Lights, camera, action as Sheffield youngsters hit street

Students work with Shift Media at Woodthorpes Tennants Association centre to produce a film about their lives
Students work with Shift Media at Woodthorpes Tennants Association centre to produce a film about their lives
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FLATS, garages, streets and alleyways around Sheffield estates have provided the backdrop for a tough film which warns of the perils of crime and drugs.

Youngsters aged as young as 12 and 13 who live around Woodthorpe and Lower Manor have scripted, acted in and filmed the short movie.

The project has been organised by Woodthorpe Development Trust and older teenagers from the area who are on placements with SHIFT Media, an independent production company based at The Workstation, in the city centre.

Connor Cockayne, aged 16, who is on a SHIFT placement and is one of the directors of the film, said: “It’s been a bit tough to start with because some of the younger people we are working with haven’t been on camera before.

“From a personal point of view, I hope it helps me develop my film-making and production skills.”

Connor, a former pupil at City Academy, Richmond, added: “The film itself is a cautionary tale and aims to raise awareness among young people about the problems of drugs and crime.”

Rysz Szumski, youth worker at Woodthorpe Development Trust, said the finished production is to be shown to the youngsters’ parents and families, and could also be shown in schools.

In total, 21 young people have been involved in the project, which involved a day of filming yesterday.

Rushes - the initial clips filmed around the estates - are now being edited on computer at the trust’s offices by the young people involved.

Rysz said: “Those involved are aged between 12 and 17, and are split roughly 50/50 between those acting and involved in production.

“The script for the film has been created by the youngsters themselves.

“It is about exploitation of girls by other youths in gangs, who pretend to go out with them to get the girls to perform tasks for them such as carrying drugs.”