Lights, Camera, Action! Breaking News as Transition Year English students at Roscommon Community College direct, produce and star in their own television show.

The study of English is no longer just a matter of learning the craft of writing and regurgitating Shakespeare’s sonnets, as Transition Year English students in Roscommon Community College recently discovered. Just last week, T.Y English students were fortunate enough to enjoy the exhilarating experience of creating their very own television show. On Friday, November 20th T.Y students accompanied by English teachers Ms. Cullen and Ms. Kerrane, set off on an epic trip to a real media production and training facility, where they would direct, produce and star in their own live TV show. Since September, students have been working on putting their show together, exploring script writing and acting techniques, along with costume and prop preparation. Upon arrival at the recording studio, the students visited the set where they would rehearse and record their show and they also got to survey the Controls and Graphics Room, the focal point which is at the very core of any successful media production.

During their class preparation in school, students already had their specific roles assigned and had explored the duties attached to these roles. A diverse range of roles kept the students on their toes throughout the day and credit must go to Director (Tia Fox), Producer (Ana Marques) , Graphics & Sound Technician (Adam Finnerty), Vision Mixer (Noilin Hennigan), Camera Crew (Maria Lohan, Patrick Kenny and Larissa Noone) and Floor Manager (Aaron Hunter). Students received specialist training in how to operate the studio cameras and microphones and were reminded of the expense of such equipment, with one studio camera costing anywhere between €80, 000 to €100, 000! A variety of cast members participated “on camera” for our television programme which was entitled “The Mickey Joe Show”. These roles were wonderfully executed by Ciara Connolly, Mickey Joe Egan, Danny Arnold, Simon Leonard, Jack Donnelly, Daniel Hannon, Emma Makowksa, and Ana Marques. Needless to say we had a few exclusive appearances from some spectacular special guests! All will be revealed at the premier screening…

With the assistance of our studio technician Ger, we learned lots about creating lighting shots, camera angles and film editing.After a number of rehearsals we hit the studio for some action, where the students revealed themselves to be consummate professionals! From scriptwriting, to directing, to presenting and working the cameras & sound equipment, our Transition Year students gained real insight into the world of television & media production and really enjoyed the process of bringing their own ideas to life onscreen.

After an action packed and fun filled day, which provided invaluable media education and training, the students departed the studio already anticipating a return visit! Many T.Y participants have since commented that they would like to investigate further studies in this area with a view to a potential career in Media and Journalism/ Film & Television Production. We all agree that such an exciting expedition has aided our students in developing visual literacy, critical thinking and creativity, all of which are essential skills in today’s media driven society. And to remind us all of how much fun it can be, we have our very own TV show on DVD to act as a memento! Thanks to Ms. Cullen of the English Department for organising this memorable excursion.

Fighting Words

Fighting Words is a creative writing centre, established by Roddy Doyle and Sean Love. Inspired by 826 Valencia in San Francisco .Fighting Words is located on Behan Square, Russell Street, Dublin. It is a creative writing centre that helps students of all ages to develop their writing skills, and to explore their love of writing.

Every year, Transition Year students from Roscommon Community College have the opportunity to visit the centre for a creative writing workshop. The first half of the workshop consists of the students working as one group. They are given a scenario and are asked to act it out, with their dialogue then forming the basis for the beginning of their short story. From here the students divide up into smaller groups and a tutor works with them on character development, dialogue, plot and editing. The final draft of these short stories will appear in the annual Transition Year Anthology of Student Writing which is produced at the end of the year.

Transition Years 2016 / 2017

Writer In Residence

In conjunction with our Writer in Residence programme, Terry Mc Donagh, a Mayo native, delivered a workshop as part of Creative Writing Week. Due to Terry’s experience within the realms of poetry and drama, we were delighted that he was available to host a creative writing workshop with our students. The students involved were enthralled by Terry’s animated demeanour and his sometimes wacky imagination. Opening their eyes to the power of the imagination, the creativity of the pupils was sculpted, as Terry encouraged them to reflect on their thoughts and to act out various emotions and scenarios. As part of theWriter in Residence programme, Man Booker prize winning author Roddy Doyle has also delivered a workshop to our pupils. In the words of William Butler Yeats, “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire” and these writers did just that as they captured the imaginations of our students.

View more photos here on Literacy Week 2017