Tom – Arts Award Portfolio

Tom – Bronze Arts Award Portfolio

Tom was supported by Keith Phillips, the project Arts Award Advisor for Ideal Films, and Geraldine King, his teacher at St Luke’s School. This portfolio was compiled by Keith Phillips using students original work.

This project was made possible by the generous support of our funders:

Into Film

Arts Award

Swindon Borough Council

part A: explore the arts as a participant

Description of arts activity

Tom attended a filmmaking club both in school time and after-school. He helped make the film The Book Thieves (below). In particular, he helped develop the story and acted in the film as one of the main characters.

Evidence of participation

Planning the story on index cards

Tom is at the back, smiling, in the green top

The story planned out

The index cards were scribed by Keith Phillips

The crew reviews some of their early shots

Tom has his back to us, wearing the blue hooped top and woolly hat

Shooting with full professional kit

Tom, wearing the blue top and headphones, is on sound recording duties

The whole crew, editing The Book Thieves

Tom is second right, in the dark blue top

The whole crew, editing The Book Thieves

Projecting the film on the screen enabled everyone to contribute to the editing

We arranged for the team to show their film at the local Cineworld to an audience made up of their teachers, family and friends. The event was attended by Sophie Critchlow, south-west representative of national film education charity Into Film.

It was also attended by the Swindon Advertiser, who wrote up a nice piece in their paper: Silver screen success for St Luke’s film makers

Sophie Critchlow from Into Film congratulates the students

Tom is in the front with the pale blue t-shirt

Sophie hands out goody bags

Tom is in the middle with the pale blue t-shirt

Photo from Swindon Advertiser

Tom is in the front row on the right

Tom’s reflection on his development and a summary of what he learnt and how his skills improved

The Book Thieves – a great fun film to make and we all came together as a TEAM!

The experience of seeing our performance on a big screen, sitting with our teachers and family made me proud of myself and my group.

I learnt that we are good actors and that we can think quickly and change our movements and ideas. I learnt to respect others and their opinions.

The skills I developed were:

  • Working as a team
  • Able to accept changes
  • Understanding and listening to other’s points of view
  • Confidence in my own abilities
  • Use my imagination
  • Communicating with my group and teachers
  • Help solve problems

part B: explore the arts as an audience member

On 8 December 2016, students were taken to a screening of Elstree 1976. This is a feature documentary about the original Star Wars film, examining the roles of some of the more prominent extras. This was an event screening, with pre-show entertainment featuring a cosplay Stormtrooper, and a Q&A afterwards with the film’s producer, director and sound recordist and three of the actors who were featured in the film.

Local press were there, photographing the filmmakers and actors

There was a cosplay stormtrooper

Tom is on the stormtrooper's immediate left

And they all posed for photographs

The filmmakers and actors were interviewed

And there was a Q&A

And the group appeared in the local paper

Tom’s reflection on the event

It was a Star War movie.

We came in the school bus to Commonweal School. When we first got there, there was a stormtrooper there. We took some photos with the stormtrooper, and some other photographers took our picture. We later found put that went in the newspaper, the Swindon Advertiser. We were happy with that, except the funny thing was they said we were from Commonweal, when we weren’t.

From there, we sat down somewhere for 5 minutes. It was strange. We were waiting to go in and there were lots of people talking and chatting.

Then we went into the hall. A guy presented it and said it was a movie about the making of Star Wars, what went behind it.

It was very good. The people weren’t what you would expect as actors. They were just average people who had been picked off the street, almost.

It was for people who liked or had interest about Star Wars.

It was great. We got to sit at the front, and we felt like we were involved with the people who were doing it. And I even got to ask question.

I asked a funny question. “Did it hurt when it bumped your head.” He laughed and said “No.” He said he something to eat the night before, that gave him a funny tummy and that made him walk funny and he bumped his head. I like that story because he was actually speaking to me and that made me feel involved with the whole thing.

They came from all different backgrounds. Even though they are so different – they can come together and work together.

I wouldn’t mind being an actor. And seeing the film and talking to the extras made me think it might be possible.

After the film, I got a photo with one of the people from the film who is known as the stormtrooper who bumped his head. That was good because we got it for free. Some of the people had to pay.

(scribed by Geraldine King)

part C: arts inspiration

Tom chose Laurie Goode as his arts inspiration – the Star Wars actor he met at the Elstree 1976 event.

Tom researched him online, found the following two photographs and wrote the following piece.

Actor Laurie Goode says he was as shocked as anyone to see that George Lucas used the now infamous take of him hitting his head.

Laurie Goode was born in Windsor not long after WW2. His parents came from Hackney, East London, but moved out of the area during the
Blitz, having been made homeless twice. In his late teens, as Laurie mastered the guitar, he became involved in photographic modelling.

For 51 years Laurie has acted as an extra or uncredited in movies.

I admire him for sticking to his acting career and think I might be able to have a job of acting.

(scribed by Geraldine King)

part D: arts skills share


All planning was done verbally.

Tom and the rest of the group decided that the obvious thing was for them to share their skills of filmmaking with iPads.

They talked about whether to deliver a lesson to a group of Y7 students or to some of their teachers. In the end, they decided they would prefer to deliver a lesson to some of their teachers, with the aim of persuading them that it would be a good idea for the school to buy some iPads so they could do more filmmaking in the future. They felt that iPads would make English lessons better, since they find filmmaking more accessible than writing. They also thought teaching their teachers would be more convenient because they were now doing their filmmaking club after school. So their teacher arranged for them to teach filmmaking to a pair of her colleagues.

They weren’t sure exactly how to go about devising a filmmaking lesson, so I told them about a simple exercise I often use with pairs of students to introduce them to filmmaking. The exercise gives the participants a clear structure to follow and allows each student to have a go at filming, acting and editing.

Rather than have me try to explain the exercise, the team elected to have a go at it for themselves.

Here’s what they produced.

Knowing that they each had to lead on teaching one section of the lesson, the final part of their planning was for the group to decide who would do what. As one of the main actors in The Book Thieves, Tom decided to teach the craft of film acting. To help them brief their students, I prepared a worksheet describing the exercise.

Evidence of activity

Tom talks to his student about her actions in this scene

Tom explains what he would like her to do

Tom explains what he would like her to do

Tom's student rehearses the action

Here’s the short film the teachers produced.

Tom’s reflection on how it went

We decided to do a film to go with the rest of our project and because it would be more fun. So me and the rest of my colleagues made a short movie with two teachers.

It was about a superhero who saved the day.

We were teaching the teachers how we used equipment and acting.

I helped them along the steps of acting. I demonstrated what I would do in acting and they copied.

It went very well. It was good fun. Miss Lowndes was a superhero. They made a great piece.

(scribed by Geraldine King)