On Friday 14 September, Pupils at Portree High School were given a glimpse into the future as FilmG launched a brand new augmented reality toolkit to support their short film competition for 2018-19.
New interactive work booklets have been created for schools across Scotland with the aim of helping school pupils around the country script, storyboard and prepare for shooting their Gaelic short films.
The use of this technology is a first for any form of Gaelic learning resources.
Using augmented reality for FilmG allows pupils to scan content in the booklet with their mobile device, which then comes to life, right off the page - as if it is really there!
FilmG is the Gaelic short film competition funded by MG ALBA and delivered by Cànan Graphic Studio (CGS) based in Sleat in the South of Skye. CGS have been working with AR technology for some time but this is the first time they’ve used it in any of the educational resources they’ve produced. FilmG and CGS Project Manager, Floraidh Forrest said:
“It’s very exciting to be bringing this technology to Gaelic speaking young people and we’re sure it’ll help make a difference in how they perceive the language. Gaelic needs to be progressive if it is to inspire young people to continue to be involved with the language well beyond their time in school, so giving teenagers opportunities like this is so important.”
Also attending the launch and delivering a short talk to students was former Portree High School pupil Alannah Beaton. She has recently co-presented BBC ALBA programme Nochd, is to appear in the new BBC ALBA comedy sketch show FUNC and is currently filming with Gaelic drama Bannan. Alannah was first noticed for her acting skills when she took home the top award for her performance at the FilmG awards in 2009. She has since gone on to participate regularly in the competition and last year took home three awards in the Open category for her brave an poignant film about a transgender person, Còig Puing a Trì (Five Point Three). Alannah said:
“It’s great to come back to my old school and tell pupils about my experience with FilmG and where I am now. Since graduating from my course at Napier in Screen and Stage, I’ve been given loads of exciting opportunities, many of which are because I’m a Gaelic speaker and also because of my involvement in FilmG. I hope that pupils will give FilmG a go, have fun, and that some will use it as a stepping stone to a career in media.”
High Schools across the country will now begin working on their films. Each year FilmG receive over forty films from high school classes, many of which use the resources and tutors made available to them through the FilmG workshop programme. As ever though, young filmmakers are encouraged to make their own films and enter the ‘Mobile Short Film’ award and the ‘Best Young Filmmaker’ award.
Keen to encourage young people to continue to create their own online content and also attending the event was MG ALBA’s Director of Strategy and Partnerships, Iseabail Mactaggart, she said:
“It is great for us to get out to schools and experience what it is like working with young people. Our agenda is very much focussed on how we can interact with young people and how we can improve our service to them. FilmG is very much part of that and we can’t wait to see this year’s crop of films from young people, they keep getting better and better.”
FilmG is now open for entries and closes on the Friday 14 December.