Pirates of Seashell Trust!

Earlier this month, HOME Cinema in Manchester was home to a very special event for Royal College Manchester students who saw their original work on the big screen!

Five students used their Drama classes to explore a pirate story together. Thinking about story elements like the search for treasure, friends going on an adventure together and facing danger, the group was tasked with not just thinking about what it would feel like to be a pirate but how to show those ideas to their audience. Music, speech, gestures, facial expressions, costumes and props were all used, but how would the group show that their characters were all sea-faring sailors rather than landlubbers without a real pirate ship?

The answer they found was in the use of green screen technology. Staff helped students film short scenes in front of a green screen in the media suite. In post-production, when it was time to edit the footage together, different backgrounds could show where characters were - or even help advance the story by going from the image of a sunset to one of the sea at night. Filming the search for the treasure used areas around the campus as a backdrop, and details for the title screen were later added in on the computer.

As well as performing in the trailer, students learned about the work behind the camera and each took on a different responsibility

  • As prop designer, Luke had to think carefully about how we can use objects to help people understand
  • Charlie, our film producer, had to make important decisions about how the footage would tell the story
  • Samir, the costume designer, thought about what clothes can tell us about a character
  • Josh, our tech guy, learned about the equipment
  • And last but by no means least, our camera woman Maryam learned about filming

Together, the Drama class created a trailer for their project 'The Pirates of Seashell Trust' and were thrilled and delighted by the opportunity to watch their trailer being played in a cinema. Staff who made the journey to watch were thrilled, describing the day as "amazing, spectacular, fantastic talent throughout." The screening of the trailer was followed by several Pixar shorts.

The trailer 'Pirates of theSeashell Trust' has since been made available for staff and students to watch.