February 15 2012

Spirit of the Wood Film Project

Spirit of the Wood group with Huw Irranca-Davies

Our Betws Primary School Film Group recently hosted a visit by Huw Irranca-Davies, MP for Ogmore, who met the children to find out all about their film project ‘Spirit Of The Wood’.

This Youth Media project was funded by a Studio Award from First Light, a UK initiative to encourage children aged 8 – 18 years old to make their own films with the support of film professionals. Film and Drama Development Workers Tracy Pallant , Amy Peckham and Ali Franks from Valley and Vale have been working with 10 children at the school since September 2011 to develop their ideas for the film. The children have been working on all aspects of film production from script to screen and the film is developing really well.

The children had the idea for their film when they were taking part in their Forest School project in the School’s Nature Reserve. ‘Spirit Of The Wood’ (a 10 minute drama) tells the story of brother and sister, Lexi and Gaz, and their friend Michaela. They are on their way to a holiday village in West Wales with Richard, Lexi and Gaz’s Dad. Richard has an important job and is on his mobile phone 24/7. His phone always keeps ringing even on holiday. As they are driving down a country lane, the car breaks down. Dad tries to phone the AA but there is no signal; the children are excited as they want to explore the nearby wood. Dad doesn’t like the countryside and is reluctant to follow the children.

The children took Huw Irranca-Davies down to the Nature Reserve and showed him the shelter they had made as part of their Forest School project, and had fun telling him about the ideas for their film. They all wrote stories about what happens in the wood:

“ Gaz bugs them by poking them with a stick and showing them worms!” (Carys)

“When Dad found the children he saw the best thing he’d ever seen … then Dad finds a trail that the children left…” (Demi)

“The children got out of the car and ran straight into the spook wood” (Cobi)

“ He enters the forest and he hears a very strange noise” (Denni)

“Let’s go down to the forest, it looks cool!” (Ben)

“… and out of the long grass came a fox.”

As well as talking about ‘Spirit Of The Wood’ and their favourite woodland animals, the children talked to Huw Irranca-Davies about what an MP does. They asked some fantastic questions and Mr Irranca-Davies was really impressed with the children. This film will be launched this year and will also be entered into Youth Film Festivals later in the year. Huw Irranca-Davies has already reserved his seat in the front row.

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