Lights, camera, action! - Oldham-based filmmaker teaches deaf children the tricks of the trade

Date published: 07 April 2021

Oldham-based filmmaker Raabia Hussain helped a group of deaf young people learn the techniques of filmmaking during a virtual masterclass.

The online event was organised by the National Deaf Children’s Society, which supports the UK’s 50,000 deaf children and their families.

Under the expert guidance of Raabia and fellow filmmaker Teresa Garratty, eight deaf young people, aged between 14 and 18, learned some filmmaking techniques during the fully accessible online masterclass, conducted via Zoom.

Raabia and Teresa taught the deaf young people new skills including framing, composition and lighting during the workshop.

Vlogging was chosen as a practical exercise, since many young people have been active on platforms like TikTok and YouTube during lockdown.

The duo also gave advice on how the young filmmakers could make their content look more professional and how to transfer those skills to other production styles post-lockdown.

Raabia is a deaf independent filmmaker experienced in writing, directing and producing.

She has also worked on numerous mainstream documentaries and other programmes, such as "Two Deaf Travellers" (2020) and series "This is Deaf" (2021).

She now works as an Assistant Producer for ITV.

The workshop was organised in partnership with Handprint Theatre, which makes theatre for and with young people, using storytelling, physical theatre and British Sign Language in order to empower young audiences.

Throughout lockdown, Handprint Theatre has been working with deaf facilitators to create and deliver a range of activities that are important to deaf young people.

The National Deaf Children’s Society offers a wide range of virtual activity workshops, enabling deaf children and young people to make friends, learn new skills and grow in confidence.

Raabia said: “It was absolutely fantastic to see these young people engaged in the workshops, and growing in confidence.

"Teresa and I supported the deaf young filmmakers to develop their creative talents, grow their skills and express their ideas.

“In this workshop we taught them how to create the coolest vlogs and gave them tips on lighting and framing to make their vlogs really eye-catching.”

Megan Lindsay, Young Futures Officer at the National Deaf Children’s Society, who helped organise the workshops, added: “I want to thank Raabia and Teresa for their energy and enthusiasm, which really shone through in their workshop.

"It was inspirational to hear about their experiences within the film-making industry and the young people got some valuable insight into how they can apply the tricks of the trade to videos they are making at home.

“At the National Deaf Children’s Society, we know how challenging lockdown and this pandemic has been for so many families.

"We’re running events like these to bring them together, to support them in developing new skills and to give them the chance to meet other deaf young people who are going through similar experiences.”

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