Category Archives: Our News

Taking our Climate Change Film to London!

Our Budding Berries Filmmaking Workshops, run by myself (Joe) and Callum from Berry Productions, created a great film called ‘A Time To Change’, about Climate Change with year 3 children from St. Mary Queen of Martyrs in Hull. It has been screening at various film festivals and competitions around the world, even achieving a best short film award in China, so it has been a great success.

However, the main reason for creating this film was for the Close Up Campaign by the Climate Coalition. ‘A Time To Change’ received high praise as being a “particularly creative and inspiring example of youth voices on climate change.” We were invited to London to take part in the Climate Coalition’s close up on climate change event, led by Oxfam, CAFOD and Into Film, and a trip to Westminster to show our film to members of parliament!

Train

Myself, Mrs Monahan and five of the 8-9 year old children who made the film from St. Mary’s, met at Hull train station at the un-Godly hour of 6am to catch the train to the capital. We were kept entertained by games of chess and cards. What a sophisticated group!

Underground

From King’s Cross we headed to the tubes to get to the Waterloo Action Centre, where the event was taking place. It is tricky taking one child around the underground let alone five and in rush hour! Luckily we didn’t lose anyone and the kids love hopping from tube to tube!

Climate Game

At the Close Up Campaign event there were a lot of other children of all age ranges in attendance from all over the country, but we had travelled the furthest! The children took part in a great, fun workshop about climate change and learned some interesting facts about our government and how they are the decision makers when it comes to policies regarding our planet. They then made some brilliant animations with Into Film about global warming and the melting polar icecaps.

Workshop

After lunch we took in the sights of London as we walked to Westminster Abbey. The children loved the hustle and bustle of the London streets, the graffiti artwork and crossing Westminster Bridge and passing Big Ben.

Walk

Westminster is such an amazing building so it didn’t matter that we had to wait to get inside. Everyone was enjoying looking at the gargoyles and statues adorning the building and intrigued by the amount of police, security and x-ray scanners!

Westminister outside

Inside the Palace of Westminster we all had a great time exploring the corridors and seeing the amazing architecture, paintings and sculptures. The children felt like they were in Hogwarts!

Westminister inside

We then showed the film to the group and it was received with a huge applause – they absolutely loved it! Some of the MPs made an appearance to talk to everyone about climate change and what they hoped to do about it. Unfortunately, our MP couldn’t make it, but her assistant promised us that she would visit the school very soon!

Presenting

It was time to go home, at least our three hour journey back home anyway! All very tired after what was a brilliant day! We’re over the moon with the success of ‘A Time To Change’ and will keep submitting it to festivals and competitions all over the world, in a hope that the message the incredible kids that made it are saying will be heard by all!

Please watch their film and share it with your friends.

As they say themselves:

People from all over the world must come together and work as one. This is our only home. Trust us, you’ll miss it when it’s gone.”

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Making A Film About Hull With Kids – In Pictures

Over the last two weeks, myself (Joe) and Callum have been in St Mary Queen of Martyrs Primary School in Hull, working with the year 3 children to make a brilliant short film with our Budding Berries Filmmaking Workshop! With Hull to be the City of Culture 2017 we have simply called it ‘Hull – A City Of Culture!’

Hull City of Culture

The topic the year 3 children were learning this term was all about Hull’s history so we thought it would be great to make a film all about it. Hull has an amazing history, from great people like William Wilberforce and Amy Johnson, tragic events during the second world war and brilliant creations such as the Humber bridge! The children’s film begins back before Hull even existed, when our land became the home of people from many different places, all the way up to modern day, Hull becoming the City of Culture and beyond into the future!

We taught the children about the forced perspective technique that has been used in films for many, many years. Forced perspective is when objects appear larger or smaller, simply by moving them closer and further away from the camera. With this in mind, the children designed what would happen in their scenes and had to create props and sets that would work using forced perspective.

Planning

Each group was given a different scene from the film – depicting a different historical event in Hull. In their groups the children designed what would happen in their scene and what they needed to make it come to life!

Making Big Wheel

We took over the hall and, using all sorts of different materials, the children made the sets, props and backgrounds for their film! This is a great big wheel from Hull Fair made from straws!

The Deep - making

These girls designed and created The Deep for the background of their scene!

Making WW2

This group designed their scene for Hull during the second world war. Here is one of the bombs that is going to fall on a house.

Making Robot

Parents were invited to come and help the children make the things they needed for their scenes. Many came along, getting just as creative as the kids!

Making Amy Johnson

Amy Johnson’s plane – this is going to be close to the camera and then, using the forced perspective technique, it will look as though one of the girls is sitting inside it!

Fish

Lots of different colours and bright materials were used to create some brilliant things for the films!

Fishing Scene

When we filmed with the children it was tricky to get the forced perspective technique to work. However the children put a lot of effort into their films!

Deep Scene

Some of the children made the sets and different characters in their films move. Here are some penguins that can be found in The Deep!

Vikings

The children worked great in their teams. Some were actors, others controlled the props and some controlled the camera. Some of the children even took to directing really well!

Narration

We had written a poem on the history of Hull to go alongside their film. Some of the children learned the poem so they could narrate the film!

Sound Recording

We recorded the narrators reading their parts of the poem. They didn’t have much time to practice but all did really well, speaking in loud, clear voices!

Walls

The final scenes from the film are amazing to watch! The combination of the forced perspective, brilliant sets, great costumes and clever moving props, make the film really unique and fun! Here we can see King Charles being refused entry into Hull!

Humber Bridge

The film is bright, bubbly and a lot of fun! You can see the amount of hard work and teamwork the children have put into making their history come to life!

We are so proud of the year 3 children who made this brilliant film with us and the result is something everyone will love! Everyone from Hull that watches the film will feel proud of our heritage and the children of it’s future.

We’ll be showing the short film very soon and we guarantee you’ll be impressed! Well done year 3, you’re all superstar filmmakers in the making!

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Written by Joseph Monahan – writer/director at Berry Productions

@josephmonahan

Download Joe’s comedy sci-fi book, Intergalactic Terrorist.

Budding Berries Filmmaking Workshops for Schools

Budding Berries

Film is becoming such a huge part in our lives, from movies and television, to advertising, video blog posts and YouTube videos. The national curriculum is beginning to realise this as well, with media becoming an integral part to school learning.

Therefore, myself (Joe, hello!) and Callum have set up the Budding Berries Filmmaking Workshops! We go around primary schools in Hull and surrounding areas giving children hands on experience of making films and animations.

I started the workshops in 2012 whilst I was working in a primary school. With my help, seven year six children wrote, directed, filmed, acted in and edited their own short film ‘The Black Eyed Boy’. The film entered the HOSCARS (Hull School Oscars) and won the best live-action film award and the best film of the event award! Chufty faces all round!

Joe

Hoscars Winners

The following year, Callum joined me on the workshops and we went to a number of schools teaching animation. Using plasticine or cardboard, children planned their animation and their characters, created their characters and sets, filmed and edited them.

Here is a video from one of the schools whose topic for the term was chocolate. With this in mind, we decided to make chocolate bar adverts with them. This is what we got up to on our four day workshop with them.

Still2Still1The final results of the animations are great to see – the children really get into making the characters and what is going to be happening to them. This school’s topic was robots so we made short robot animations that were to replace their teachers – however they keep malfunctioning!

The robots video was submitted to the HOSCARS 2013 and it won the best animation award! We have some more workshops coming up and are looking forward to them!

Still3Still4It is such a privilege to be able to go into the schools and show children how to do something that they didn’t know how to do before. They all seem to enjoy it so much. If we are able to inspire just one of those kids to pick up a camera and film something then that has made our day! Those children could be the next generation of filmmakers and it is great to think that we could have been involved in their journey!

 

For more information about our workshops please contact us – berry_productions@yahoo.co.uk

 

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Written by Joseph Monahan – writer/director at Berry Productions

@josephmonahan

Download Joe’s comedy sci-fi book, Intergalactic Terrorist.

 

The Field Posters!

Time for a treat! Here are two posters from our newest film ‘The Field’. The young actor in these posters is Kane, who plays Jacob in the film. Hopefully with these posters we can excite, intrigue and make people want to see our film!

We’ve almost got it finished. 7 months or hard work has gone into making this film. There were set backs due to snow that put us completely off track and all of the post-production has been done by just two of us, so it’s been a long slog! It’s paid off though as it is looking and sounding amazing!

Let us know what you think of the posters and please spread the world about ‘The Field’. #DareToDoTheChallenge

Berry Productions

Berry Productions

Boys of the Berry hit the Headlines…

Hull Daily Mail, Berry Productions, The Field

Callum Smith and Joseph Monahan editing ‘The Field’

Thursday 20th June. Hull becomes a finalist in the run-up to the City of Culture for 2017. The Hull Daily Mail fills the paper with artistic and culturing topics. If you’d have flicked through to page 28 guess who you’d have seen… the boys of the Berry of course!

Yes it was me (Joe) and Callum on a nice, two page spread, promoting our newest short film ‘The Field!’

Although this is only the Hull Daily Mail, our city’s local paper, this article is still great for us! One of the things I am trying to promote is independent film in our city. Hull is one of the ‘forgotten cities’ in the UK. Forgotten during the war (but not by the planes that bombed the hell out of it), forgotten when the country was flooded (but not by the rain) and forgotten in independent film! The people of Hull never get a chance to know what indie film is all about. Other cities have a huge indie film culture and this is what I want Hull to get too!

So our little article, whilst helping to promote us and our work, also helps promote filmmaking in our city. We also get to have our smug mugs in the paper too!

Click on this magic little link and we’ll direct you, through the power of the world wide web, to the article on the Hull Daily Mail’s website!

They guy that wrote the article, Will Ramsey, did a great job – catching people’s attentions with some creepy headlines! He also told me he’d love to do a follow-up story once the film is completed, which will be great!

Guess we just have to crack on and complete the bloody thing now…

hull daily mail, the field

Hull Daily Mail article on Berry Production’s latest film ‘The Field’

the field, hull daily mail

We got a double page spread on our new short film ‘The Field’

Papa… Papa… Paparazzi!

Last week we were interviewed by our local paper, the Hull Daily Mail, about our work on our new film ‘The Field’. They came to our office (from which we run our video production company Serene Scene) and sat with us for well over an hour, talking about how we started, projects we have made, other things we have been involved in and, of course, all about our newest film!

Now, our local paper isn’t the greatest paper in the world, but it’s a start! One of the main problems with Hull is that people are not interested in film. At least not indie film. Hullians only plant their bums on seats for a popcorn flick with bug explosions and guns, so it will be nice to get information on our little short film to everyone in the hope that it will spark interest in indie film in our city.

During our epic hour long interview, we also had our photo taken at our editing suite! Turns out the photographer did the same media course as us at Hull College, only a few years before us. He was a lovely guy who got chatting with us about cameras and editing software. This is one of the things I really love about doing this – meeting great people who are interested in the things we do and meeting people with common interests! The interviewer was also a great guy. We had a great chat and I think he really liked us, hence the reason he stayed with us so long!

Anyway, to cut a long story short, the article is, hopefully, going to be in the paper in Saturday (15/06). So if you’re from Hull and surrounded, grab yourself a copy and check out our smug mugs! If you’re not from Hull (which is probably a good thing!), we’ll upload the article to our blog for you all to gawp at!

Does anyone else have any paparazzi fame? Let us know, leave us a comment and, if it’s online, send us the link to we can check out your smug mugs too!

Greetings from the Great Berry in the sky!

When I was a child I used to pretend that the Berry was a giant creator above the clouds. He was the ever watching guardian of the world. And he was accompanied by a giant spoon that would rotate around the clouds every hour to tell you the time, and an angry fat guy in a nappy who controlled the weather. Yeah… I was pretty messed up as a child!– Joseph Monahan, Berry Productions

True story. Now of course the Berry doesn’t sit in the sky, more like on the waves of the internet as we surf through the ever expanding void. Now that void has expanded even more as we at Berry Productions have a new website! Hooray! Please stroll through our pages and find out about some of the cool stuff we’ve done and the even cooler stuff we’re doing! So cool you’ll need to wrap up nice and warm! We’ve made our website here through WordPress so we can make blogs and ramble about things that may or may not be important!

Just wanted to say a big thank you to you for stopping by! As independent filmmakers, we struggle to get our voices heard, or our films watched, through the sea of other indie filmmakers and that gigantic, dangerous ocean that is Hollywood! So that you’ve taken the time to visit our little page means loads to us!

Berry Productions

Photo from ‘The Field’

We love feedback! Not that annoying feedback sound from speakers that sometimes intrudes our ears, but feedback from you – film lovers or fellow filmmakers! Please, leave us a comment on anything. Let us know if you like something or if you don’t – but please be constructive! Let us know why you like or don’t like it so we can improve next time!

As I write this, we are working on our newest short film, ‘The Field’. In fact we’re in post-production stages, so not far from finishing! We’re really excited about it and will be posting loads of stuff about it as we hope to get you all excited about it as well!

Please drop us a ‘hello’ on Twitter @berryproduction or on Facebook www.facebook.com/berryproductions and we’ll send you a ‘hello’ right back!

Live long, prosper, and look up every now and then… you might just see that giant Berry… or a fat guy in a nappy! x

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