ShortCUTS is a local youth development project to support young people in Dundee to make their first short film. We chose film-making because it gives young people the opportunity to get an experience of working in creative teams, meeting new people and developing transferable skills for life.
This creative learning project was designed in 2012 by somewhereto_ volunteers Claire Dufour, Lauren McCorkindale, Dylan Drummond and Stephen David Grant.
In 2014, with the support of Dundee Partnership and Dundee City Council, we had the amazing opportunity to engage with groups and individuals from the Community Regeneration Areas of Coldside, Lochee and Maryfield who would not ordinarily have the chance to participate in film-making.
We visited members of the community, youth workers, drop-ins and youth charities to bring film-making to young people in their areas and to create an open dialogue with them in a safe and familiar environment.
Young people formed groups and worked with a film-maker mentor to guide them through the film-making process. Those groups all developed differently, some working together with mentors for months, some for mere hours to produce their own unique shorts.
Whether it was developing skills in writing, acting, music, make-up artistry and project management or an eagerness to learn something completely new to them, film-making offered the scope for every young person to contribute in a meaningful way to their project.
The subjects, scripts, themes and look of the films were all conceived by the young people. Young film-makers were continually encouraged to take ownership of their projects and express themselves, guided by their mentor.
With a range of genre and production values, some works of creative fiction, others reflective documentary, the final films of this project are as unique as the young people who made them.