Plantation. They interviewed a number of people in the community on their attitudes to bullying, litter and graffiti. Over the course of the project they shot hours of footage that was eventually edited down to the more manageable clip titled “Our Life”. Getting them to edit so much footage was again the challenge but by the end of the project they had a greater realisation of how much work goes into making a short film.