Directing the future

Reel Movie Magic
Ricgard and James from Reel Movies Magic help children film and direct their mini-movies

Richard Grant and James White are helping children in Enfield create their own ‘mini movies’

James and I began Reel Movie Magic last spring with the idea of creating filmmaking party experiences and clubs for children.

We’ve both been teaching for many years and the idea developed back when we were working together at the same school. We wanted to raise money for Comic Relief so we decided to make a short film involving the pupils and staff.

Raising money for charity was brilliant, as was seeing the buzz and excitement that the film created around the school from both children and adults alike. At that point we knew that we had hit upon something special and were proud to see what we had achieved with no filmmaking experience and just a handheld camera.

Developing the idea with my own class, I began doing film projects, introducing the children to genres that they would never have been exposed to before, such as silent comedies. The pupils then worked together to create their own films based on the different styles. I saw first-hand the amazing benefits of filmmaking for children, not only in developing their speaking, listening, writing and computing skills, but also their ability to collaborate together. It was fantastic to see the look on their faces when they all finally watched their finished films.

Reel Movie Magic developed from this, but we’ve moved on quite a bit from our early days. James and I have invested in professional equipment and added a real wow factor to proceedings by acquiring a green screen to create fantastic special effects. With our new course of lessons, the children will learn about different genres before working together to create their own films. They will write scripts, use cameras, create storyboards, and edit. They’ll even have a few special effects thrown in to spice things up a bit. We also have plans to show off their films at a red carpet awards ceremony!

James and I are incredibly excited about the possibilities for the future. We feel that we are offering something different, where children will get to learn new things as well as develop their love of films and film-making. We have also talked about the idea of working with schools and running workshops there. And who knows? After the Comic Relief film, we think that many of the adults would love to get involved as well, so maybe there’s room to branch out there too.

A six-week filmmaking course for children aged between seven and eleven started on 9th February and takes place at St Luke’s Church Hall in Morley Hill. For more information:
Email [email protected]