My First Day At College
We developed three short ‘test films’ about a first day at college. This film idea was based on one young person’s vivid recollection of worrying intensely about going to their English class for the first time. It was decided that it was important to let other young people know that college is not a scary place but a great opportunity for learning English and making new friends. The film tells of a young person who has not been to school before. Will people look and laught at them because they can’t speak English yet? Our main character is unsure what to expect and feels a bit nervous.
A Simple Welcome
How will they manage? Suddenly, a student next to them passes them a piece of paper. It says ‘Welcome’. Our young person is relieved. They realise that people are friendly at college and everybody is there to learn English together. The films were shot and partly edited on the young people’s smart phones. There was a huge aesthetic variety in the final films. One was shot as one long take following the main character, like an invisible friend on their side. Another film used multiple perspectives and camera angles which brought out the emotion of the experience.
We are all Learning English Together
There were close-ups on the main character’s eyes and mouth to show her confusion and anxiety. A close-up on the piece of paper and the student’s smile showed the ‘turn’ in the story. A long shot revealed the students lively interactions. All films concluded with a direct camera address. The main character encourages the viewer: ‘don’t worry, everybody is here to learn English together’. The young people were proud of the results and their ability to shoot, edit and act. It was especially helpful to test the technique of the direct audience address. Will we use this storytelling device for our final films?