It a special night which will live long in the memories of the young people and their teachers who attended the first Midlothian Moscars ceremony. Last Tuesday Lasswade became the movie capital of the world as 300 specially invited guests, many dressed glamorously for this red carpet event, gathered to find out which films had been nominated for the 14 prestigious gold statuettes.
The Moscars, challenged primary pupils to come up with a great idea for a film and then demonstrate their creative talents by writing screenplays, acting, filming, editing and directing. The project integrated a range of CfE experiences and outcomes covering literacy, technology, art and design, drama, and music and involved more than 1,500 Midlothian primary children in a range of activities including:
· Researching about film genres
· Writing a screenplay or narrative
· Auditioning for parts – performers and production team
· Creating a production plan
· Filming and production
· Creating a score or soundtrack
The connected nature of these themes provided an excellent context for interdisciplinary learning as well as opportunities for pupils to apply knowledge and skills in new and unfamiliar situations.
Between February and May 48 films were produced, including dramas, thrillers, comedies, documentaries, animations and even a musical! The entries included films about zombie invasion, ghost stories, time travel, and superheroes, as well as dramas based on WW1 and WW2, the Scottish Wars of Independence and the Midlothian Mining disaster of 1890.
The judging panel, which had the almost impossible task of deciding the winners of the first ever Moscars awards, was impressed by the high quality of the films submitted. Midlothian Schools Group Manager, Alan Wait, said: “The judges were amazed at the film-making skills demonstrated by children. It wasn’t just about the performance of the actors, it was the overall quality of production and direction that made films really stand out. Some films had great stories, whilst others had memorable performances, but things like costume, make-up, special effects and the musical score also contributed hugely to the overall impact.
There was drama, tears and even an emotional acceptance speech from Strathesk pupil Ellie Wotherspoon, whose team took the Best Film award for their wonderful anti-bullying story, Pig. It might be too early to say if the next Leonardo DiCaprio or Cate Blanchett has been discovered in Midlothian, but the 2014 Moscars was an unforgettable evening, enjoyed hugely by all those who attended.
There will also be an opportunity for the general public to view the movies at a film festival which will take place in September.
For more information about the Moscars Project contact:
Alan Wait, Schools Group Manager – Alan.Wait@Midlothian.gov.uk