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Budding Producers film their views on the Cairngorms

26th April 2007

YOUNGSTERS in the Cairngorms could become the next Steven Spielberg after taking part in Cairngorms National Park Authority sponsored training on film production.

The Cairngorms Media Project aims to train young people from schools in and around the Park about film and documentary making. It will also see them make documentaries about the Park.

One of the Priorities for Action for 2007-2012 in the National Park Plan is to raise awareness and understanding of the Park. It is hoped the filming project will not only teach the youngsters about the Park’s special qualities, but that their films will be used to promote the Park to the public and fellow pupils.

The training day took place at Glenmore Youth Hostel last Friday and Saturday (April 20th and 21st) with 15 school children from Speyside High, Kingussie High and Alford Academy taking part.

They learnt about programme making and planning, scriptwriting, camera and sound techniques, interviewing and digital editing and it proved a real success with the youngsters.

Joseph Travis, an S2 pupil from Alford Academy, said: “It was a great experience and good fun. We learnt to zoom in, different angles and getting more confident in filming. We also learnt to interview people, setting up the camera and tripod. It’s giving us the chance to get out and put what we’ve learned into practice and it’s also good to meet new people from other schools.”

The event was organised and sponsored by the Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) and led by the Aberdeenshire Media Unit.

Elspeth Grant, the CNPA’s Social Inclusion Officer, said: “It is important that the young people who live in or near the Park know, understand and care about its special qualities as it will give them a sense of ownership.

“What is encouraging about this project is that it will allow children to learn about and investigate the Park, but it will also give them exciting new skills which can be used to educate a wider audience about the Park.

“It was pleasing to see so many school children take part and have so much fun. We are now looking forward to seeing their new skills in action and watching their films about the Park.”

Robin Palmer, manager of the Aberdeenshire Media Unit, said: “This is an excellent project for young people. The areas they all live in are unique and this is giving them an opportunity to express and share their point of view about that area, which I think is very important.

“They all did really well, we had really good results and they understood and enjoyed the event. There was a good balance of comedy and seriousness in their documentaries, which young people always manage to capture and that is really refreshing.”

Each school will now produce a film focusing on one of the National Park Plan’s Priorities for Action and how it relates to their local environment, landscape, traditions and community. Filming is due to take place during the summer.

Their work will be premiered later this year and will be shown at schools and public events around the Park. There is also the possibility of the films being used as part of the National Curriculum and being used by schools around Scotland.

The project, which costs £14,480, has been running for two years. Last year participants produced a film about life in the Cairngorms National Park. Amongst the themes were a film about the Park’s myths and legends and young entrepreneurs.