Film-Making for Kids- Interview with Baz Jones
Film-Making for kids is one of the hottest trends right now, so with a Summer Term Project coming up, we interviewed Baz Jones, Head of Movie-Makers York.
How did you get become involved with Movie-Makers York and Dramacube Productions?
I’ve known Steve (Dramacube’s Owner and Director) for many years, and last year (2021) he approached me about collaborating on a film-making course for young people. I immediately said, ‘Yes!’
Did you study film at university? Have you always worked in creative roles?
I studied Film, Television & Theatre at York St. John University, and have always had a passion for the creative arts. I’ve had a varied career, but I’ve always been drawn back to being creative, as it’s such an important way to express ourselves, and work out our place in the world around us.
I think for young people being creative is really important – it’s a different way to think and to interpret things, and on our course, which is movie-making, there are so many skills to learn and enjoy. Whatever a young person might be interested in, or even if they don’t know anything about making a film yet, they can write, perform, design, plus learn technical skills – all in a confidence-building team framework.
What’s your all-time favourite film and why?
The film I must’ve watched more times than any other is ‘Back to the Future’. Released when I was about nine, it made such a massive impact on my impressionable mind! It’s virtually perfect, with every shot and line of dialogue judged to perfection. It’s exciting, heart-warming, fun, funny, sad, touching…and endlessly quotable. Its apparent simplicity is only the result of incredible amounts of hard work, and that crucial touch of inspiration, also called ‘magic’!
Tell us a bit about the current Movie-Makers York project.
We’ve just completed a special project where a group of 25 young people created three short films inspired by York’s famous city walls and their history. It was part of The York Walls Festival, and we were very proud to have The Sheriff of York congratulate the team of young people at the student and parents screening!
In June we begin another of our standard, film-making for kids projects, where the group of young people will work together on the idea for a short film – and then make it! Ably assisted by our talented and supportive tutors.
Is there an end of term presentation?
Yes, we think it’s really important that everyone gets to celebrate their achievements together, and with their close family! We have a red carpet, hand out certificates, and generally have a bit of a party! For our three-day workshops there’s not quite enough time to have family members along, but we still have a screening for the group at the end of the third day. And for all of our film-making for kids projects everyone gets a digital copy of the film for free!
How can young people benefit from joining Movie-Makers York?
We’ve had a lot of parents tell us that their child has increased in confidence, and really enjoyed working positively in a group of their peers. The courses and workshops are such a great balance of imagination and practicality, meaning they suit all interests and personalities. These days, with access to smart phones, laptops and tablets, we all have a film studio in our pocket or at home. Giving young people a structure for their ideas, and showing them simple ways to improve their movie-making, means they can apply what they’ve learned with us straightaway at home!
Have you learnt anything new since joining Dramacube?
You learn so much from each new group of young people! They look at the world in simpler terms and yet their imaginations are so much bigger and bolder than ours. They have fewer barriers than adults to what’s possible! It’s great to see things through their eyes, and also to show them that there’s no such thing as getting something wrong, and it doesn’t matter if you make a mistake – we just go for another take!
What made you choose York as the location for Movie-Makers?
I’m based in York and I love the city, so it always made sense to launch Movie-Makers here, plus it’s the place where I first studied film. It’s great to be giving something back and inspiring the next generation of York film-makers, writers, designers, make-up artists and performers!
Dramacube is currently celebrating its 10th birthday this year with A Decade of Dramacube. Where would you like to see Movie-Makers, 10 years from now?
Wow, great question! Wouldn’t it be fantastic if some of these young people went on to work in the creative arts industries? Or became tutors with us teaching the next-next generation! But equally staying creative alongside whatever you end up doing in life is so important. There are lots of ways creative skills can benefit your family and your community, and we do have that film studio always with us in our pockets! I hope every young person we work with is still finding time to be creative in ten years time!
Movie-Makers York currently have an ‘Early Bird 10% Discount’ for their Summer Holiday Workshops which is valid until the end of July so get booking! If your child is a budding film-maker, please click here!