A group of young film-makers had a challenge set for them at Thursday night’s showing of locally-made films at the Screenplay festival – to make a new film within 24 hours.
At the popular Home Made in Shetland session Maddrim Media asked the audience to provide them with ideas for a prop, a line and a location to be incorporated into a film to be shown last night.
The audience came up with the ideas of a bottle of beer, “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind” and the King Harald Street playing field.
The young film-makers succeeded in their task. Maddrim Media member Harry Whitham said the film they created featured two young children watching the moon landing and making their own space rockets.
They go to the park, they aim for the moon, one rocket breaks, the children argue and make friends and go to the moon together.
Harry said: “It’s wacky and crazy but we’re proud of what we did in 24 hours.”
The latest effort is just one of the highly imaginative offerings from the group, which they write, produce and star in.
Their aim, said Harry was not to come out with amazing films, “but to have the fun of making them.” Members do not have to be in front of the camera – they can learn how to use a camera, frame shots, edit and make the work suitable for the big screen.
Harry, who wants a career in set and costume design, said: “It’s really great when you see your work on the big screen, there’s an added level of pressure to get it ready, it’s quite a lot of effort but it’s really pleasant to see your wacky ideas out there.”
It’s particularly nice when the audience laughs, as they did at many of Maddrim Media’s shorts on Thursday. “It’s nice to get the affirmation of the people of Shetland, we’re all doing it part-time and pour our hard work into it, when you see the audience enjoying it, it’s incredible,” said Harry.
The group works as a team. Harry said it often involves taking something to a “ridiculous” level, which sometimes has black humour and can occasionally be disturbing.
He said: “Someone has an idea, and everyone says great, let’s do it. It doesn’t always translate [to appeal] to all audience members, but that’s all right because we’ve had so much fun doing it and it’s something to work on for the future.”
Maddrim Media, founded in 2007, is open to any young person between the ages of 12 and 26 with an interest in film-making. They meet at Islesburgh once a week after school and would welcome new members.
The group has just been awarded funding to buy more equipment, which will include cameras and editing software. And the group has at least one high-profile fan – Screenplay curator Mark Kermode.
He said he and his wife are fans: “Maddrim are brilliant, fab and we love them.”
And, he added, the Kermode family, having made friends of many of the Maddrim members, would keep coming back to Shetland: “We love it, you can’t get rid of us.”