Let’s begin by paraphrasing and personalising an old saying: “You can take Mark Huckle out of the teaching profession but you can’t take the teacher out of Mark Huckle.” I can’t resist the email from the school pupil or university undergraduate requesting a week’s work experience working alongside a professional videographer.
In the past seven weeks of post hip replacement operation recovery I have had two with me – one from Wadebridge School and the other from Callywith 6th Form College. Prior to this I have had a couple of students from Bournemouth University who were studying Broadcasting and two from Helston School and Community College. They all brought something fresh to the table and I learned a lot from them.
I have also offered opportunities to 4 Creative Writing and Journalism students from Falmouth University to commentate at a number of Truro City FC matches. One of them – Tom Harris – is progressing nicely and I heard his dulcet tones reporting from a Plymouth Argyle match on Radio Devon, only this past week-end.
James, my most recent work experience student, was the youngest – 15 years of age. He was a keen as mustard and it was great fun offering him such a wide variety of tasks over his 7 day placement. I employed many of the skills I acquired in the classroom over 4 decades as an RE teacher. It was great to be back in that mode.
On the first day we headed off to Trafalgar roundabout with my new Sony Z190 and tripod and we filmed the hedgehog instalation in 4K. The sun was out and the sky was blue. As with Film Making clubs I have run at various independent schools, I let James set up his camera positions and then walked him through some of my alternative ones, as we spoke about shot composition, angles and flow. It was a fun day.
Before I let him loose with the edit (see above), we sat down and went through some theory and I gave him a set of iPhone clips I had managed to film on crutches at a former colleague’s recent wedding. We looked at ways of constructing a creative short sequence. Also during the week James synchronised some video interviews with separately recorded audio on a timeline and previewed some Standard 8mm and Super 8mm rolls of film that hadn’t seen the light of day for nearly half a century. The last task of the placement was working on an edit where we inter-cut footage from two separate interviews.