Media Studies students from Years 10-13 made good use of the excellent facilities at Centre de Jeunesse Marienthal, not least its large green screen studio, complete with lighting rig. For many of the students this was their first use of the range of quality equipment they can loan out and use for their Media production work: Sony and Canon DSLRs, multiple lenses, GoPros, various tripods, monopods, gimbals, dollies (a wheeled device that a tripod slots into), gorillapods, and other curiously-named kit!
Our first challenge was simply getting all of this onto the bus! With Year 11s Markus, Harriet and Jasper also bringing a full drum set, plus guitars and mic stands kindly borrowed from the Music department, the loading and unloading at both ends had the busy air of a professional shoot. Once everything had been moved to the main green screen studio a multitude of shoots commenced, with the studio being used by two productions at times, and a second green screen studio as well as other rooms and the wider facility itself also utilised for as many as five simultaneous shoots.
The centre became a real whirlpool of creative production. Year 10s were filming for a high school horror drama hybrid TV series trailer, complete with one full Dracula costume and a Sheldon Cooper (Big Bang Theory) referencing, helped by Richard, a now experienced Year 13 student! Year 12s started shooting their horror comedy film opening before we left, leading to the odd sight of these Key Stage 4/5 students lined up holding hands, and some careful application of tomato ketchup – continuing the cuisine theme with their intentionally ridiculous murder weapon, a wooden spoon! Students in Years 11 and 13 were focused on music videos for final coursework pieces rather than practice exercises. A cardigan, a bunch of flowers, a shirt carefully selected for its unhip qualities, and some very Morrissey-like moves by Jasper all featured in the Year 11 filming for their video of The Smiths’ How Soon Is Now, while Evie was busy lip-synching for her more contemporary track, Bloodstream by Norwegian electropop star Astrid S, and Euan trying out some shots for his Ed Sheeran video. With only a brief pause while Year 12s filmed a few ‘corpses’, further depleting their ketchup supplies, we were back on the bus and reflecting on a productive day, as well as the further filming that needed to be done.
Year 10s were also looking ahead to their first opportunity to get hands on with Final Cut Pro X on the Media Mac suite. Last year’s Media students used our visits to the facility to help produce many outstanding coursework productions, and now I look forward to seeing these creative endeavours taking shape over the coming weeks – and the more exam-centred written analyses that will accompany them! - Mr Burrowes