A group of 15 students spent a week in August working with a professional historian looking into the Essex Record Office’s archives for documentary evidence of Mental Health. The students then worked over 6 weeks to create an animated film about their research.

A second group of 4 students spent 8 weeks composing and recording the music for the film, with the unexpected opportunity to be guided by internationally renowned composer Joseph Metcalf (the composer for the Disney film ‘The King’s Daughter’, having started by composing the music for George Orwell’s Animal Farm at the tender age of 14): https://www.imdb.com/name/nm1007661/  and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KyLZyVV_Isk. 

Both groups of students are being supported to screen the film in an assembly at their respective schools, opening talks on Mental Health. Here is the link to the film which has been entered to Harwich Film Festival: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJlnFbaLnc8

Follow up from the project:

Joseph Metcalf has offered the budding composers the opportunity to join an Hollywood composers zoom meeting: “Just forwarding this to you. The Wednesday composer’s group I run has a sister event that is held in Malibu each Monday by a good friend of mine, Richard Gibbs. Richard very rarely gets composers to speak at his events but this week he’s making an exception. Richard was originally in Danny’s band Oingo Boingo and this week he’ll be addressing the group. Richard will be running the show but you’re more than welcome to join 7:30pm on Monday”. There will likely be more people at this one but click on the ‘Register in advance’ link below ASAP and enjoy a Zoom with Danny Elfman.

Quote from a student: 

Being invited to a Zoom Q&A with top Hollywood composers was an amazing experience! 
It was so interesting and insightful hearing about the lives of current major composers and music producers. Simply listening to top musicians in their field is a unique experience, but having the opportunity to be involved in an open discussion was quite extraordinary. I did have a little bit of imposter syndrome at first but the atmosphere on the zoom chat was really friendly, safe and open.
I learned a lot about the effects of Covid on the music industry by hearing first hand the personal impact it’s had on the community, and it was reassuring being able to relate to many struggles even the prolific musicians are facing and gain insight into the area that I wish to pursue a career in. One of the areas of discussion was the making of everlasting friendships, and being personable to people in the industry, this is certainly something I shall take away to help me in the future.
Such a brilliant opportunity and one I shall never forget!
Kind Regards, Chester Tribley

Quote from Year 6 Lead @ Mildmay Junior school

We study WW1 in the Autumn term. This video will be brilliant to use in the second half of this term as part of a history/pshe lesson – linked with mental health (lockdown) etc. We have large scrap books that we use for any PsHe discussion work – so we will prob screen shot a powerful image from the film and then give pupils thought bubbles to write in first person – some responses to how they might have felt in the trenches etc (shame we can’t show them the 1917 new film!!!). Then we would link this back to our own mental health in a follow up lesson. Using “lockdown” as a theme – maybe looking at how this would have affected different age groups and then lastly, if willing to share – how this impacted their own/ family’s. I will be sharing this with 90 pupils in year six.