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Participatory video training in scarborough by kier harris

For a film training session, we worked in Scarborough with a group of four young people in need of housing support from a young person’s homelessness prevention service named ‘Foundation’. We worked with the group over 5 days to create a film about the group’s life experiences, living in Scarborough, being part of Foundation, and outlets that support their mental health. The idea being that this group could develop their skills further, and earn some money, by working on the Work Package One film in the next months.

We began the week by introducing ourselves and the ATTUNE project to the group. We allowed the young people to take the cameras around the hostel and surrounding areas to get used to working with the cameras and interviewing one another. We then showed them their shots and allowed them to critique their filming techniques in order to improve the next day. On day two we asked the group what they wanted their film to be about. We spent the morning creating a plan then began filming. We had the group redo shots that they had taken the day before keeping in mind their critiques and to show how quickly they can improve as filmmakers. They then also interviewed the staff with the questions the group created. We filmed a touring interview with one group member where he was able to show us around Scarborough and talked about his experiences since moving there.

On day three we filmed interviews with some of the young people who were happy to speak about their life experiences, their mental health, the way Foundation supports them and the way they support their own mental health. We then did a touring interview with another young person who was able to share their experiences of Scarborough and the places they go to. Two of the other young people were eager to go to Scarborough castle to film shots of Scarborough from there and shots of the castle itself. At the end of that day, we created a plan for how we wanted to structure the film. The next day as a group they decided on the name, the music and the graphics they would like for the film. I then went about editing the footage using their guidance on structure. On day 5 we showcased the film to the group as well as staff from foundation. We then had a debrief session where we discussed the film, asked for any feedback on the film and feedback on the entire experience. All comments were noted, and they were informed that I would continue to work on the film according to their feedback and that their feedback on their experience would be actioned in future filming workshops.

Overall, I found the experience incredibly rewarding. At the beginning of the week many of the young people were incredibly shy and uncertain about taking part. Over the course of the week this rapidly changed with the group growing in confidence daily and becoming more and more engaged. It was clear the group were growing comfortable with one another and with myself and Paul and were able to share more than they were initially willing to. It also allowed me to work on my filming and editing skills which are very new to me and allowed me to feel more confident in my abilities to carry out my role within ATTUNE over the next three years.

By Kier Harris, PhD Student on ATTUNE