Camera bulbs flashed and the red carpet awaited 25 young people in Tí Chulainn Cultural Activity Centre this weekend as two groups who had taken part in the summer “How to be a Hollywood Producer” course arrived for their film premiere at a glamorous black tie event.
Over the summer the two groups aged between 10 and 16 took their first steps in the film-making profession, as part of an innovative summer scheme funded and run by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Newry Mourne and Down District Council, the Arts Council and the Department for Communities. The scheme was the brainchild of a partnership between the Ring of Gullion Landscape Partnership and Tí Chulainn and was delivered by talented local media company Slack Press and artists Tracey McVerry.
The children were provided with opportunities to experience script-writing techniques; they learned to design story boards; used Green Screen technology and discovered the world behind the camera from experienced producers, directors, camera operators and voice artists. They used these skills to create the pieces of film art that were shown at the Premiere. These short films engaged with the ancient myths, legends and stories of the Ring of Gullion and retold these tales for a modern audience.
“This project aimed to slow the loss of oral history in the area” said Gillian Fitzpatrick, chair of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, “It engaged with the tweens and teens and allowed them to discover and tell the ancient stories in a way that resonated with their generation” she continued.
The films are available on the Ring of Gullion website and on the project’s social media pages as well on a limited edition DVD which was given to the families of the young producers.