Scheme gives young filmmakers hope in Kirkcaldy

Clive Russell and the Active Kids
Clive Russell and the Active Kids

Children from disadvantaged communities are learning movie making skills at Kirkcaldy YMCA’s Active Kids programme this summer.

The scheme that is held at the YMCA’s centre in the Valley, is offering kids the chance to make and star in their own movies.

Jez Flynn and Robbie Davidson at Active Kids

Jez Flynn and Robbie Davidson at Active Kids

Active Kids aims to provide support, stability and a range of fun-based educational activities during the school holidays.

From one film called Brain Flavoured Lollies to another called Nuke–Trump–Zombie, one thing is for sure, there is no lack of imagination from the creative youngsters.

Mark Hutchison, programme manager, said: “The best part of my job for me is being able to provide these kids with a great opportunity, to do things that they might not have been able to do before.

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“We also have a outdoor play project on at the moment, the kids can go swimming and go to lots of different other places.”

Mark said that the increasing number of referrals that the YMCA receives for children that are from a disadvantaged background.

He added: “We get anywhere from 150 to 200 referrals per programme, Active Kids is held in the Easter, Summer and October holidays, so we are working with a lot of kids.

“It can be quite hard to match the demand and meet the needs that some kids require. There can be kids with behavioural problems and it’s not always easy, but when the kids are engaged with something like this you see a totally different side to them.”

Robbie Davidson who is a senior youth worker, teaches music and film-making classes at the YMCA.

Robbie, who has worked for STV as a video journalist and toured internationally with hardcore punk band The Exploited, is also making his own movie, Dick Dynamite.

He said: “When I first joined the YMCA in 2011, Active Kids was the first thing that I was involved with, the kids were pretty wild, it was quite challenging but it was also really good fun.

“The films are only about a minute long and most of the time they want to do super heroes and zombies, which is right up my street.”

Robbie spoke of his passion for working with the kids from disadvantaged communities.

He said: “I absolutely love it, when you see the joy that the kids get out of their own movie and getting to watch them. When they see the end result after all the special effects are added it’s very rewarding.”

Fife screen star on hand with advice

It’s not every day that you film and star in your own movie.

It’s also not everyday that you have a television and film star 
offering you advice on the 
industry.

But the young people taking part in the summer programme were treated to just that.

Game of Thrones and Thor star, Clive Russell was at Kirkcaldy YMCA last week to hand out 
certificates to those who took part in the movie project.

Clive, who was brought up in Leven and still lives in the Kingdom, had some encouraging words for the filmmakers of tomorrow.

He said: “The film industry is open to anybody, you can go to college or film school or you can start as a runner and work your way up.

“There are all sorts of different roles that you can do, from the art department to electricians.

“All the details that you see on screen comes from all kinds of people and all this work is done by skilled people.

“It is not only actors that work in film, there are numerous people from various different backgrounds, there are many ways into the film industry.”

The former Buckhaven High pupil’s television and film career has spanned more than three decades.

His television appearances include Ripper Street, Coronation Street, Casualty, Hollyoaks, Still Game, Game of Thrones and Outlander.

His film appearances include The Wolfman, Sherlock Holmes, Thor: The Dark World and King Arthur.