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By Mark Green on

Co-operative Young Film-makers Festival 2009

Young people—everywhere! The Co-operative Young Film-makers Festival has come to the museum, and we're overrun with people under 19, here to enjoy the packed schedule.

The festival has workshops, special guests, filming, screenings, and everything else you need to encourage young people to express themselves in film. Even dancing.

Thursday 10.49: Matthew Lewis—aka Neville Longbottom from the Harry Potter films—has formally opened the festival, amid a hail of bubbles from the Co-operative stand outside. As I write, he’s giving a talk in our Pictureville Cinema. He’s also hobbling a bit after twisting his ankle while playing badminton—’the most violent sport’, as Matthew is now wincingly referring to it.

Thursday 13.39: It’s a bit of a shock when you walk into the foyer and find a table of young people apparently tending to major injuries. Learning about film isn’t that dangerous, surely? Then you realise it’s just the Special Effects Make-Up Workshop, where gaping wounds and horrific scars are only a pot of red paint and a paintbrush away.

I also caught two groups studiously putting together their own videos in the Make a Film Trailer Workshop, hosted by John McCormack. The students here were getting hands-on with every aspect of trailer creation, from storyboarding to filming—and they also get to take home a DVD of their final work.

Friday 12.12: Breakdancing! Lloyd Thomspon from Tranquil Productions led this lesson in the art of the side step, the top rock and much more—and it was incredible how fast his young pupils learned to helicopter their legs around in a camera-threatening fashion. This workshop took place in our new activity and learning area for families on Level 5.

Friday 15.24: The Create a Movie Soundtrack Workshop, run in our Edit Suite by film composer and occasional museum employee Vanessa James, looked excellent. Vanessa has created TV ad music for companies such as Sony and Kinder, and scored movies that have been in contention at festivals like Cannes and Rotterdam. She gave her attendees a real-life film trailer to soundtrack—and after half an hour’s concentrated pointing and clicking in Apple’s GarageBand, they’d all created something that’d make John Williams proud.

That’s it from my coverage of the Co-operative Young Film-makers Festival—it’s been a hectic but fantastic couple of days. Thanks to everyone who came along.

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