Curtain lifted on pupils’ animation project

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Potential future movie-makers from three west Kintyre primary schools have had their first lesson in animation.

Rhunahaorine, Clachan and Glenbarr Primary Schools received a substantial grant from the West Kintyre Windfarm Trust in January 2020 to work on a partnership project with Campbeltown Picture House.

The idea came from a parent, after several other Kintyre schools were visited in January 2020 by Aardman Animations, creators of some of the UK’s best loved characters, including Wallace and Gromit.

After successfully applying to the windfarm trust to fund their own animation workshops, it looked likely to be cancelled because of the pandemic.

However, the windfarm trust was understanding and allowed the grant be carried over into this financial year.

Ellen Mainwood, the cinema’s manager, assisted with the application and was able to support the bid in kind.

The money from the windfarm trust enabled the hiring of Alasdair Satchel, a theatre, film and podcast maker, to lead the children in creating animations.

One Friday in September, the children had their first session and were welcomed at the cinema by deputy manager Mhairi Hendrie.

Rhunahaorine Primary School's pupils in Campbeltown Picture House.
Rhunahaorine Primary School’s pupils in Campbeltown Picture House.

A behind-the-scenes tour took the children to see the cinema’s biomass boiler and laser projector, both energy-saving additions when the building was refurbished between 2016 and 2017.

‘We were also given an opportunity to learn about the long and varied history of this amazing establishment, including the lucky shoe found under the floorboards when the cinema was renovated,’ said Catriona Brown, head teacher at Rhunahaorine Primary School.

‘We also learned about the development of cinematography and how this changed cinema forever.

‘This grabbed the attention of the children as well as the popcorn storeroom!

‘Perhaps they will incorporate some of these things in their animations but, ultimately, the children will be given free choice to select their subject as some have been imagining things already.’

The cinema's bio mass boiler featured in the behind-the-scenes tour.
The cinema’s bio mass boiler featured in the behind-the-scenes tour.

Over the next six months, it is hoped the children will create and learn to film their own animations.

All of the children – and adults – are very excited to be taking part; keep an eye out in the Courier for updates as the project develops.