It is always exciting to work with young people and see what they do with the information from my workshops. I recently did a podcasting workshop with a group of young people from Aberdeen Grammar. The workshop had to be online due to Covid and this was new to me with this kind of workshop. However it was great that technology allowed us to go ahead and work with each other – the pupils in Aberdeen and me in my office just outside Glasgow.
The session was about interviews and podcasting tailored to their podcasting group. After we had talked about doing interviews and I had passed on a few hints and tips, the group immediately put their newfound knowledge into practice. They interviewed Dallas King from Aberdeen City Libraries remotely (facilitated by their brilliant librarian /teacher Miss Gould…a real ‘can do type person’). Questions ranged from e-books to the ghost in the library.
With this building block in place the young people went away and finished their podcast ‘Hey Ho So Anyways’ episode on books called ‘Books – A Trip To The Aquarium’. My absolute favourite part of their podcast is where these incredibly articulate young folk do an interesting round table chat about reading. It’s refreshing to hear such enthusiasm for reading and books. I loved when one person said about writers using difficult language just for the sake of it
“It’s like a cake that’s too sweet”.
Another pertinent comment was
“…teenager don’t read…no! …some of us do read.”
Not only do these teenagers read they have great ideas and can express them too.
So I’ll look forward to having a cup of coffee and settling down to listen to the next episode of ‘Hey Ho So Anyways’ …whatever the topic it might be.
It’s been a while now since Glasgow was in Cop26 mode and we had people from all over the world flocking to Glasgow to try and stop climate change. Hopefully some of the seeds sown in Glasgow will grow and develop into some meaningful actions.
There were lots of voices raised during that time and opinions shared. I was fortunate enough to work with a group of senior pupils from St Aloysius College Art Department on a short animation, where they shared their thoughts on climate change.
Over two days we worked from story boarding to getting rough edit together of the finished film. Even the music was composed by young people in the music department to a brief supplied by the art students.
I think it was a great wee film but you can judge for yourself. The animation they made was also shared at a Glasgow Civic Reception for Cop26. A enjoyable and meaningful project.
Not everyone feels confident in front of a camera. In fact most people I know would prefer to be behind the scenes. However there are some things you can do to boost your on camera confidence and improve your on screen performance.
1. Know where you are looking
If you have the role of presenter you will be looking into the camera lens. It seems obvious, but remember that if you are using a tablet the lens will be over to the side. It might help to put a coloured sticker on the back of the tablet as a reminder where to look.
Think about what you’re going to do with your hands. There’s nothing worse than hands waving about in a random fashion. You might want to clasp them or have them by your side. If you are a person who uses your hands while speaking, then make sure they don’t disappear out of the shot, it can look a bit weird.
Make sure you have a stable base for your body, that means having your feet slightly apart on the ground. It won’t work every time but you won’t tip over or wobble while your talking
If you have a good memory learn your script off by heart. If you don’t then have the main points of your script in bullet points on a sheet or card. That means you won’t we reading your script ‘word for word’ off the page and your delivery will sound more natural. Also if your reading a script you’ll be looking down and not at the camera.
5. Fake It Till You Make It
My biggest tip is if you are not feeling very confident then ‘pretend’ you are.
Adopt a confident pose
Put your shoulders back
Put a smile on your face
Keep breathing steadily
If you do this and keep doing it … then you will actually start to feel more confident. It is like you’re playing the part of a confident person. See and feel yourself as a confident person and you’re on the road to being that person.
Good luck and good filming.
If you are interested in having Jo into do a workshop in your school (or work with her on line) please get in touch.
I am now running my own business working with schools and groups making films, podcasts and doing animation. If you’d like to work with me or talk through a project please get in touch.
I also present and produce JoJo Gnome’s Story Podcast. This is a podcast filled with story telling for ages 3-6. It also encourages younger children to make up their own stories. It is free for schools and parents to use, so please have listen. I am passionate about younger children having access to stories and encouraging them to be creative storytellers themselves. I take JoJo Gnome into schools (P1/2) and nurseries to deliver story workshops… while wearing my story hat, a story is always better with a story hat. This year JoJo Gnome took part in the Boswell Book Festival and as well as sharing stories taught the children to make a story flower, it was great fun. Last year our workshops were online but this year (fingers crossed) we’ll be able to get back into schools and I’ll get to meet some of you in person.
To coincide with a new JoJo Gnome story book ‘JoJo Gnome Loves Science’ there’s going to be some STEM workshops in the autumn…so look out for that and get in touch if you are interested in doing a workshop.
On this blog I’ll be sharing some hints and tips around film making, writing and performance on camera. I’ll also be sharing some of the work the young people will be making with me. There will also be some JoJo Gnome fun stuff for the younger ones.
It promises to be an interesting journey, I look forward to having you along for the creative ride.