We’ve been posting a bit about the new Startups group and their current production ‘Knock’, which is in the final stages of shooting as I write:
But we’re also excited about the outcome of this term’s Saturday Film Shoots, our weekly groups for young filmmakers aged 7-14. Each term we explore a new theme, and since September we’ve been working towards film projects inspired by a variety of international film styles. I thought I’d share a little bit about the work produced by my regular Saturday group (all aged 11-13), based all around the idea of East meets West.
Earlier this term, we looked at Westerns, taking inspirations from films set in the Wild West and themes and conventions found in many popular titles: lone (st)rangers, saloon brawls, the clash of old and new in a battle for territory… The crews produced their own versions, developing concepts and storyboards, shooting and editing their own sequences.
We shot a saloon scene, a showdown at high noon and a more contemporary interpretation inspired by the idea of strangers arriving in ‘the wild’. The group responded really well, thinking up some really strong ideas and demonstrating a surprisingly good understanding of a genre they have previously known little about; probably an indication of just how much Western conventions have been embedded and reinvented within popular film culture, a conversation in itself, perhaps not right here, right now… Back to the topic at hand:
After looking at our Western inspirations, we turned the the East to draw inspirations from well known (for the 11-13s, some lesser known) films from Asia. We looked at Ang Lee’s Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon and the original 1954 Godzilla before setting about a series of film projects inspired by themes from Japanese Jigadeki and Chinese Wuxia films. The group made a puppet monster, responded to themes of revenge and duty, and shot on location in the great outdoors (well, an adventure playground made to look a bit like historical countryside in Japan). We’ve just finished shooting, and the results look very impressive. Of course, there was also the usual dose of greenscreening too!