Quick question: As children, how many of you sat at home watching exciting TV shows and grand Hollywood movies, dreaming of one day starring in them?
Another quick question: How many of you are sitting dreaming about that exact same thing again now?
Many children – you and I included – may have once yearned to become a film star, or even just an extra in Corrie, but for children in the North East of England, this was highly unlikely to happen, as we were usually encouraged to follow more ‘realistic’ career paths. Until now.
Every once in a while I’m introduced to a person or company that revives my rebellious childhood spirit, and makes me grateful that there are people out there who care about the life chances local children have today. ACT 2 CAM is one such company. Founded in 2008 as a simple after-school acting class, ACT 2 CAM is now a fully-fledged film company; connecting children and young adults from across the area with their dreams of making and starring in films.
Working with a combination of fully qualified teachers and film industry experts, ACT 2 CAM brings broadcast quality experiences and products within the reach of young people from a wide variety of backgrounds.
They possess a very student centred ethos; encouraging the young people who attend to explore their own ideas and express themselves creatively.
When you consider that these youngsters are being given such creative freedom within such a supportive environment, you can already begin to envisage some of the benefits ACT 2 CAM is having on their everyday lives. That said, it’s way more than ‘just’ a drama club, as it also has a commercial focus. These young people are being equipped with the skills and abilities needed to give them the option of pursuing a career working in film production, or of being a professional actor.
Of course, as parents, we all know the cost involved in nurturing the dreams of our wee cherubs. We also know the cost involved in finding quality childcare. Therefore, as ACT 2 CAM has expanded, they have also registered as professional child-minding services under the OFSTED regulations, meaning that parents who are eligible for child tax credits could get supported placements as part of their children’s childcare provision.
In the last year they have set up another two new centres; one in Middlesbrough and one in Washington. Given that their staff members boast of BAFTA awards and International film festival nominations and their alumni includes young actors who have appeared in Vera, Beowulf and George Gently, to name but a few, it’s clear to see why – in an incredibly competitive market place – ACT 2 CAM remain the best at what they do; making films, with young people at the heart of their ethos.