All set for the silver screen!

QE boys involved in a digital film-making workshop are looking forward to seeing their work on the big screen this September in a premiere at the famous Odeon Cinema in Leicester Square.

Eight Year 9 boys are the latest QE group to take part in the course run by Film Skool, a Barnet-based company which works with a small number of independent and state schools across London. In total, 26 QE boys from Years 7–11 have attended Film Skool workshops in recent months.

The course gives young people the opportunity to learn about the film-making process, make professional short films spanning different genres and then have their film showcased at leading cinemas, where they can invite along family and friends. Last year, nearly 300 guests, including QE families, came to one of Film Skool’s premieres at the Curzon Mayfair Cinema.

The groups taking part have one day to shoot their film and they then spend a weekend editing it using professional editing software in a media suite.

""Film Skool is run by Mo Alam, who has also been teaching Media Studies and Film Studies at Queen Elizabeth’s Girls’ School for ten years. He explained that the brief allowed the boys a great deal of autonomy, stipulating only that the finished film had to be approximately five minutes long. “They also needed to be realistic, using locations that they could control and ensuring that props and actors were believable,” he said.

Mr Alam is currently working in television and in feature film-making. He is  developing a teenage comedy series with an independent London-based children’s entertainment company called Zodiac Kids, as well as working on an action film based in India and China.

The eight QE boys wrote their own script. The plot was as follows: ‘Boy meets up with old school friend who seems to be doing well financially and suggests they meet up with a contact of his if they want to make money. They get involved with selling something that is illegal and an innocent family member dies. There is a moral at the end referring to choices and consequences. There is an indirect reference to drugs, although the word “drugs” is not mentioned.’

""The day of filming took place on a Saturday based at the home of one of the boys, Sajeev Krishnathasan, with shooting also taking place at a local pizza shop. The finished film was edited at QE Girls’ School.

Mr Alam praised the boys’ “really good script” and said afterwards that they had produced some of the best acting he had seen all year.
The workshop was organised at QE by Jeanne Nicodemus, Art teacher, and Charlotte Coleman, History teacher, who also runs the School’s extra-curricular film-making club.

Ms Nicodemus met with the group before the shoot to discuss expectations. She also ended up with a bit part in the film herself. “They all worked really hard and we had a long day, finishing at 6.30,” she reported.

In addition to Sajeev, the boys involved were: Muneeb Faiz; Shivam Masrani; Marc Hill; Kumarran Mathisekaran; Xin Yuan He; Mipham Samten and Dylan Nakrani.