ROH and ACE Premiere Special Needs Collaborative Production

Arts Council England and Royal Opera House Creative Partnerships enabled commission of a unique 9-month project involving Pioneer School in Basildon. Students with learning difficulties and Profound and Multiple Learning Disorders (PMLD) were engaged on a weekly learning programme aimed at teaching them the fundamental skills of film-making.

With sole responsibility for this project, I spent a significant amount of time on site, and also came to better understand the wonderful work that goes on behind-the-scenes in schools just like Pioneer all over the UK.

Students were engaged and responsive throughout, completely embracing their chance to contribute to the finished film; a 45 minute corporate documentary exploring day-to-day life at the school.

As well as teaching technical aspects of the filming process, I was also keen to involve the students in planning and other pre-production tasks. This encouraged them to think about what they wanted to convey before picking up their cameras and seeking-out new footage.

The finished work was shown at the Royal Opera House as well as in local schools.

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