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Since 2012, Endwell Productions has been working in partnership with West Rise Junior school, in Eastbourne in a number of different creative educational projects. This partnership started with the proposal of working with primary school children to develop a short film using super 8 technology to take part in the Straight 8 film festival competition. It was a great success and the short film produced by the children was selected by the Straight 8 organisers and had a prestigious screening at the ICA in London in the summer of the same year.

This project then led to a commission to help set up the school's very own darkroom, and establishing an on-going series of analogue black and white photography and experimental darkroom techniques workshops, as well as setting up West Rise Cine Club and West Rise Filmmakers Tribe.
West Rise to London 2012 Glory
"The very special athletes of West Rise Junior School make their final preparations to take part in the London 2012 Olympic Games. And they are more than ready for this challenge!"

This is a super 8 film written and produced by a group of very talented 10 year olds from West Rise Primary School, Eastbourne with support from Endwell Productions. With no previous filmmaking experience and having grown up using the immediacy-driven digital media, the children learned very quickly how to create a film from start to finish, exploring the 'antique cine' processes of accurate planning and precise workflow.

The brief was completely open and the group developed a 'joint idea' surrounding the theme of the London Olympics. The group then story-boarded, scripted, and filmed it, and also created the soundtrack which was recorded by themselves in the school's very own radio station facilities!! What an amazing school!!!

The project lasted eight weeks and was run as part of the programme of creative educational activities developed within the school's "Room 13".

The short film created was written and produced by a group of very talented 10 year olds from West Rise Primary School, Eastbourne with support from Endwell Productions and premiered at the ICA in London. It was also screened at the launch of The St Leonards International Film Festival (SLIFF) in July 2012, at the magnificent Durbar Hall in the Hastings Museum and Art Gallery.
The re-edited version of the 2012 straight8 entry simply adjusts ever-so-slightly the timing of the sequences in relation to the soundtrack to get around some interesting sound-synching issues present in the original version, as well as creating a more comprehensive credits/special thanks section . . .
West Rise Junior High School, Room 13
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The Darkroom
In 2012 Endwell Productions was commissioned by West Rise Junior School to set up a darkroom within the school’s facilities as part of the slightly ‘unorthodox’ programme of creative educational activities developed at the school. These activities involve, for instance, having a radio station in situ (Shine Radio), looking after farm animals (and water buffalos!), being responsible for the management of marshland across the road from the school, Forest School, being engaged in the archeological exploration of an iron age settlement discovered in the marshes and helping to recreate this settlement, exploring and using the 'antique cine' processes of accurate planning and precise workflow involved in filmmaking using super-8 (another project developed by Endwell Productions at West Rise), and the creative hub of "Room 13" and “The Studio”.

The first project carried out in the initial phase of The Darkroom’s development in 2012-13 was “The Discovery Project” which served as a pilot in providing the first opportunity to a small group of year 6 children to explore and discover the magic of black and white photography.

The Discovery Project focused on the different phases of the black and white photography process: from the light that gives origin to an image (camera obscura), the camera that captures it on a film, the ‘revelation’ of this image through chemical processes (as a ‘negative’ image), and the methods of transferring it onto a paper (as a ‘positive’ image: the actual photograph). The element of discovery in each of these phases was experienced first-hand by the children participating in the project, using Lomo photography, direct photogramme techniques, and the first steps of operating a professional film-based camera.

The project also involved a visit of a professional Brazilian photographer, Silvia Neves, who shared with the children her own process of ‘discovering’ the black and white photographs she took in Rio de Janeiro before travelling to England.

For regular updates on the exciting work that Endwell Productions develop in partnership with West Rise Junior, visit our Tumblr site.