Young Shropshire Film Makers Get Spooky Over Halloween Half Term

The Shropshire Media Network is a new Community Interest Media Company, our aim is to build collaborations with local media professionals, to encourage the people in Shropshire to engage with new creative technology and to improve skills through media education.

Carl Walker (of Appletree Theatre and Film Co) and I have been running film workshops for some time in schools and arts venues, this Autumn half term we decided to capture the festive Halloween spirit and teach young people about some of the cinematic tricks of the trade, and offer Spooky Movie Making Workshops in Ludlow. 

During the Autumn half term we ran two days of workshops (for ages 7-11 and 11-16) in Appletrees’ new Ludlow based venue Elim Church. The Herefordshire / Shropshire half term dates being a week apart didn’t help, and we feared our numbers might be low as a result.

The first day we had a group of six, which gave everyone in the group a good chance to be both in front of and behind the camera. After a couple of hours watching some shorts and discussing ideas, we headed out into Ludlow in a glorious Autumn sunny morning and set the scene of a school geography trip that goes a bit wrong using the surrounding woodland of Ludlow Castle and the riverside as our locations. The younger group quickly got used to the technical camera processes and were eager to offer suggestions for new camera angles and techniques. The three hours of filming flew by, and we soon found ourselves marching back to the Church tripods and gear slung over shoulders in the low afternoon sun.

On the second day, a much larger group of 13 turned up so Carl and I decided to split the group into two and have a ’shoot out’  film making competition. We set the same ‘film brief’ for each group, and gave them  the start of a story. We then let each group write and plan the characters and the ending to the film set in the fringes of Mortimer Forrest.
The weather was not so kind to us on Hallows Eve and a slight drizzle began as we crossed over Dinham bridge and climbed up into the woods but the trees offered a good shelter and the rain held off. The Autumnal colours made the Forrest look beautiful, and this produced a great juxtaposition to the dark and eerie narrative plots that were being filmed. Towards the end of my groups shoot, the shrieks and screams could be heard of the other group nearby, which signalled our three hour shooting schedule to be nearly up.

We all raced back to the Church to have a quick look at the rushes that each group had filmed and as the parents started to gather, we said we would edit the footage and stick on some spooky music and effects to heighten the suspense, so judging would have to wait.

Over the two days, all of the 19 young film makers demonstrated fantastic creativity and it was very impressive to see them all learning about film making, writing and planning a shoot, and filming on location all in a day. Each and every one of the young people showed great potential, and we may well see Shropshire’s next Spielberg on their way.

For more information of Shropshire Media Network, and for news on upcoming events visit

and watch the finished Spooky Movies and decide which one you think is the best!



Tom Middleton Tom Middleton
I have worked in the film digital media industry for over ten years. in 2012 I co-founded the Shropshire Media Network, a Community Interest Media Company that produces creative and engaging films, manages events, and designs digital media workshops.

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