Back to work. The crew arrived at the school from their respective host homes’ around 8.30am. The school is a sprawling complex set against the backdrop of a jagged mountain range. It’s monsoon season at the moment so the air is heavy and fairly misty which gives the whole place an eerie kind of feel. Perhaps especially when you know that the mine as closed two years ago and this has been the cause of a lot of misery in the town.

The kids are a mix of Anglo and Hispanic and are once again a lively bunch, a little older than the last schools we were at. Most of the group know each other from school and are supportive of one anothers various skills.

Circle: Activities began with the kids gathering in a storytelling circle. One person began, then the story continued around the circle, with each student adding another element to the storyline. The process was filmed by a couple of the students in order to introduce them the presence of the camera.

Digitizing Stories: This initial process was then developed as a handful of students either elaborated on the circle story or told their own story to camera. After a short break the students were then given a demonstration about how to take the media input they created this morning and digitize the footage.

Narrative: After lunch (which was had in perhaps the only shopping mall in the town, at a sandwich bar, opposite the school) the group reviewed the material from the morning. Laura’s story was picked up on, which developed into a script based around a haunted school.

The students discussed narrative techniques in film, ways to storyboard and brainstorm and they began thinking about all aspects of production, audio and post -production. An inspired and enthusiastic bunch the students soon began to run with ideas, suggestions for locations and Chris began drawing out storyboard. He is a talented illustrator.

Murray worked with a small group trying out some audio ideas, including laying a track under one of the girls singing. By the end of the discussions the choice was to fuse three or four of the school ghost stories into one piece.

Roles: After Annabel explained to them the time constraints and how they might have to condense their ideas the students began allocating roles amongst the group (location scout, story boarding etc). By the end of the day the group were out scouting a few initial location ideas and began thinking about props and costumes to bring in tomorrow.

Strong beginnings: The day was such a success that the crew couldn’t actually get them to leave by the end of it!

After school

Meet and Shoot: After school the crew gathered for dinner at Bobs place and discussed the day and plans for tomorrow. Dinner was delicious. This time it was Mexican food. After dinner some time was spent working before heading down to Beas bar to shoot some pool and relax before a 7am presentation to the town’s Rotary club in the morning!