WNO Wizard Of Oz 2017 (Wicked Young Programmers)

In September, 2017, Wicked Young Programmers, Lacey Small, Scarlett and Natasha, spent the day at the Welsh National Opera‘s screening of ‘The Wizard of Oz’ interviewing audience members, to create this short film below with Liam Martin


Wicked Young Programmers was created in partnership with Wicked International Youth Film Festival as part of the BFI Young FAN project. Wicked links up with students in their rural local area of Rhyl to offer them the chance to to run the Wicked Cinema and gain skills to have a job in the media industry.          


“I am currently taking a gap year before studying film and television at Aberystwyth University next year. The reason I took a gap year was to work with Wicked Wales to get more experience within different aspects of the film and television industry.  My favourite thing about being a young programmer is the experiences I’ve had. I’ve met people from all over the film industry; producers, directors, photographers and YouTubers. This past year has been the best year ever and I’ve managed to meet like minded people from all over the world.” – Lacey

“As a student in Rhyl Sixth form, I discovered Wicked Wales as we were informed about the chance to run a pop-up cinema in the local children’s theatre. As I am ambitious about film, I then decided to volunteer, and have been doing so for over a year now. Through this, I also learnt about the Wicked Wales Film Festival and decided to help with that too. This year I was the Festival Chair and had to present the festival and give many speeches, which was a massive role for me as 12 months ago, I would not have had the confidence to do so.” – Natasha

Natasha’s Vox Popping Tips

  1. Be confident, as it will make the audience want to talk more and feel comfortable giving answers.
  2. Also be friendly as people are more likely to offer a speech if you seem happy.
  3. But most of all, enjoy it, if you enjoy it then the people you are interviewing should enjoy it too!


Lacey’s Vox Popping Tips

  1. Just be yourself, don’t pretend to be someone else. 
  2. Think of it like you’re just having a conversation with someone but also with a camera recording you 
  3. Have fun and enjoy it!

“I love ‘The Wizard of Oz’. It seems to be very popular at the moment. I’m currently rehearsing for a stage version. I think as a young programmer it would be a great idea to show the film as part of one of our screenings because there is so much to do based around he film.

Originally I thought the ‘The Wizard of Oz’ event was going to be just watching the film but seeing all the costumes, decorations and activities on before the showing was great. I had an amazing time at the event and it gave me ideas on how to run our own film events for Wicked Wales with decoration and activities.”Lacey 

“The Wizard of Oz event was spectacular, I am privileged to have been given the opportunity to be a part of and want to thank everyone dearly. The live orchestra was phenomenal and added an atmosphere in which made the experience so much greater. Providing face-painting, sing-a-longs and other activities was a great way of engaging with the audience and offering a fun experience to all. Everyone seemed very impressed and appeared to thoroughly enjoy it.” Natasha

“I was a little nervous about doing the vox pops,  however once we got started I had a lot of fun with it. It got easier to present to people the more I did it and it was a great confidence boost.” Lacey 

“Before doing the Vox Pops I was extremely nervous, however, after participating I really enjoyed it and even presented at a film festival as my confidence had improved and I felt more comfortable talking. I definitely gained more confidence, especially having to travel for 3 hours on my own dressed up in a costume which definitely boosted my confidence. I really enjoyed engaging with the audience and asking them questions which I never thought I would enjoy.” Natasha


“I’ve been given amazing opportunities by Wicked Wales because of being a young programmer. I am off to university next year, and it was something I could put on my personal statement. I’ve been abroad for the first time and now I am off to Serbia to be a judge on the film panel. I’ve met all types of people from the industry who I am still in contact with. I’ve applied for a taster week of working on a film set so hopefully I manage to get in and a chance to work more with other festivals and meet some more amazing people.
If you want to get into the industry and have no idea how this is honestly the best way. It was the best decision I’ve ever made!” – Lacey

“My favourite things about volunteering for Wicked is that it offers amazing experiences and opportunities in which I never thought I would ever have. I have developed many skills and also improved my knowledge on the different aspects of film such as distributing, advertising, marketing and many more. I also enjoy being able to provide films for the local community as we provide a more affordable way of watching films compared to cinemas. But most importantly, it is so much fun, as film is what I love and so being able to run a cinema and a film festival is a massive achievement for me.

The next project I’m part of is a German exchange. We had students from Germany who travelled to our town and we created documentaries with them for a week. We will also travel to Germany and create documentaries there too. After that, I will continue to volunteer at the theatre, film festival and also complete my A levels in Film Studies and Media Studies and hopefully see where it goes from there. ” – Natasha


Video: filmed/edited by www.liammartinfilm.com


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