Voice Of My Own (VOMO)

Background to the project

Voice Of My Own (VOMO) is a film-making youth project which works to empower young people in the Borders to make high quality films about issues that are relevant to them.

Purpose of the project

The Filmlink project has two elements:

Access and participation:

  • six local youth groups will be supported to write, develop, and create a short film which will form part of a larger single film.

Learning and progression:

  • four young people, who have an interest and some previous experience in film making (usually as participants of previous VOMO projects), will be employed by VOMO as trainee producers to support the development of the above films. The trainee producers will learn from the professional staff, but also get real work experience which will build their CVs and support their aspirations to work in the film industry.

Project delivery

VOMO identified groups of young people in six locations across the Borders. Workshops were held with each group to develop a concept and script for each groups contribution to the film.

Filming has taken place throughout the summer in locations across the Borders. The final feature-length film will be screened late in 2013.

The trainee producers have each taken a role in supporting one or more youth groups to develop their film. They have also worked as assistants on all film shoots, supporting the production of the film. They are learning through supporting the young people, but also by working alongside industry professionals in the making of the film.

Outcomes for young people

  • Access and participation

The work with youth groups has provided opportunities for young people from rural areas of the Borders to access and participate in high quality in film projects. This project provides new opportunities for participation in areas with a dearth of activities for young people, but also provides opportunities for young people to learn new skills, to develop confidence and their creativity.

Some participants had previous experience of drama and theatre projects, but recognised that they had learned new skills in acting for film.

“It takes patience to get it right.”

“This is a chance to do more acting, in a different way.”

“I’ll maybe do both, film and drama.”

“It’s a bit less pressure, filming, than being on stage.”

Young people also reported that they had learned about the various roles available in film-making.

“Filming is so much better for people who don’t want to be on stage – there’s so much more you can do behind the scenes in a film.”

Some had changed their career goals as a result of taking part in the film-making programme:

“you don’t have to do everything, but there’s lots of interesting things you can do in film that I didn’t know about.”

“After next year, I want to do a college course in film making.”

Some participants also reported that they had learned more about the technical aspects of working in film:

“I’ve learned how to work in film. I’ve learned how to use the camera, how to use the equipment. I’ve definitely come away with lots of new knowledge.”

One young person taking part in the project has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair. The young people worked to identify a role in the film which he could play, allowing him to take part fully in the project.

“This is a great opportunity for X, a chance to take part in something which is accessible for him. The script has been adapted to allow him to have a full part.”

Outcomes for the trainee producers

Learning and progression

Each of the young persons selected to be trainee producers were identified as having skills and potential, but were also recognised as requiring some additional support to enable them to move into the film-industry.

The trainee producers have received a wealth of support and have developed their skills, in film making and but have developed their employability skills.

The trainee producer role includes supporting the larger youth groups to create their films. This has been quite challenging, as the producers are required to take control of a group of young people and ensure that the group work towards the completion of their film. As a result, they have gained confidence and self–esteem.

“I’m much more confident now. I can speak to a group of young people. I’d never have been able to do that before”

“I’ve got better at speaking up and joining in the discussions when we plan what we’re going to do”

The trainee producers are responsible for the administration of the film projects, which involves arranging permission to film, liaising with local groups and business owners. This has increased their planning skills and their communication skills.

“I had never done anything like that before. I was quite nervous about calling people, and tried to put it off when I could – but after you do it a few times, you can just do it”

Staff also reported that the trainee producers had developed better self-management (timer-keeping, planning, time-management etc.’

“One has got much better at managing her own day – turning up on time, eating at mealtimes to make sure she doesn’t ‘slump’ – she’s learned how to do that on her own.”

Finally, the producers had also significantly improved their technical skills in working with cameras, sound equipment, and editing software:

“I’ve learned so much about different aspects of film making, that you need to do it over and over again”

“I’m finding that I know how to use all of the equipment now, and I didn’t before”

“I’m getting better at doing stuff automatically. I suddenly realise that I’ve been adjusting the settings for the best image, without even thinking about it.”

The work experience also helped the trainees to develop new ideas about what they would like to do next. In some cases, the real-life experience of working with VOMO staff members had helped them to identify the specific areas they found interesting about film:

“I was always interested in the technology. That’s what made me apply for this opportunity. But now I’m really thinking about doing an audio technician course at college – and VOMO has helped me get there.”

“I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. But it’s been really interesting, seeing the kind of options that there are. Working with adult film makers”

The producers were all young people with little or no work experience. Being employed by VOMO has given them a chance to build their cv and work history, demonstrating to future employers that they have experience of working full time. All the trainee producers felt that they had improved their employability through being a trainee producer.
Cashback investment: £29,540

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