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Put in the picture.

Byline: By Amanda Crook

A team of youngsters swapped their school books for video cameras and microphones to be reporters for a week.

The nine teenagers from Gosforth High, St Cuthbert's, Walbottle Campus and Kenton School, in Newcastle, took part in an intense skills workshop at Westgate City Learning Centre (CLC).

They had just one day to learn how to operate TV cameras and sound booms, edit film, write and present news stories.

The team then spent two days producing a DVD to record the dozens of different workshops taking place as part of Newcastle's Excellence in Cities week.

Activities included break dancing, first aid, plumbing and drama workshops at the city's 17 middle and secondary schools.

Event organiser Brian Richardson said: "The youngsters have picked up skills incredibly quickly. They really got to grips with the equipment.

"We took them through quite complex film editing techniques but they are so good on computers they soon got the hang of it, even merging different films together.

"They have been really enthusiastic and the quality of what they have produced is very impressive." The six boys and three girls chose a director, presenters, camera crew, editors and sound engineers.

Jamie McCloud, 14, of Gosforth High, became one of the new presenters, she said: "I enjoyed learning to use all the equipment, although some of the film editing was difficult.

"It's much better than being at school. I liked going into all the different schools and speaking to other pupils to find out what they were doing."

Adam Flannigan, 15, of St Cuthbert's acted as the second presenter. He said: "When one of the teachers said there was a multi-media workshop we could go on I volunteered. I want to be a film director.

"It has been quite exciting to report on the news. There is a lot more effort goes into it than you realise."

The crew filmed students learning rock guitar and stage management techniques at St Mary's Comprehensive, in Benton, in Newcastle.

Experts from Newcastle Music Service passed on performance tips to 30 students in a special workshop.

Learning mentor Rachel Gibson said: "They were very excited about the workshop. They got a good grounding in lighting, sound and PA techniques. Most of the youngsters in the workshop are in bands and are passionate about music."
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Oct 21, 2004
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