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“We’re firm believers in creativity as a catalyst for change and believe this is an opportunity to give young people a voice as well as bring people back together as the restrictions are slowly eased. His work was a vibrant combination of video, art and storytelling and Rupinder had a professional approach to this project, with regular and timely contact with the project organisers throughout. He really treated us like we were his clients.” 

Gavin Shore, Executive Creative Director at McCann Leeds

Rupinder finds new motivation for filmmaking with Welcome Back to Leeds

Rupinder polaroid insta

Rupinder is a high school student in Leeds

Every day through lockdown I was checking my emails for work from my school and one day this challenge popped up and it really grabbed my attention. It sounded fun and like a great professional opportunity so I thought I should take part.

I’m currently studying A Level Media and I thought this was the field I wanted to get into, so to have the opportunity to work on a real client brief for someone like McCann and Channel 4 was appealing to me, as well as the chance to get feedback from industry professionals. We had to design an advert that would welcome people back to Leeds after lockdown and I was very excited to get involved.

When I saw the brief I wanted to film in the city centre, but we were still in lockdown so I thought about the ways I could represent Leeds without being able to spend lots of time filming the actual city. I wanted to put faces on the buildings to show the life and vibrancy of Leeds but I didn’t have sophisticated editing software, so I decided to use some new markers I had at home and do something more basic but still effective. I used iMovies on my mobile phone to edit the video because that’s what I had at home. It proved to me that you don’t always need the most expensive or hi-tech equipment to produce a piece of work, you can think of other ways to do it.

Rupinder's final film

I was excited to know what was going to happen after I entered my submission. It felt more real than a piece of coursework because there were real clients who had set the brief. I found out I was shortlisted and I was really nervous to present to the industry judging panel, but I did my best to come across as professional. I was really happy I came third because all the responses in the top ten were amazing. I thought “I can really do this!”

My favourite thing about taking part was the independence I gained and learning how to manage myself to complete a project; I did everything from the ideas to the filming, drawing, directing and editing. This challenge has been really motivating for me and I know now that I definitely want to study and work in filmmaking.

I was quite daunted at the thought of applying for a local degree course as they only accept 40 people each year but I feel like taking part in this challenge is going to play a big part in my life because it has motivated me and filled me with confidence that I didn’t have before. It’s also given me a solid piece of work for my portfolio that I can be really proud of.

I would say to anyone who had the opportunity to take part in a challenge like this to do it. Even if you don’t think you’re a creative person it can teach you a lot about yourself and you will develop important skills such as organisation and self-motivation. It also gives you something you can put on your personal statement or CV and shows employers that you are motivated and have real experience of working for a client.

Click here to see all the details of the challenge >>