Arts Award Leadership – The Review of ‘The Echo Shop’ Project
What happened on the project?
For my arts award Leadership I chose to create a short community film whilst leading a group of 5 students from The Herford Academy. They would film and interview member of ECHO and organisation from Leominster that help people with learning disabilities, mental health issues & physical impairments. I briefed the students when we first started in the morning about what we had to achieve and gave roles out and asked them to swap over at certain intervals so everyone had the chance to have a go on all the equipment.
During the day of filming we spent a few hours in the shop capturing cutaways, but I had to demonstrate how to the camera worked, as the participants from The Hereford Academy needed to recap how to use the camera. With everything fresh in their minds they were able to film the entire day. They Spent ½ the day filming cutaways of the shop and then conducting interviews for the other ½. I then took all the footage away and watched through it all jotted notes down on how to arrange the film in the editing stage. I edited the film over the course of a few days and uploaded the final result to my film portfolio on Vimeo.
What was produced/ the end result?
The end product for the project was a Short Community Film which can be viewed online at https://vimeo.com/43811694 or by a DVD provided.
What did you enjoy most?
During the whole process of the project, I enjoyed editing the film the most, as I specialize in editing, this gave me the opportunity to be creative and make the film. It’s all about placing the pieces of the interviews to create the story in the edit, with all the interviews that the students conducted whilst being led by myself. But I did enjoy the filming process with The Hereford Academy participants. I felt that I had done a good job, but it was my first time leading a group so I done the best I possibly could.
What did you find most difficult/ complicated?
I found being the leader for once was a huge obstacle for me to overcome, but I had to overcome this problem very quickly otherwise the project would fail and the film wouldn’t be as good as it is. The participants trusted me as their leader, which gave me confidence to excel in the project.
We came up with a problem in the filming, where we had all sat down and wrote out questions for the participants to ask the interviewees. We targeted out questions towards the volunteers of the company and members of the workplace of ECHO. We then realised that we missed out questions about the participants of ECHO whilst filming so we quickly tweaked various questions.
What was the feedback from others?
I asked the participants from the Hereford Academy after the full day of filming, with all the new knowledge about filmmaking fresh in mind I presented them with a questionnaire about the event.
The feedback from the participants in my group was very positive. 2 of the students quoted that “the Experience” is what they most enjoyed about the day.
3 of them said that “Sound” was the skill that they learnt most about at the ECHO film shoot.
Everyone agreed that they benefitted from working with a community group, which was ECHO.
All 5 students agreed with the question I asked, “Do you think that your trainer gave you the chance to voice your views & ideas on the film shoot? They all said “Yes” their opinions were heard on the day as it was their film.
80% of the people found the film shoot “fun” “inspiring” & “Creative”.
40% found the day “challenging.”
20% found it “useful.”
Everybody agreed that I was clear & communicated effectively.
What do you think about the feedback?
The feedback that I received back from the participants, I was very pleased with. I feel that the students really took away something from the film shoot. 2 of the students said that “the Experience” was what they most enjoyed about making the film. So I feel that I gave the participants the best chance & opportunity to work on this project.
Also I feel that most of them found the day “fun” “inspiring” & “Creative” that makes me see that I done a good job and I led them all well. I’m proud that they all enjoyed themselves and their taking something away with them.
What have you learnt about leadership and communication?
I learnt from leading the project is that you have to know every aspect of what you’re doing, and also see it from your participants’ perspective. You need to clear have a plan of action which I had. I knew what I was doing throughout the day, which is shown in Task 2 B in the project in the form of a schedule. I know what gets the participants going as being a young person myself. I was able to tap into what I would do to motivate myself, but then using that method on the young people, so it became easier in a sense.
I learnt from the project that it was a bit difficult at first to understand the participants from training, but when it came to the film shoot the group knew that I was the leader. So they all knew my role in the project and they all saw how important it all was. I found that having a group discussion at the beginning of the day was a great way to make sure the group knew what exactly they were all doing.
What have you learnt about planning?
I learnt that planning in a project such as this is key to keeping on track and I found that out first hand. I found in previous film project I’ve worked on that not having enough planning can crumble later processes of the filmmaking experience. You may not know where and when or what you’re doing. But in this ECHO film project I have provided plenty of evidence which has helped me throughout the whole filmmaking process, from the idea of the film to scheduling to time and places and even editing. It all adds up if you lack any form of planning as it may cause you a problem at a later stage.
What have you learnt about your art form?
From my chosen arts form I learnt how to lead a group of young people on a film shoot as well as how to approach interviews with people with multiple disabilities. These were 2 tasks I had never done before so I am glad that I had the chance to work with these the people involved in the project. I realise that this has opened some doors in the future for me now. I have proved that I can lead a group of young people.
What would you do differently next time?
Next time I would like to see that I can work with young people, but try not to make the mistakes that I made in this making of the film. If I were to take on the project again, I would do a little more research into the organisation & prepare a few backup questions for my interviews. Next time, I would like to have a more detailed lesson plan prepared before teaching the participants. The training I delivered was successful; however a structured lesson plan would give me more confidence teaching.
Finally, I feel that the Leadership Project on The ECHO Shop was a success and I’m proud of all the work that was been produced & it couldn’t have been done without the hard work of the participants from the Hereford Academy.