Media Release: Inspiring young people make short films for BBC

YOUNG, talented people from Shetland, the Outer Hebrides, Ross-shire and Moray have been working to deliver inspiring films which were commissioned by the BBC.

Working with ScreenHI, which develops the film industry in the Highlands and Islands, the youngsters have created five short films focusing on the themes of literacy and citzenship.

Elgin High School, the Nicolson Institute in Stornoway, Dingwall Primary, Paible School from North Uist and a group from Shetland were all involved in the BBC Scotland Learning project.

It enabled each group of young people to learn filmaking techniques including researching, using a camera and story structure.

The five-minute long films are currently available online at

The campaign’s aim is to help and guide other young people in a similar position to give inspiration and support, and may be used for television broadcast in the future as part of a longer programme on both subjects.

ScreenHI is supported by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Amanda Millen is the screen and broadcast director, she said: “I am so proud of everyone who took part in this project as they put so much effort into it.

“It will be great to see the films screened at this year’s goNorth showcase which will see a bigger and better screen and broadcast strand.

“As well as delivering creative content on the two themes, ScreenHI was thrilled to be able to secure this kind of invaluable experience for Highlands and Islands practicioners and school and community groups who worked together throughout. In addition to the usual challenges of how to tell a story through the camera, making programmes for broadcast has a very high level of technical specifications.”

Iain Hamilton, head of Creative Industries at HIE, said: “Creative industries contribute both to the economy and cultural life of the Highlands and Islands.

“Our support for the sector including the broadcasting industry, recognises both its social value and potential to drive economic growth.

“It’s fantastic that the BBC commissioned ScreenHI and that local young people have had the opportunity to get involved. The inspiring films focus on young adults who tell their stories about the impact of leaving school with poor reading and writing skills and how this affects their communication skills and ability to get what they want in life.”

ScreenHI had teams in Elgin, Stornoway, Uist, Shetland and Dingwall to deliver the content.

The programmes will be screened during goNorth 6-7 June, one of Scotland’s largest creative industry festivals held in Inverness.

goNorth has announced the first short film screening programme at this year’s creative industries festival. The films were selected from an open call for submissions for engaging, story driven content up to 20 minutes long.

Notes to Editors

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Tom Duncan, who directed the film in Elgin, said: “On a professional level, seeing our film come through such a demanding editorial process was invaluable. We were shooting for a broadcast specification, working through daily rough cuts and a full online edit and sound mix. To be there from start to finish in just three weeks was immense.

Our contributors and crew built a strong team spirit and delivered a piece of honest and engaging broadcast content. With the wealth of experience and support provided by Amanda at ScreenHI it was a real boost to both my production knowledge and career aspirations.”


Niall Campbell, who produced the Paible School film, said: “I was involved in working with the children from Paible School in North Uist who were a delight to have as a team.

“Our short film was based on an idea by the children themselves as they had been discussing novel means of global communication in the absence of digital technology.

“From this, the ‘Message in a Bottle’ idea was born and the children not only contributed to the writing of the voice over dialogue, but also to all aspects of the filming process.

“Most of the children either took turns of operating the camera, directing the shots or playing the parts required within the film.

“As part of a project they had been working on in relation to global citizenship, the various classes were focused on nations who were not as advanced as we are in the Western world.

“They chose to look at countries which shared similarities with the Uists in that they may have been isolated to a degree, or they may have depended on farming and fishing or were subject to extreme weather conditions.

“Most of the children showed promise as budding directors and others showed a natural on screen flair.”


Roddy Maclean, who produced the Nicolson Institute film, said: “The literacy film project is a great idea.

“It supports those who suffer from literacy issues and it informs those who do not. Perhaps the biggest high I got from the film making was when one of the pupils confided that the film had allowed them to express for the first time their inner feelings about their literacy issues, and that they had been strengthened as a result.

“I really enjoyed working with the pupils and I was very impressed by their drive, always being committed to achieving the day’s filming goals.

“I certainly gained a deeper insight into how young people can be affected by issues such as dyslexia and verbal dyspraxia.

“They were a talented bunch of young people and their literacy issues did not prevent them shining in other areas such as arts, crafts, technical skills and outdoor pursuits.”


Dave Hammond, who produced the Shetland film, said: ”For my part the experience of working with my group of young people was challenging to say the least.

“I’ve learned a lot from this process, especially about the technical and aesthetic standards expected by a major broadcaster and I think all who took part came to realise that making a film is not an easy thing to do, but it is rewarding and I am sure they all took something from the experience.”


Tim Flood, who produced the Dingwall Primary film, said: “This was a really exciting opportunity and a great learning experience for me.

“I have not produced video material at broadcast quality before so being involved with ScreenHi offered me the chance to really broaden my technical and production knowledge.

“I think some of my previous work with community groups perhaps looks a little staid but working with Ross and Amanda showed me how to produce more dynamic visuals.”

Further notes to editors:

1. goNORTH
Scotland’s premier Creative Industries festival will be held across several venues in Inverness city centre from 6-7 June 2012 and once more offers all panels, workshops and live showcases completely free of charge to industry and the public.

goNORTH was launched in 2001 to provide a platform for artists from the north of Scotland to showcase their talent to the music industry and media representatives.

The event has since developed into one of the country’s leading Creative Industries Festivals, covering a much wider remit from Screen and Broadcast to Designer Fashion and Publishing.

goNORTH 2011 was the most successful event to date with over 500 delegates and industry professions in attending events at over 13 city centre Inverness locations and venues.

Highlights included 31 panel sessions and workshops, 33 film screenings and 70 bands showcasing their music.

Website –

2. ScreenHI

ScreenHI is the agency for developing the screen and broadcast industries in the Highlands and Islands.

ScreenHI is one half of Creative Highland, together with GoEvents, and has been set up as a not-for-profit business to provide unique job, training and networking opportunities and to encourage local economic activity within the Creative Industries across the Highlands and Islands, specifically in the Music, Screen and Broadcast sectors.

ScreenHI is funded by Highlands and Islands Enterprise and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Website – and

Further information about ScreenHI is available from:

Amanda Millen, director, 07887 605 062

MEDIA RELEASE posted by Highlands and Islands Enterprise. You too can post media releases (aka press releases) on For more information, email here.

Contact: ScreenHI
Phone: 07887 605 062