Somme Tales

I first met with Education Manager Rachel Hillman and her team in February 2016. At the meeting they set out that they wanted to make a film about the Battle of the Somme with young people in schools.

After spending a few weeks thinking over the project. Which included looking at videos on You Tube, especially the film made during the Battle of the Somme.

As well as visiting the Imperial War Museum‘s deeply moving World War 1 exhibition. I suggested that instead of working with young people in schools on the project. We could instead work in the summer holiday and invite young people to come to the archive to make the film.

At the next meeting everyone agreed that this approach should be the one to take forward. So over the next five months we worked towards making this happen. Working out how we could turn The Archives’ conference room into a film studio.

Getting the Archives’ conference room ready for the film making week

You can read more about the project on The National Archives web site. Where there is a full account of how we worked with the young people on the film. From researching using the Archives’ unique collection of original documents. To creating sets and models and filming small animated scenes.

An iconic image from the Vietnam War
Meanwhile on the Homefront – setting up for a tracking shot
Creating a cinema

The film’s premiere took place at the Archives during the October half-term. Before being released on YouTube.

The project worked so well that plans are already afoot for making another film in 2017.