Welcome to the 72nd issue of Viva Lewes, the first issue with commissioned video footage: a documentary about the ups and downs of teenage life in Lewes.
It happened like this: every year Priory School send their last-year pupils, around the age of 16, on work experience. When it was revealed that Oscar and Joe, the first students to approach us about doing their experience at Viva Lewes, were keen on making films, we hatched a plan. They would make a documentary looking at how Lewes catered for teenagers, coming in everyday for advice and any help we could offer them. And at the end of the week we would interview them, and give our readers the chance to watch the film.
They set about the task with some enthusiasm, and that enthusiasm never waned. Our input was minimal. We pointed them in the right direction of some people to interview, wrote a ‘letter of introduction’ and received a couple of daily briefs from them about what they were doing. We put a little bit of input into the structure of the film. And we gave them a deadline.
To their great credit, they met the deadline. And they came out with a very informative, well shot, well structured, fifteen-minute documentary about teenage life in town - ‘Our Lewes’ - which we are proud to put up on the website. It’s quite a complex piece of filmmaking: they have laid down a soundtrack, and applied a number of clever techniques, including one bit of Scorsese-like freeze-frame, shot at the Pells, that is pretty breathtaking. The film is a vibrant, thoughtful, and funny creation with a brilliant ending. To link it to the website, the kids uploaded it onto MySpace, which meant a slight loss of quality. But we assure you it is well worth watching. And it raises a number of important questions; about what Lewes can do for its teenagers, and what its teenagers can do for Lewes. Enjoy the week, click here (or on page 25) to see the film.