Creating New Stories from the Past: An Archive Footage & Smartphone Filmmaking Workshop

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Creating New Stories from the Past: An Archive Footage & Smartphone Filmmaking Workshop

Free two-part online workshop: April 17th : 2 -5.30pm; April 18th: 2-4pm
Screening of workshop films: May 7th, 6pm.

First Cut Youth Film Festival in collaboration with the Make Film History project are delighted to offer a two-part workshop that looks at how to use archival film to inspire and inform new film stories. You will get the opportunity to make your own three-minute film from archival footage which will be screened at this year’s First Cut! Youth Film Festival. As part of this process, you will get the opportunity to learn and practice the skills needed to plan, film and edit a film project on your smartphone.

International award winning filmmaker Tadhg O Sullivan will lead a workshop on the creative re-use of archive film, in collaboration with the Make Film History project, which makes available archive films from the BBC, BFI National Archive, Irish Film Institute and Northern Ireland Screen for educational use by young filmmakers.

This will be followed by a Smartphone Filmmaking Workshop with Póca Productions, a training organisation dedicated to teaching video production skills using the technology and software available on a smartphone. You will learn industry-standard skills and techniques necessary to plan, film and edit your short film using the technology and software available on your phone. 

The workshop series will culminate in a special screening of the short films made by the workshop participants at First Cut! on Friday May 7th, where a prize for the best film will be announced. The prize is a Marantz MPM 1000 condenser microphone.

In the Filmmaking workshop you will learn

·       to optimise the camera settings on your smartphone
·       about some useful equipment that may enhance your future filmmaking projects.
·       to prepare a short script
·       to create a storyboard with reference to the archive material
·       to use your smartphone to record both video and audio effectively
·       how to set up an interview in conventional documentary style
·       In the editing workshop you will learn
·       how to extract selected sections from the archive;
·       to cut and splice video and audio to create an audio-visual story according to your planned storyboard;
·       to add copyright free music,
·       to add text and end credits.


Session 1 – 17th April – 2pm

2-3pm: Introduction from Colm McAuliffe from Make Film History

 Talk from multi award winning documentary filmmaker Tadhg O Sullivan

 3.30-5.30pm: Smartphone Filmmaking Workshop with Póca Productions

 Session 2 – 18th April – 2pm

2-4pm Smartphone Editing workshop with Póca Productions

 Special Screening – 7th May – 6pm

Places are limited to 15 young people.

Age range is 15-24.

How to Apply

Email with the following info to apply. Please note numbers are limited, closing date to apply is Tuesday 13th April. This workshop is free of charge.

  • Name
  • Address
  • Eircode
  • Age/Date of Birth
  • Contact number
  • A couple of lines about why you want to join this workshop

The Póca Productions workshop is funded by NYFAN – National Youth Filmmaking & Animation Network.

Make Film History

As cultural heritage organisations digitise their collections and increase public access, moving image portals like the IFI PlayerRTÉ ArchivesBFI Player and BBC iPlayer provide audiences with virtual screening rooms to view their shared audiovisual history on demand. But the creative reuse of moving image archive material remains problematic, beset by questions of copyright law, rights clearance and “fair dealing” exceptions, and an audiovisual archives sector without a standardised framework to open up access to this material for creative reuse by filmmakers in education and the community who cannot afford commercial license fees.

The Make Film History network will address this problem by developing a new, sustainable model for the creative reuse of archive material for non-commercial use. This pilot study will offer audiovisual archives within the network a low-risk framework for long-term collaboration with stakeholders working with young filmmakers in education, training and the community.

Tadhg O Sullivan

Tadhg O’Sullivan is a film-maker, editor, sound designer and sound recordist based in Carlow, Ireland. His work has been screened at FiD Marseille, MOMA Doc Fortnight, CPH:DOX, RIDM Montreal, Dokufest Kosovo, New Horizons Wroclaw and many other festivals worldwide. His projects have been regularly supported by the Irish Film Board and the Arts Council of Ireland. In 2015 and again in 2017 he was recipient of the Art Council’s film bursary. He is University College Cork Film Artist in Residence for 2021.

Póca Productions

Póca Productions is a training organisation dedicated to teaching video production skills using the technology and software available on a smartphone. With 25+ years in the education sector and experience of running their own successful video production business Camilla and Kieran have combined their two passions to illustrate how video/film production can be accessible to all. Using industry standard techniques applied to our everyday mobile devices they have been delivering Smartphone Video Training to the public and private sector since 2017.

Through their Future Filmmakers programmes Póca Productions have delivered smartphone filmmaking courses to groups of budding young filmmakers for Cruinniú na nÓg, Rathmullan Film Festival, Disappear Here Film Festival and WainFest and Making Film History.