Sample Exercises for Play

At our annual introductory training session last week, groups of 3 or 4 from our cohort of 15 teachers tried out exercises 1, 2, and 3 for the ‘Play’ theme.  All of the pieces were planned and shot in 15 minutes..

One group went outside BFI to the river, following the brief from Exercise 1 to find examples of people playing.  They were pleasantly surprised at how.. playful people are; they didn’t have to look far.  of course, the subjects of the film (pretty much a Playful Lumiere Minute) played up to the camera..

Another group followed Exercise 2: ‘take on the roles of two naughty children who have been sent outside the classroom, have found a small space to sit down in, and innovate a game out of whatever is to hand.’  We liked the variety of angles used in the film, and the way they withold some of the offscreen action.  And those last two shots, starting with the setting down of the cup in extreme foreground..

And finally, a more extended piece that leads to Exercise 3, in which the film-maker must reproduce the sensation of dizzyness or vertigo in a character..

Well done, and thank you, Joe, Carly, Michelle, Hilary, Martin, Jo, Dan, David, Michael, Stephi, Seb, and Katie!

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2016/17: Le Jeu/ Play

This year’s theme examines the many dimensions of Play in cinema.  Alain Bergala, programme advisor, says cinema is essentially a playful mode, and he set out a set of characteristics of ‘play in cinema’ at the launch training event in September.  The typology, and associated clips are on the Powerpoint presentation below.  If the links to films don’t work, the Vimeo playlist of extracts can be found here: and the password is ‘play’.  Some of the clips aren’t suitable for primary aged children, as in really unsuitable, so make sure you watch anything before showing it.

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Guadeloupe Meteo

The Lycee Leborgne, in Guadeloupe, made this contribution to Meteo.  The Mancenillier tree – Manchineel in the Caribbean – is known as the ‘little apple of death’, and the film-makers here riff on the theme of forbidden fruit.  The brief requires the weather to play a narrative role – here, the wind that blows them together, and the shelter from the rain, and the threat of rain washed down from the tree burning and scarring our lead actress.

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St. Margaret’s Withern

St. Margaret’s have made beautiful, bitter-sweet, short films in the project over the last five years.  Their latest, for le Meteo, uses their school greenhouse to powerful effect, as the ‘shelter’ required by the brief, and features impressive opening shots of lowering skies.

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Meteo Montage

This summer’s montage of exercises from Paris ran to around 16 minutes, cut down here to 6.  They run sequentially through the seasons, and continents..

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Legsby final film

At last, some of the final films created by Lincolnshire Primary Schools on the ‘meteo’ theme, 2016.

The brief was to create a story revolving around a shelter, bringing two characters together.  Legsby spent time in the woods building their shelter, and going out in the rain to capture some verite weather action.  We had some discussion over whether the voice-over added, or subtracted, from the story.  You decide..

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Cent Ans de Jeunesse website goes live

After quite a gestation, the Cinematheque’s composite website has gone live. French energy group EDF gave the Cinematheque funding a couple of years ago, to support the desire to compile some of the best materials, exercise, and student work from some of the previous years’ themes.  Scottish Film Education, through Philip Donelly, generously agreed to support an English translation of the site, and Alasdair Satchel obliged.

The themes they’ve chosen to start with are ‘Shown/ Hidden’; ‘Colour’; and ‘Real/ Fiction’.

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