Scotland Our New Home: Project Programme

Our practical filmmaking training is organised as a series of “core sessions” (marked in yellow) and “break-out sessions” (marked in blue).

Aim: To allow for different degrees of involvement from participants (due to interest/availability).

Core sessions are designed for all participants. They give a general introduction to filmmaking through hands-on involvement in the production process.

Break-out sessions are designed for a smaller group of filmmakers who want to deepen their technical filmmaking skills beyond the core sessions. This group drives the production of the films – from the ideas development through to filming and dissemination.


Core session: Introductions

Aim: Getting to know the group/Icebreaker 1

  • Katja and Simon introduce themselves.

  • Introduction to filmmaking course and how we are going to help young people to make films.

  • Introduction video + activity: Why people love films and how they are made.

  • Each participant creates a sock puppet with provided materials.

  • Group members introduce themselves using their sock puppets against a video background.

  • This is filmed on-camera and projected live on a screen for the group to watch.

Breakout Sessions: Practical Film-making Day

We will make available ‘Breakout film-making sessions’ for small groups or/and one-to-one sessions, where participants will be able to operate equipment.

Aim: Participants learn technical skills in practical hands-on sessions – with professional camera, lighting, sound and editing equipment.

  • Participants will be guided through the creation of a small video to be finished by the end of the day.

  • Sessions will be available throughout the project period. They can be booked online to suit participants’ availability.

  • Any participant who wishes to take the role of Camera Operator or Editor during later filming will need to attend the respective breakout-session.

Demonstration videos

Aim: To make transparent the required stages of the film production process.

Each core session will be accompanied by a short demonstration video showing behind the scenes footage of a video production  – from a film Katja and Simon made to demonstrate the stages of film-making. 

Cinema club

Throughout the project there will be a list of films available for viewing that demonstrate different genres.

Aim: To introduce participants to the potential of film.

  • This film list will be made available online with a description, trailer, screening time/location of each film.

  • An online link will be available where the film can be watched on participants’ smartphones. 

Core Session: Paper Theatre

Aim: Getting to know the group/Ice-Breaker 2

  • Group is divided into small teams.

  • Each team is given a ‘sentence’ describing a scene from a film, with a line of dialogue, props and characters.

  • Each team has to interpret the sentence and devise the scene around it, using props and characters that are created with cardboard, pens and sticks.

  • They enact their scene to the group in a ‘Paper Theatre’ filmed and projected on a screen.

  • Each team is also provided with accompanying music and sound effects to use.

  • The whole group then watches the original film scenes for comparison.

Breakout Session: Film Ideas Development

The group of peer mentors who previously worked on the animations and/or those of the group who are more confident/interested in driving the filmmaking process meet to discuss ideas for the final films.

Aim: Ideas Development

  • The number of films is dependent on the overall size of this filmmaking group.

  • Ideas are decided on by the group – with support from Simon & Katja regarding what ideas can be communicated to other young people through film.

  • The ideas are developed into very basic stories, with a beginning, middle and end for each.

Core Session: How to Tell a Story

Aim: Participants are introduced to how stories are created from an idea that is divided into a beginning, middle and end.

  • A short video is shown demonstrating how people develop ideas into a final film.

  • Filmmakers who attended the Ideas Development break-out session share the basic outlines of their ideas for films.

  • Each idea has a beginning, middle and end. These are accompanied by 3 illustrated cards showing the structure of the story.

  • The group is divided into teams and each is given one of the outlines/cards.

  • Each team is asked to come up with additional ideas of things they would like to share with people via these film ideas.

  • They write/draw the ideas on Post-It Notes and attach them to the relevant card.

  • At the end of the session the teams present their new ideas and discuss why they should be included in the film.

  • The whole group discusses what the film could be called and each film idea is given a name decided on by the team.

Breakout Session: Scene Development

Filmmakers driving the film development meet in a room that can be used to act out scenes.

Aim: Developing Scenes.

  • Using the cards and Post-It Notes of the previous session, more detailed narratives are developed, including scenes and characters.

  • Participants enact cards, discussing and trying out different ideas and reviewing them.

  • Simon will then create complete illustrative prompt cards for the next core session with the overall group.

Core Session: Creating Rehearsal Films

The whole group meets in a room that can be used to act out and improvise scenes.

Aim: Developing the final film narratives through improvisation.

  • Ice Breaker/Warm Up Group Games to prepare improvisation.

  • Using the prompt cards, the filmmakers who attended the Scene Development break-out session enact the cards for the overall group like little improvised plays.

  • When any group member or team has an idea they can raise a hand, step in and try a different idea.

  • This is followed by a discussion with the group.

  • Stories are re-enacted with the new suggestions from the discussion.

  • Enacted stories are filmed for the camera and broadcast live on a screen for the group to watch.

  • Music is chosen from a ‘film score’ compilation CD and played in the background on a stereo to show how music affects the film.

  • The ‘rehearsal films’ are then edited (complete with music) and made available online for the group to see.

Aim: Creating rehearsal films will encourage participants to think about what the films might look like and how they can be improved.

  • Simon creates final illustrated ‘story cards’ that break down each of the films into their story structure decided upon in the workshop.

Aim: Creating ‘story cards’ will help everyone to understand what they are referring to (scene, character etc.) during the production of the films.

Thinking About Locations

Aim: Finding locations for filming.

At the end of the workshop participants are asked to think about where the scenes in their film could take place, keeping in mind the importance of light, sound, access, permission, safety.

They are asked to photograph/film or write down the location of any place they think may work in the film.  This is emailed to us to be shown in the next core session

Core Session: Finding Location & Pre-production

Aim: Deciding locations for filming and forming production teams.

  • Location ideas are presented on a screen and decided upon for each film by teams.

  • A short video explains each role in the small film-making team.

  • Cards are given out with descriptions of each key role in the film and team members choose their role and write down their name.

Roles include:

  • Actors/presenters – may be all members of the team

  • Producer

  • Camera – can be more than 1 member

  • Sound

  • Editor – can be more than 1 member

  • Each group member fills out their availability on a calendar, noting their name, team and contact details.

Aim: Coordinating participants’ availability for their production team.

  • Producers then arrange to meet with Katja and Simon in a breakout session to organise filming schedules.

Breakout Session: Meeting with Producers

The producers of each team meet together with Katja and Simon.

Aim: Using the groups’ calendars, filming days are arranged that avoid conflicting production times with the other teams.

  • The producers organise locations, travel, catering, props and the day’s filming schedules, allotting time for the filming of each scene (with support from Katja and Simon).

  • Producers inform their team members and confirm filming dates and availability.

Breakout Session: Film Production Phase

Over a period of approx. 2 weeks, each film production team meets with Simon and Katja to film their shorts.

Aim: to film each team’s short – turn their story cards and preparation into moving images.

  • Footage is collected

Breakout Session: Post-Production Editing

Each team’s editor arranges to do a one-day editing session with Simon and Katja to edit their team’s filmed footage.

Aim: To edit each final film. To expand the production team’s editors’ editing skills.

Core Session: Film Screening and Sound Design

The whole group watches all films in class and gives feedback. 

Aim: To understand the effect of music and sound effects. To record sound effects and voices for the films.

  • Video introducing ‘Sound Design’ shows how sound effects are created.

  • The impact of sound on the story of films are demonstrated by showing film clips without and then with sound effects.

  • Additional Dialogue Recording is also explained via film clips, where dialogue is re-recorded later to replace bad sound recordings from a location.

  • Group discusses the sound effects that could improve their films and areas where voices may need to be re-recorded.

  • Teams re-record any voices necessary and create sound effects using props while watching the films on a screen. These sounds are recorded live and added into the films.

  • Simon will then master these films and they will be available online.

  • DVDs will be available for the launch.

Core Session: Organisation of Film Launch

Aim: Participants plan the film launch

(with support from the peer mentoring partnership and Katja and Simon).

Guiding Questions:

  • Where will the films be screened?

  • What organisations and individuals will be invited?

  • Is the screening part of a bigger peer mentoring partnership conference? How does this affect the overall organisation and planning of the day?

  • Participants will be supported in creating film festival submissions accounts and given a budget for submission fees.