The roar and thrill of a motorbike as it speeds through city streets, defying all obstacles crossing its path.
We’ve all seen the movie, but life isn’t like the movies says a policeman at a screening of Mummy’s Boy, a short film produced by young people aged 13-15 from North Edinburgh as part of a CashBack for Creativity project; the impact is real, and amongst the audience is the aunt of Brad Williamson (14) who died following a collision on a stolen motorcycle in 2016.
The film is the product of a ten-week creative project for young people from North Edinburgh, which was facilitated by Screen Education Scotland and supported by Police Scotland, as part of Operation Soteria.
In addition to developing a short film that could be used in Edinburgh by schools, youth groups and the police to deter young people from using motorcycles in a dangerous and illegal manner and increase their safety, the aims of the project were to develop participants skills, knowledge and passion for filmmaking and the film’s subject matter, and to build stronger relationships between the police and young people.
Kathleen, one of sixteen young people who participated in the project, said: “Before this project I wasn’t really aware of the motorbike crime that was going on in the areas around Edinburgh.
"I’d obviously heard about a few incidents, but I’d never experienced it. As much as the film was made to educate other people who see it, it also helped to educate me and, I think, the others in the group.”
Over ten three-hour sessions the young people experienced the entire process of making a film, from pre-production right through to post-production.
Screen Education tutor, Sean, said that no one got stuck behind a camera or holding a boom, everyone had the chance to experience all the roles, including directing a professional actress. The young people decided to focus on the impact of motorcycle crime, and the film benefited with the role of the victim’s mother being played by well-known Scottish actress, Vivien Reid.
Zoe, another of the young people participating, talked about what she learned from the experience, “It wasn’t just my self-belief and confidence that has grown but being able to help others to achieve their full potential and their ability to motivate me. We all had different strengths, but together we were able to build an amazing product.”
Perhaps the biggest challenge for the group was learning to work together and make decisions together. They came from Holyrood, Drummond, Broughton and Craigroyston High Schools, and were largely strangers to each other. In addition, everyone had different ideas.
“We were all different people,” adds Zoe, “but it shows you that you can bond and connect over something to help the wider community.”
What are their hopes for the film? Omar gets a bit tongue-tied as he considers the question, but finally he answers with quiet conviction, “I believe that hopefully people will see this film and it will raise awareness and prevent deaths."