The Pirate and the Mermaid

5 out of 5 stars

Fantasy Adventure , Films by over 13s , Live Action

  • Production organisation Arpeggio Films Ltd
  • Date completed 04 September 2009
  • Location Newcastle-upon-Tyne
  • Region North East

PLAY What does this mean?

Danny the pirate and Annabelle the mermaid meet at sea and fall in love. They return to dry land where Danny lives in a caravan and Annabelle lives in a paddling pool. Annabel becomes very sad. Will she stay with Danny, or return to the freedom of the open seas?
Length 06’ 57”
Aged 16-19

Arpeggio Films – A Casestudy

The Pirate and the Mermaid was a collaborative production between 42 young people, from Beacon Hill Sixth Form, in South Shields, of which many are considered to have profound and multiple learning difficulties.

Lots of time was allocated to all aspects of production to allow the students to take an active role in as many aspects of making their film as possible.

Imaginative and creative methods of communication were devised in partnership with Beacon Hill staff to ensure that the young people, many of which were only able to communicate through gesture or eye-movement were able to contribute creatively to the storyline, whilst understanding the implications of the creative decisions they were making.

At the Scripting and Idea development stage the PLMD students were worked with separately to ensure they were properly involved. Lots of time was allowed for storyboarding, prop (including puppets) and costume making, auditioning, technical training, including green screen and sound recording to ensure the students got actively involved at every stage. Students created their own micro films had plenty of opportunity to try out camera angles through a ‘living storyboard’ technique, where the students blocked out each scene by using still cameras and then created a storyboard from the photos.

The production schedule was tight with just four days to shoot the film but there was enough time for the young people to take their time with the camera and sound equipment overall and It gave the students a ‘real world’ experience of being on a film set!

The young people edited their own films which is great as this is where all the creative decisions are made, and they were able to attend the online picture grade and online sound mix to ensure they were completely involved from ideas to final output.

The young people came up with stories that were highly creative, fresh, original funny and imaginative, limited only by their vivid Imaginations. The film showcases their amazing abilities and allows the young people to be profiled as film-makers full-stop, not ‘film-makers with a disability’.

The film premiered with a second film made as part of the Beacon Hill Film Project at the Live Theatre in October in Newcastle.

The films have received extensive press coverage in The News Guardian, The Sunday Sun, and The Newcastle Evening Chronicle, not to mention a review by Barry Norman, former presenter of BBC ‘s Film series who described the two films as “enchanting” and “made and acted with great verve, infectious enthusiasm and off-the-wall originality”. Please read his full review by clicking here

“I enjoyed working with a team of professionals to learn about sound and acting”, Dean.

“I liked working with the camera and finding out about the different shots and being able to use the mic and boom to record sounds”, Stephen.

Comments on The Pirate and the Mermaid

  1. A superb film

    Simon Tarrant

  2. great film very well done

    julie foster

  3. A fantastic achievement ! Well done to everybody involved.

    Franco Zuccaroli

  4. Fantastic... recently saw this film at a conference I attended, was the highlight of a two day conference an is without a doubt an outstanding film (one suggestion - make a follow-up asap!!!). Have saved this page to favourites and will play again many times!

    Neil Hirst

  5. Comedy. Though intentional or unintentional, I do? not know.


  6. Comedy. Though? intentional or unintentional, I do not know.


  7. Comedy. Though? intentional or unintentional, I do not know.


  8. Congratulations! I like it very much. I guess I? am not well educated concearning mermaids. Don't they eat plankton? ;o) And I love the handsome pirat's parrot!


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