In the summer of 2020 as so many workshops and shoots were put on hold because of ongoing lockdowns in the UK and in the face of adversity we managed to run the Marylebone Changing Lives project.
Chocolate Films teamed up with St Marylebone Parish Church, The Royal Academy of Music, and the young people from the Fourth Feathers Youth Club in Marylebone to create a truly unique season of 1000 Londoners films. Myself and my colleague Daniel ran film workshops at Forth Feathers Youth Club where we taught the young people all aspects of filmmaking and making documentaries from planning a film, learning about shot sizes, camera training, recording sound, interview techniques and editing.
We had a selection of young people from the centre join us in planning and shooting the films. Fourth Feathers really struck me as a wonderful place for young people to be able to go, hang out with their friends, play and learn. After such a long time with little contact with people we were very happy to be embraced in their club which was fun and full of life!
The young people practiced interviewing each other at first with some very amusing moments and funny outtakes! We were amazed at how naturally and quickly they took to the art of filmmaking.
The season consists of ten films showcasing the colorful and varied characters of Marylebone, we meet Rector Evans of St Marylebone Church, Kat the Head Teacher at Marylebone CE School, Ravinder a local Chef and Owner of Jikoni, Lisa a flower seller on Marylebone High Street, Levi who has lived in the area for 20 years and a member of Fourth Feathers Staff, Achim and Neighbourhood Planner for the area, Lujaine and Serina two of the young people from Fourth Feathers, Alex a ballet teacher and Kumar who owns a women’s fashion shop originally from Afghanistan who has now settled in London. The films paint a picture of Marylebone and bring us closer to the people that inhabit it.
During the course of the project, we learned so much about Marylebone! its rich history, and the people that live and work there. Another amazing part of the project was the collaboration with the Royal Academy of Music where they made a bespoke score for the film, which brought them all to life.
The films culminated in a wonderful screening at St Marylebone Church where the young people and local community were able to finally view their films on the big screen and enjoy them together in an amazing setting! At times we didn’t know if this project would make it over the finish line and we are so glad it did, and its a testament to all involved and demonstrates the importance of collaborations and communities working together.
The films are now coming out on www.1000londoners.com one each week, stay tuned to meet the gang!