FilmG Success!

As many of you will know, I travelled up to Inverness last week with the filmmaking group I run to attend the FilmG Awards Ceremony. We were absolutely delighted to win not only the Best Prouction category, but also the People’s Choice Award. The latter award was conducted via online voting and we were in competition with not only all the other Young People’s films, but were also competing against all the Adult entries – a HUGE thanks to everyone who voted for the film.

The event was a true experience for all the pupils and was wonderfully hosted by MG Alba. The (female) pupils were especially please that Joe Thomas from The Inbetweeners was there too!

The event also motivated and inspired the pupils to continue to make films and really boosted their self-confidence and belief. I am extremely proud of them all, not only for what they have achieved but also for how they conducted themselves.

Whilst away, we also had the fortune to visit the media facilities at Sabhal Mor Ostaig. At this college they run a Media course and have some of the most amazing facilities that I have ever seen for an educational establishment – a full working studio, professional production room, sound booth, dressing rooms, and post-production suite. Many thanks to the staff who showed us round – once again, this visit inspired the pupils and showed them what they could potentially be a part of.

A terrific time was had by all and we’re already looking forward to when FilmG announce this year’s competition!

Once again, well done to all the pupils who were involved in the project – you’ve made a dream come true for me and I am very proud of you all!

A couple of links about Islay High School’s triumph:

For Argyll website

Armin Grewe’s Islay Blog

FilmG Shortlisting Success

Last Friday it was announced that the film the pupils made (An Tur) was shortlisted for the category of Best Production in this year’s FilmG competition. The pupils (and myself) are absolutely delighted with the news, especially as this is the first film that they have finished whilst being part of the filmmaking group that I run at Islay High School. It’s been great to view all the films that have been shortlisted for the various categories and it’s a real showcase for Gaelic medium filmmaking. We’ve certainly got some stiff competition in our category!

In order to attend the ceremony in Inverness on February 5th we’ve decided to make it a bit of a road trip. Myself and five members of the group will also be heading up to Skye to visit the media facilties at Sabhal Mor Ostaig, then head to Inverness for the Awards Ceremony, then down to Glasgow to hopefully pop into the BBC (time willing!), and then back to Islay.

Whoever the judges decide who the winner is, this will be a tremendous experience and adventure for the pupils, and will give them a memory that will last forever – they’re definitely looking forward to putting on their best dresses and suits for the event!

Reflections on An Tur – The FilmG Entry

Since late August this year, the filmmaking group that I run at school have been busy preparing, shotting, and editing the film that we have submitted for this year’s FilmG competition. One of the main focuses of the group is to create some films through the medium of Gaelic and because we knew that FilmG run an annual competition we were eager to submit something this year (and also it gave the group impetus to work towards a deadline and finish a film).

During the filmmaking process, the group experienced some highs and lows, and each member developed certain skills and (I hope) enjoyed it. During it we encountered technical difficulties, transport problems (that’s a whole embarrassing story in itself!), and were hampered by the temperamental Islay weather. However, I am extremely proud of all the pupils that were involved in the filming. These kids sacrificed earning money from their weekend jobs to film on a couple of Saturdays, they worked hard on creating the right atmosphere for the film, they were willing to work in a language that most of them are unfamiliar with, and they maintained a positive, patient and jovial attitude despite having to do take after take after take.

Among the skills that they have developed are: camera work using a Panasonic HMC151, storyboarding, editing using Vegas Pro, sound design, costume, how to work as a group, and how to overcome differences. No doubt there are many more that I’ve forgotten.

Since putting the film up online, the group has been encouraged by the feedback received, especially from some professionals in the industry. This response has encouraged the group to reflect upon the process and product, and they are planning to do a complete reshoot of the film, concentrating on the script and spending more time on getting all the shots and cuts just right. I can’t wait to see how this progresses 🙂

There are few thanks that have been omitted from the film: Annchris MacLean for helping with translations; Islay Estates for allowing us to film at the tower, Steven for staying after school to work on the final edit, and those who have donated money to allow us to purchase equipment for the group. And a very special thanks to my dearest friend Mark (ZnO) for the music.

Would love to read any comments you have about the film, and these will be fed back to the group.