From August 2008 to February 2009, Impact Arts worked in partnership with The Waterways Trust Scotland, the Twechar Youth Group and Twechar Community Action to develop and deliver the Twecharwood Creative Film Project.
The project directly engaged and trained a group of young people from the Twechar Youth Group in film making, providing them with an insight into the creative film industries. A total of twenty young people from Twechar went on a creative journey which saw them become actors, scriptwriters, costume designers, prop masters, soundmen, makeup artists, directors, producers and finally red carpet stars!
It was also an opportunity for the young people to engage in the history of their area and its connection to the Forth and Clyde Canal.
The project involved a number of creative professionals working alongside the young people, sharing their knowledge and skills to create two original films. The aim was to increase young people’s confidence in creating and devising their own filmic visions.
The two films we set out to produce were a factual documentary about the town’s history and a fictional all-action time travelling epic.
The project embarked on an initial creative workshop programme with the first set of workshops focused on script writing. The young people decided to give their full attention to Dr Twechar and The Glowing Lens, as they realised this would take the longest to write, prep and then film. This was the epic time travel adventure, featuring Twechar’s Barr Hill Fort, a Roman soldier lost in time and Twechar’s very own superhero Dr Twechar.
The documentary, So you think you know Twechar was based on a timeline of Twechar’s history and featured interviews, old photographs and images from the various day trips taken by the young people. It was filmed, written and edited by the older members of the group. Through this they learned the more intricate skills of film making, enabling them to teach younger members of the group on other projects.
The creative workshops were a hive of activity and creativity! On completion of the script the team began the creation of their costumes and props for the film: Pict Warrior outfits, swords, shields, helmets, boulders, Roman Gods, a Twecharwood sign, Roman soldier uniforms and a superhero costume worthy of Dr Twechar.
Over the following four weeks the young people all pulled together with the professional tutor team to make Dr Twechar a reality!
Although they had to battle through gale force winds, heavy rain and the occasional 8am start, their determination saw no limits. The young people were professional film makers during the shoot, taking their roles seriously but always having a great time with a wonderful sense of fun! The final day of the shoot was emotional for everyone involved.
All the young people had learned a specific skill relating to film making: acting, sound recording, filming, lighting or directing. As well as the educational value of this project the young people all now have a positive insight into the world of film which they can relate to from their experiences.
Finally, after the editing process was complete, we held a red-carpet premiere of the films at the Glasgow Film Theatre, which incorporated an Oscar-style awards ceremony for all the young people involved. Councillor Frank Docherty presented the Oscars in a highly-charged and packed cinema!
Dr Twechar and the Glowing Lens and So You Think You Know Twechar were a huge hit with the audience and the day was filled with fun, laughter and a few tears of happiness.
You can view both films below.
So You Think You Know Twechar?
Dr Twechar & the Glowing Lens