Sparks Olney has been running now for just over 6 months and our team brings a wealth of filmmaking experience to the town. We have been working with a range of young people from in and around the area who have created some fantastic films during their time with us, including:
Whether you want to be in front or behind the camera, there is always a role for you here at Sparks Olney. There is far more to our filmmaking sessions than just pressing the record, button. Students try their hand at everything - directing, photography, editing, screenwriting and even acting.
"We encourage everyone to get fully immersed in the learning and fun!"
Our classes are small so each student can get what they need from each session. Our staff are qualified, and DBS checked. Over the weeks, our students will learn the basics of professional movie-making, which they will put into practice by filming and editing a movie using their new skills and knowledge.
It's all very exciting, so why join Sparks Olney? There are so many reasons why you should be part of our course. Here are our top five:
Unlock your creativity
Take on new opportunities and be inspired
Build on your current skills
Grow in confidence
Meet new people
We work on a different theme each term.
Last term we worked with Double Acts and carried out a variety of masterclasses to look at shot compositions, depth, sightlines and more. Here's what the group came up with.
"What equipment do we use?"
We use a variety of different equipment for our students to get a good all-around knowledge of the technical elements involved in making movies. For our age groups, we work with high-quality camcorders, or iPads, as well as equipment including tripods, clapperboards, green screens and lighting reflectors.
For editing, we tend to work with Macs using iMovie. We have so far had some brilliant film edits, with many including the group's favourite animation - the explosion! Our equipment is chosen for its accessibility/ease of use, along with its output quality and durability such as the ability to withstand accidental drops.
Sparks Olney's approach towards using this particular technology is to teach the skills required to use it well and adapt, rather than to train on particular models or setups that may date quickly, or that may not be widely available to learners outside of classes.
"Want to be part of Sparks Olney?"
If you enjoy moviemaking and would like to find out more about what we do, why not come along to one of our free trial sessions to see how you like it. We're sure you'll want to come back! For full information and to register, please see the Sparks Olney website.
We hope to see you soon.
Until next time ...
Would you like to know more?
If anything I've written in this blog post resonates with you and you'd like to discover more about Sparks Olney, it may be a great idea to give me a call on 01234 241357 and let's see how I can help.
David is the owner and Artistic Director of The Arches Theatre in Clifton Reynes near Milton Keynes. Productions are underneath some flood arches on the disused Midland railway line (Bedford to Northampton). It is equidistant from Bedford, Northampton and Milton Keynes. You bring your food, drink and chairs and enjoy the varied shows that are produced. This year - 2022 - there are 12 productions on throughout the season, from Shakespeare to Ripping Yarns plus a music weekend.
David has been involved in 'Light Ent' for many years, working with Ray Galton and Alan Simpson adapting the scripts of 'Steptoe and Son' and those of Tony Hancock to the stage. He has produced shows for Norman Wisdom (which makes him feel old), Al Murray, and Joe Pasquale amongst others, and also worked in the music business promoting and producing shows with Chas and Dave, Neil Inness, Kenny Ball, Acker Bilk and others of that ilk.
He is also the director of a film school for young people in his home town of Olney as well as supporting many local events.
He recently negotiated permission from Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais to stage a short run of 'Porridge' on stage which proved a success.
This year the annual charity performance at The Arches Theatre will be the last of 'Ripping Yarns' by Michael Palin and Terry Jones, with the profits being donated to The National Brain Appeal' for research into dementia as David's father and uncle died of it, as did Michael Palin's friend and writing partner Terry Jones. Last year they raised an astonishing £10,000 and are hoping to get somewhere close again with the support of audiences and sponsors.
David also has a stage hire company and his wife Julie runs a livery yard, so they are surrounded by horses, dogs, light entertainment and and a 17 year old daughter.
He plays in a comedy jazz band and collects strange props such as the Spitting Image puppets of Denis Thatcher and Alan Bennett, the child catchers bike from the stage show of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and various other 'things' all of which he sells to raise money for the Arches Theatre, although he always finds it hard to part from these props. However as the theatre receives no funding at all, he is always devising ways to keep it going! Sponsors are always welcome!
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