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23rd May 2018

A Level Film students from Newcastle College, part of Newcastle and Stafford Colleges Group (NSCG), along with pupils from Clayton Hall Academy have been working together on an exciting collaborative film project designed to raise aspirations of working within the television and film industry.

The project has seen Sixth Form students from Newcastle College become mentors to pupils from Year 8 and Year 10 at Clayton Hall Academy, attending a number of film and media related workshops to learn a range of new skills, with the ultimate aim of producing a short, topical documentary ahead of the 2018 World Cup which focuses on the life, career and sporting achievements of Stoke City F.C. and England World Cup winning goalkeeper, Gordon Banks O.B.E. The documentary captures reflections from Gordon’s early childhood and career, recollections from the 1966 World Cup and predictions and advice for the current England squad.

The project began in April with a Media Production taster day at Staffordshire University supported by Higher Horizons, where Clayton Hall Academy pupils sharpened their knowledge of camera equipment, interview techniques and recording sound on location. On the same day, Newcastle College Film students took part in an in-depth film editing masterclass, learning how to edit interview footage, mix audio and add graphics, techniques they will put into use when completing the final film edit.

Project organiser, Group Head of Schools Liaison at NSCG, Gareth Hughes said: “This project is a fantastic example of true collaboration across secondary, further and higher education. We have seen students of varying ages and levels of expertise interacting and sharing their combined knowledge and best practice to create what we hope will be a wonderful film about Gordon, who has not only been a fantastic patron of Newcastle College but is also an iconic part of local and national footballing history.”

Drawing from their experience at Staffordshire University, students and pupils reconvened at Newcastle College on Tuesday 22 May to interview the former England goalkeeper in the College’s purpose built facilities. Prior to the interview, students received a second masterclass focused on cinematography and lighting from former Staffordshire University Digital Film and Post Production graduate and current NSCG Marketing & PR Officer, Dan Thomas.

A lively interview session ensued, with students asking pre-prepared questions about Gordon’s career and life outside of football. Questions included; ‘Who is the best player you’ve ever played against?’, ‘Who do you think should be England’s No.1 at the World Cup?’, ‘If you could take only three things to a desert island, what would they be, and why?’ and ‘You have a strong connection to Newcastle College, why is it important for you to give back?’

Clayton Hall Academy pupil, Amy Baker said: “It has been a really exciting project to be a part of and a completely new experience for us. Interviewing Gordon Banks was a real highlight, getting to know more about his amazing career and putting our new skills into action.”

She added: “I can’t wait for us to get together again next month to edit the interview and show the finished film at school.”

During the interview, Gordon Banks, aged 80, spoke joyfully about his illustrious career, life and achievements. He said: “I thought that the students all performed incredibly well during the interview, the quality of the questions was fantastic, you could tell that they had done their research and really put a lot of thought into what they wanted to ask me.”

He added “The young people spoke with such confidence throughout and I’m looking forward to seeing how they will bring the finished film together.”

Students, staff and stakeholders will reconvene at Newcastle College on 11 June to complete the final stages of the project, producing their final edit and previewing the finished film to their peers.

Newcastle College offers a range of A Levels and vocational courses targeted to school leavers in Art, Design and Media related subjects, as well as a number of university-level qualifications in Graphic Design, Art and Design and Photography.

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