Montrer/Cacher 2010-2011

The theme for the academic year 2010/ 11 is Montrer/ Cacher – or ‘shown/ hidden’. Participating this year from England, are St. Catherine’s School for Girls in Bexleyheath, and a group consisting of boys from London Nautical School and Lambeth Academy in Lambeth.  On 27th November 2010 we ran a training day at BFI Southbank, introducing the theme and exercises for the year, to teachers from London, Scotland, Peterborough, Lincolnshire, and Shropshire, as well as to a group of trainee mentors from universities in South London on the Aspire AimHigher programme.

We are planning to take the training to a group of Moving Image Arts teachers in Northern Ireland in Spring 2011.

At the training seminar in Paris on 5/6 November, Alain Bergala introduced a set of concepts related to the shown/ hidden theme – in terms of story construction, performance, shot composition, sound, and editing, but also bigger issues in cinema, such as censorship, and what a nation reveals or hides about itself in its film culture.

The primary concept he introduced was the notion of ‘the secret’.  What a film-maker chooses to tell, or withhold, is one of the key skills of storytelling.  A secret, Bergala said, is told to some, not everyone; it’s distinct from a mystery, which is a secret that remains withheld from everyone, and an enigma, which is a puzzle pieced together by both characters and audience.

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One Response to Montrer/Cacher 2010-2011

  1. Mark Reid says:

    Chiara, the Aspire AimHigher mentor working with St Catherine’s in Bexleyheath, has been following their workshop. She writes about their first two sessions:

    BFI Fridays at St. Catherine’s!

    Session 1- 14/01/2011

    This week the girls were putting their finishing touches on Task 1. They had all been out with the cameras so they just needed to compile their shots, edit and add music.

    Using the theme of ‘Guess Who?’ they took various shots of a group member, but never gave away their identity. The girls gave visual hints such as a map of where they live, someone’s coat or their handbag. With Montrer Cacher in mind they were able to use various techniques and styles, such as blurring and slow motion.

    A lot of the music choices used a play on words such as Who are you? By The Who or as the girls know it, the theme from CSI.

    Session 2- 21/01/2011

    Today the girls were looking at their second task, a 3 minute piece where one person interacts with someone who is always out of shot. Using sound and lighting they suggested who this person might be.

    One group used the idea of a secret agent searching for someone, with an action theme acted out army style rolls and had a lot of fast paced shots.

    Another group applied the theme of bullying, where the audience always saw the victim on screen and suggestions that the off screen character was a bully. Hints they gave were nasty notes, the victim always looking over their shoulder or running away. They used visual clues such as shouting and footsteps.

    This task put emphasis on the use of Montrer, Cacher and gave the girls a chance to use the off-screen space more to provide more hidden and suggestive action.

    As this task was more complex some groups began with storyboards or written plots before filming.

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