Rotherham stately home Wentworth Woodhouse is used to welcoming film crews, having been chosen as a location by some of the biggest names in TV and movies.
Now it’s helping a group of local young film-makers to find their feet in the industry.
A team of ten 17- 23 year-olds from Sheffield, Rotherham and Doncaster are at the mansion for six months, learning about creative digital skills for film-making. They are being trained by digital content creator and skills coach Tom Marshall, of @tomscreativecanvas, who also trained the Wentworth Woodhouse Digital Team volunteers.
The Trainee Creative Producers are being paid a wage by Rotherham Council and are tasked with developing concepts for films which could be made when Rotherham becomes the world’s first Children’s Capital of Culture in 202
Their films will be shown during a pilot project heralding the 2025 initiative, which will see children and young people celebrate the town’s heritage, culture and identity and shape its future.
“Not so long ago, the Digital Team at Wentworth Woodhouse were all raw beginners and we are really enjoying helping these passionate young people develop their creativity and skills,” said Steve Ash, who helped launch WWPT’s Digital Project in 2020 to produce films which would keep Wentworth Woodhouse in the public eye during the pandemic.
WWPT’s 20-strong digital team has now made scores of short films about life at ‘the Big House’, which have been seen by government ministers, key funders and thousands of supporters. They can all be seen on WWPT’s YouTube channel, which officially launches in May (www.youtube.com/c/wentworthwoodhouse1).
Added Steve: “We are taking these young producers in-the-making through a Digital Skills training programme, focussed on film-making.
“They will complete video diaries, produce live shows and documentaries and create a final film project to mark the end of their training in June,” said Steve.
“They have come up with some great ideas for this, including an exploration of the similarities shared by different faith groups across Rotherham, a film-based quest in and around Rotherham using QR codes and even a Rotherham Children’s Film Festival, which could be screened at Wentworth Woodhouse.”
WWPT is one of a host of Creative Partners supporting the Children’s Capital of Culture pilot project, which is being funded by a £1.4m Government grant through the UK Community Renewal Fund.
Other young people are learning skills in hospitality, events and performance with Creative Partners Gulliver’s Valley Theme Park Resort, Grimm and Co, Rotherham Football Club, Magna, Rotherham Open Arts Renaissance, The Source Skills Academy, Rotherham Pioneers and the Workwise Foundation.