Millstream Productions is a young and energetic video production company based in Hampshire. Whilst creating media for the public sector they also have an education arm, working closely with local primary schools, secondary schools and colleges in providing training and workshops.
At St George’s the team have lead 3 different film production projects with Year 5 and 6 pupils at the school. Firstly producing film trailers centred on their literacy topic of William Shakespeare. Year 5 students were motivated by their study ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and Year 6 pupils produced a trailer centred on ‘Macbeth’. The young people involved undertook practical workshops in camera, sound, direction and storyboarding to form their ideas. They also looked at and studied the generic conventions that make up a film trailer.
The second project was inspired by the bicentenary of Charles Dickens birth in Portsmouth. A documentary, demonstrating the activities of the whole school, took place over the weeks.
This was enhanced by a focused film project for Year 5 and 6 pupils as they studied the very popular ‘Apprentice’ series from a media language perspective but with a Dickensian twist. Three short ‘Apprentice’ style teaser trailers incorporated the characters and plot lines from 3 Dickens texts, ‘Oliver Twist’, ‘Great Expectations’ and ‘A Tale of Two Cities’. Pupils had to gain an understanding of the conventions of television on this occasion and developed skills in camera work including framing and composition and directing with more emphasis on acting too.
The new project sees an ever closer working relationship with the teaching staff to deliver a genre film project, ‘Film Noir’. Communication skills being emphasised as well as the Literacy skills as pupils had to pitch their scripts to a Funding Panel, ‘Dragons Den’ style.
Workshops have taken place in Practical Camera skills, Direction and Lighting for film, which is a new development within Year 6. Filming is set to take place in November with much of the filming take place on location around Portsmouth and surrounding Hampshire. Video Editing workshops are to take place at Millstream Productions studio this year for Gifted and Talented pupils.
Statistics demonstrate that the film production work within literacy has led to year on year improvement amongst pupils in terms of their literacy levels with a noticeable increase amongst boys at the school.
I am incredibly proud of the link we have established with the school and feel sure that we can continue to work closely with staff and pupils to further develop media literacy skills.