The Hippodrome Festival of Silent Cinema has been quietly encouraging local youngsters to see films from the other side of the lens.
The annual festival, which opened this week, is rolling out the red carpet for a feast of world class silent films and several brand new live scores.
And among it all will be a group of teenagers, from Bo’ness and West Lothian, who’ve been hard at work for the past eight weeks; writing, shooting and editing their very own short film, which will premiere at the festival on Sunday.
They’ve been working with Sean Young, of Screen Education Edinburgh, who says the course has been a great success.
“I’m very proud of the youngsters who have really come together as a group and created something they can all be very proud of,” he said.
Those involved – Hannah Caddell, Caitlin Cox, Josh Graham, Lucy McKeown, Hannah Macmillan, Nathan Calder and Taylor Goodwin – were selected by Ryan Topping, of Falkirk Council’s Community Learning and Development, to be introduced by Sean, helped by Aron Cairns, to the many aspects of filming.
As well as learning about camera work and editing, the lessons in Bo’ness Library and Bo’ness Academy have had a strong emphasis on sound design.
“We’ve been trying to show you don’t need dialogue to tell a story,” said Sean.
“They’ve learned how much fun it is to make a film - but also how much effort goes into it,” he added.
The participants all pitched ideas then chose a romantic comedy entitled Love Crush.
Written by Hannah Caddell, who also shares the director’s credit with Caitlin Cox, the story involves a love note that ends up in the wrong hands. It was inspired by that most famous of silent stars, Charlie Chaplin.
The participants will also get the chance to work towards a recognised Arts Award.
Ryan Topping said: “The participants have formed a great bond through this experience as well as all the new skills and confidence they have picked up along the way.”
And he is hopeful that this will lead to an after-school film class being set up, with involvement of Community Learning and Development.
Love Crush premieres as part of New Found Sound on Sunday at 11 am.
The Hippodrome Festival of Silent Cinema runs until Sunday.
Visit www.hippfest.co.uk to find out more.