Over the past few years, Rotten Park Road have enjoyed a plethora of opportunities (plethora is a very good word, isn’t it?) to work and engage with some wonderful groups of people in and around our Staffordshire local community. In this post we’re going to have a little peek back over some of our favourite interactive projects, as well as throwing a spotlight onto our most recent mini-collaboration - coming soon to a screen near you!
Photo by Deanna Turnbull
'80s Summer Camp
In 2018, we received ACE funding to develop original comedy horror production, ‘’80s Summer Camp’. Written and directed by Patrick McConnell, it was our first foray into the garish, amphetamine-fuelled, side-ponytailed world of Camp Aztitz (... somewhere in America) - and we had an absolute blast! We recruited some fantastic local ladies to feature in a side-splittingly funny aerobics class as part of the Camp Aztitz Talent Contest and they absolutely didn’t disappoint with their costumes! They all did a truly wonderful job.
We were also super lucky to be able to work with award-winning dancer and choreographer, Daniel Jones (pictured above in costume) who put together a sublime piece of dance and performed it - hilariously - as a lovestruck nerd pining for the affections of Socially Awkward Angela. The show was absolutely enriched by the extra participation, and we remain super grateful for the effort put in.
Community Learning Projects
During the nationwide lockdown, we were sponsored by the Community Foundation for Staffordshire to make a series of videos guiding viewers through the process of developing, shooting and editing a short film at home - using all the resources available at arm’s length! Our goal was to inspire creativity and initiative, and to demonstrate the production quality that can be achieved with a bit of ingenuity and imagination. Even with a super-low budget. Even like, £5. (That’s the price of a sandwich these days, innit? Flippin’ ‘eck.)
Following on from the success of 'Filmmaking in Lockdown', we spent August delivering a 'Get Started In Film' course for young people - in partnership with the Princes Trust and the Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service. The course was adapted to run online and has engaged a group of young people from Staffordshire in learning new skills, and guided them in writing, creating, and producing short film projects. We absolutely love being able to ‘ping’ some creative lightbulbs, and engaging with participants who might not normally have access to creative opportunities is extremely important to us. We were so pleased to receive a letter of thanks for this community work - and equally thankful to have been asked to deliver the project. Here’s a photo of the letter itself, modelled by camera-hogging (but super adorable) Badger the Rescue Cat!
Live! From Camp Aztitz
For our most recent participation opportunity, we put out a call over social media for our audiences and followers to grab some ‘80s gear from their wardrobes (or attics!), put together an enjoyable workout routine inspired by Jane Fonda, Richard Simmons and Mr Motivator, film it from home - and submit to be included in the final livestream show!
We had some brilliant responses, and the best part was hearing how much fun everyone had filming at home - a perfect opportunity to be silly, dress up, and have a laugh at the glorious, garish ‘80s fun! Here’s some of the feedback we had:
Daft costumes, wigs galore, side-splitting laugher - AND some new wall art thrown in for good measure? Mission accomplished, we’d say.
Don’t forget to catch ‘Live! From Camp Aztitz: The Legend of Camp Aztitz: Part 3D’ next Friday 18th September, at 9pm on the Rotten Park Road YouTube channel. Pay-what-you-can donations gratefully accepted!