PROJECT VLOG: The Day We Met the Filmmakers of Tomorrow

The students from the Toot Hill media studies class came to Skeleton for a half-day of interactive learning called PROJECT VLOG.Kids. They're the future, eh?

We all say that, but what do we really mean? And more pertinently and awkwardly — what do we actually do about it?

Here at Skeleton we decided to scratch our goodwill itch and do something concrete in 2017 to help inspire young'uns who might be interested in getting into filmmaking or animation. Together with Toot Hill school, an outstanding Ofsted academy just a hop, skip and a jump away in Bingham, we hosted a half-day of interactive learning called PROJECT VLOG.

We pulled out the big guns to give a classfull of media studies students a (we hope) fascinating glimpse into what professional video production is all about. That meant:

  • Getting them to draw their own storyboards
  • Showing them how to set up cameras and lighting
  • Letting them film interviews of each other
  • Even permitting a bit of messing around in front of a green screen

As a result of all their hard work, we had enough footage to put together a short video about the day. You can watch it right here:

I managed to grab our perennially-busy MD, Jonathan, for a quick word about why we think it's worthwhile doing this kind of thing (apart from the fact it makes us feel all warm and fuzzy inside).

"Five years ago we committed ourselves to giving young people opportunities to gain valuable experience — so they can enhance their CVs and ultimately their employability," he said.

"It's been a real pleasure to give the students from Toot Hill an insight into what working life at a video agency is all about. We'll certainly be following their development as they become the talent of the future!"

The kids set up a proper filming set to interview each other.

If you're feeling stuck in a rut, try explaining what you do and why you do it to a child. It turns out they can get excited about almost anything (especially cool tech like cameras), and that excitement quickly becomes infectious. Showing the media studies class what we do on a day-to-day basis reminded us just how cool our jobs are.

David, our Head of Production, was blown away by how open the kids were to learning about all the different aspects of making a video. He told me: "They asked some great questions about the process, and showed boundless enthusiasm when it was their turn to get behind the camera."

Because we got the class involved at every stage of production, they were able to see how many layers of planning and thought go into even the smallest piece of content. Some of them had never realised how many different job roles must work together as a team to make video a reality.

We also got both our producers to regale them with their most exciting stories of creating videos in London, LA and across the globe — perhaps more of a treat for the adults than the kids.

The Toot Hill class pose in our studio after their day of fun.

We had a blast of a time and we hope the class from Toot Hill did as well. Corny as it sounds, we're dedicated to supporting the filmmakers of tomorrow because we were once in their shoes. It feels good to give back and create opportunities to help make the video industry even greater in the future. We'll be definitely keeping an eye on these kids. We have a hunch they'll go on to great things.

And here's what we received in the post the day after — we'll take that as success! 

Our thank you card from the Toot Hill media studies class.

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