Lights, camera, action: Gillingham students unleash their creative potential and debut their new-found skills at a community showcase
Over the last eight weeks Gillingham School students have been taking part in a Media Makers Club through the Gillingham Youth Collective. Young people have worked hard in an after school club, developing media skills ranging from multi-camera shoots through to interviewing and live vision mixing. It culminated in the Big Show, where they showcasing their achievements at a real community event. Parents enjoyed the show alongside Gillingham mayor Barry Von Clements, Dorset councillors Byron Quayle and Val Pothecary, Jules Bond from Gillingham Community Church and Karen Johnson who was representing the Social Prescribing Team and Gillingham Youth Club.
The young people have been able to benefit from working alongside Rendezvous’ resident film-maker Marianne King, project leader Lou Donovan and tech specialist Julian Bishop. They have had access to professional equipment and undertaken a range of projects, including green screening, mobile journalism, graphics and post-production techniques.
They were supported by the head of Media Studies at Gillingham School, Dan Jones and former Top Gear presenter Nicky Fox.
Mel Marshall, assistant head teacher at Gillingham School, said, ‘the collaboration with the Gillingham Youth Collective has been an amazing opportunity. It has allowed our students to access professional training in media making, building both their skills and confidence.’ All the students involved have really enjoyed the experience, which is now in its second year. One said ‘I liked being able to use and do things that we wouldn’t normally, like vision mixing and using lots of proper equipment.’ Another enjoyed the team building element, saying they enjoyed ‘hanging around and working with the other members of the project, and getting to be myself.’ Parents have seen their children’s confidence grow throughout the project, with one saying ‘Media Makers has really inspired my son. So much so that he has applied for a TV Film Level 3 course at Wiltshire College.’
The whole project
The Gillingham Youth Collective is a young people’s partnership project funded by the National Lottery Community Fund. Led by Rendezvous and working with Gillingham Youth Club they believe that by working collaboratively they can achieve more for young people (11-19 year-olds) in the North Dorset area. Rendezvous said ‘We are very proud of the commitment and enthusiasm the Media Makers have brought to the project, and we’re grateful for the support of all the team at Gillingham School. We know that both hard and soft skills are to be gained through the teamwork involved in film production, but it’s always great to see young people grow and gain confidence while having fun. We’re looking forward to running the next group but in the meantime we’re thrilled that some of our filmmakers will be going off into the community to produce a promotional film for a youth group running in Gillingham.’
The Gillingham Youth Collective project involves a Media Makers film project run by the Rendezvous a Young Leadership programme run by Gillingham Youth Club and a range of activities run collaboratively and decided upon by young people themselves. The project will run until 2026 and will involve activities and events for 11 to 19 year-olds.
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