Curzon Cinema, Clevedon – photography workshop

The wonderful Curzon Community Cinema in Clevedon has won some funding from The Prince’s Foundation for Children and the Arts to run a film-making project with some lucky primary schools in Clevedon as part of the Start Programme. It’s a big project that runs over several months working with the excellent Bristol-based production company Calling the Shots. However, not every child will be able to take part in the film-making process so the Curzon’s Education Officer, Cathy Poole, arrived at an ingenious solution to ensure everyone has a chance to participate. The solution was to create a team of project documentors who would track all aspects of the project with photographs.

To achieve this, the documentary team needed to learn some photography skills so Cathy asked me to run a half-day workshop to cover some basics with children from 5 local schools. They needed to learn how to use cameras to photograph the film crews at work but also to record some of the unique features of the Curzon Cinema itself as part of it’s 100th anniversary celebrations this year. Their photographs of the Curzon and of the film project will be exhibited in the lovely Oak Room at the Cinema at the end of the summer.

The children were at the cinema for a very short time but they learned about the challenges of photographing in low lighting while trying to keep the moody atmosphere and they picked up new ideas quickly. Everyone enjoyed the session where we created a film shoot where one group became directors, camera operators and actors – in costume – while the other group photographed them in action, and then swapped! Here are just a few photographs the children took of the inside of this remarkable cinema, including some shots of the hidden (one day to be re-opened!) balcony!

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