James Reader: Front Row Films

James (image right) worked with young people from Pear Tree Youth to create the documentary film ‘Stories of Derby Hip Hop’. Interviews were collected with Wes, BFG, Image of James Reader with film cameraBaby J, Daz The Graff Man, Skinny Man, Kyalo, JD, Eyez covering 30 years of Derby Hip Hop History. James reflects on his work with the young people and their learning and progress during the project.

Storyboarding and Planning
Young people with film cameraYoung people have been pivotal to the film-making process from the outset. In the first instance in the early stages of planning and preparation members of the steering group were instrumental in making key creative decisions about the focus of the film and the way that it would approach the subject matter. In particular they made creative decisions as to how a very broad topic would be broken down and the essential story that the documentary film would tell. It was decided that it would be divided by decade and element of hip hop (DJing/ production, MCing, Breaking/B Boying, Graffiti and Knowledge).

Filming and Production
During the process of filming young people assisted both in the sense of operating Rogers taking a photo cameras, sound recording equipment and lighting equipment but also in a journalistic sense of researching the artists being interviewed and the elements of hip hop they were involved in and asking the questions.
Young people from the youth club assisted in all aspects of crewing the film and learnt skills such as using an external shot gun microphone, boom pole and external sound recorder, using multiple cameras to achieve different camera angles and using lights for three point lighting set ups.
20170524_183942At the youth club, young people used the cameras and production equipment to document their learning and the activities that took place during their learning about the elements of hip hop through the decades so that this could form part of the final film.

Post Production and Editing
Following the filming of the interviews, the raw footage was taken back to the Youth Club where it was presented on a laptop linked to the main
projector screen. There young people were able to gain an insight into basic editing techniques using Final Cut Pro X and to make decisions on the final timeline.