The making of Prince’s Gardens Short Film
Miles Latham, Managing Partner of Affixxius Films explains the creative process of capturing excitement in our school film
The challenge presented to us by Prince’s Gardens Preparatory School has been one of the most fascinating we have ever taken on in over ten years of filmmaking for schools across the world. In essence, we are looking to tell the story of a school that does not currently exist in a physical form, but has been carefully and passionately conceived by those pioneering it. It is very easy, with a brief of this sort, to focus on what there isn’t – however it didn’t take long to refocus our attention on what there is to talk about.
Our core motivation in this project was to get the audience as excited about the school as we are. Keeping the premise this simple was vital to our creative process, and we centred our thinking around this concept of ‘excitement’. At this stage of ‘potentiality’, we are allowed to be excited, optimistic and curious about what is to come. The mind of a child, moreover, is the best possible breeding group for such excitement, and it was to the eyes of a child that we turned in our storytelling.
In essence, our story is one of a little girl who cannot wait to start at her brand new school. She knows so much about it – has read the brochures, heard the talks, and seen the artist’s renditions of the classroom spaces – and wants to build a picture of her future.
To achieve this, she starts to collate all of these visual ‘assets’ and bring them together on a pin-board in her bedroom. Pictures, articles, maps and even cut-up parts of a prospectus are all brought together to help her ‘see’ what is in store.
At the same time, we hear her excitement in her own words. There is so much for her to be excited about that we, as viewers, can’t help but be swept along by her enthusiasm. For so many parents, this excitement for school in their child is a huge factor in decision-making, and we are keen to transmit that sense of anticipation through this short story.
The film was shot over a three-day period in London before going through a careful and considered post-production phase. As a ‘brand film’ we wanted it to reflect the brand standards enshrined in Prince’s Gardens Preparatory School – quality, opportunity, passion – and the piece sits alongside another short video, “Meet the Headmistress”, which allows the audience to go into more detailed understanding of the school after this emotive introduction to the project.
Above all, the film ‘feels’ Prince’s Gardens Preparatory School – it is warm, inviting, excited and focused on the children themselves. We hope that audiences across London will get a true sense of what the school is looking to achieve, and our unfettered excitement about it soon becomes infectious!