Guest blog from Dr Katja Frimberger, Independent Researcher with Scotland Our New Home Film Project
Scotland, Our New Home is a Creative Scotland-funded, 8-months participatory filmmaking project for young people from the New Young Peers Scotland group (NYPS), that builds on a previous animation project between the New Young Peers, animator-filmmaker Simon Bishopp and independent researcher Dr Katja Frimberger.
NYPS supports and trains young asylum seekers and refugees to become peer mentors for other newly arrived young people. Filmmaking project leads Simon and Katja have teamed up with NYPS founders Lorraine Ward (Glasgow Social Work Department), Lyn Ma (Glasgow Clyde College) and Vicky Burns (YPeople).
Hands-On Filmmaking Training
The New Young Peers have set themselves the aim of making films that support other new arrivals in the process of making home in Scotland. The project develops young people’s practical storytelling and filmmaking skills through a hands-on learning approach.
Simon and Katja have developed an online learning portal that complements the practical filmmaking and face-to-face teaching sessions. Here, participants can access additional tutorials, watch the films they produced and revisit the teaching materials in their own time. ‘Alima and the Dragon’ (below) is a five-part animated video series about ‘story structure’, tailored for young people who are learning English as an additional language.
From Script to Storyboard to Film
The young people learned how to plan and film dance sequences by making a music video for Pharrell Williams’ song ‘Happy’. They experimented with the most common camera angles and how to translate a script into storyboards for filming. The result was a Halloween film about a young man who gets tricked by their friend in a Halloween mask.
Experimenting with Camera Angles
They studied Sergio Leone’s drama-building camera technique in his famous three-way stand-off scene in the ‘Good, the Bad and the Ugly’. And applied his technique – a disorienting sequence of various medium to extreme close-ups and point-of-view shots – to a more comedic scenario. They made a series of ‘chocolate stand-off’ shorts about two friends who rival for a bar of chocolate and get outsmarted by a ‘stranger’, who steals the sweet from the baffled pair.
You are not alone!
The playful learning allowed us to explore the most important question. How could we best harness the medium of film’s strength for immediacy and visual storytelling – to make films for newly arrived young people?
Based on their own experience of making home in Glasgow, the New Young Peers wanted to communicate practical advice on how to navigate life in Glasgow and make friends in the city. Most importantly, however, they wanted to let other young people know that they are not alone, but that there are other young people like them in Scotland. Our final short films will bring the New Young Peers’ important message to life visually: You are not alone. A new life is possible.
The New Young Peers’ films were launched in February 2019. The films are a peer education tool for newly arrived young people and their support organisations. If you would like to receive a DVD of the films, please drop us an email: Scotland.Our.New.Home@gmail.com