Abbey inspires film-makers

IT has long been a source of inspiration for artists and writers – now Whitby Abbey is inspiring the next generation of film-makers to capture drama, documentary or even Whitby’s answer to The Only Way is Essex, making flip cameras available to educational groups visiting the site.

The flip cameras are easy to use video recorders that can capture up to two hours’ of material that can then be edited back in the classroom to produce a video for English Heritage’s YouTube channel.

English Heritage’s regional education manager, Lynne Minett, said: “We have 10 flip cameras available for groups to borrow and produce a series of short films using their classmates as directors, presenters or actors according to how they want to use the property.

“We’ve also produced a guide for teachers that includes some suggestions for film themes, from ghostly tales inspired by Dracula to poetry inspired by England’s first poet, Caedmon, but really the only limit to what they can film is their imagination.”

The flip cameras are available free of charge for learning groups booking free entry to Whitby (two weeks’ notice is required for bookings and the cameras are subject to availability).

Groups should bring their own laptop with them to download the video files from the cameras prior to leaving the site, and are then able to edit the videos when they get back to school or college.

“If students are happy to share their films with the wider community, they can send them through to us and we’ll put them onto our YouTube channel, where they can enjoy a global audience,” adds Lynne.

The flipcams are also available at a number of other English Heritage sites around the country.

The performing arts resource joins a number of other techno-initiatives at English Heritage sites, including a geocaching trail at Rievaulx Abbey, near Helmsley.

For more information on booking a free educational visit to Whitby Abbey, please call the dedicated Education booking team on 0870 333 0606 or visit www.english-heritage.org.uk/education