“Hey man, my school days insane”
Staff and students from University of the Arts London (UAL), supported by the learning team at the V&A, have worked with young people from David Bowie's former school, Ravens Wood School in Bromley, on a short film entitled David Bowie is...one of us.
It’s a wonderful little tribute to DB and his time at Ravens Wood School, though it’s no wonder he went the way he did when one considers the school uniform: black and white leotards! ;-)
Below is some background to the making of the film, which you can watch in its entirety here on YouTube.
David Bowie short film created in collaboration between University of the Arts London (UAL) and the V&A
Staff and students from University of the Arts London (UAL), supported by the learning team at the V&A, have worked with young people from David Bowie's former school, Ravens Wood School in Bromley, on a short film entitled David Bowie is...one of us, with the help of 3AngryMen film production company and music producer, Robert Worby. The film includes original choreography, costumes and make-up by UAL students and Ravens Wood pupils related to Bowie's creative influences.
The V&A approached UAL's Widening Participation team to help devise and develop the project, inspired by the exhibition David Bowie is which runs at the V&A until 11 August 2013.
Caroline Stevenson, Lecturer at UAL, said of the film:
"We spent quite a lot of time researching the ideas behind Bowie's work, but also imagining what life might have been like for him as a young student in the Bromley suburbs. We used JG Ballard's ideas about Inner Space and also Brian Eno's Oblique Strategy 'Ghost echoes' to develop the characters and the narrative in the film, both of which influenced Bowie as well. The students chose the title, David Bowie is...one of us, because we wanted to make a film for David Bowie, rather than a film about him; the main character is inspired by Bowie, but he's also all of us. The film narrative is about that inter-zone that Ballard talks about where the imaginary world meets reality."
The film was devised and filmed at Ravens Wood, using some key spaces that were also used by Bowie when he was at school there, such as the stairwell leading to the art room where he used to play his guitar because he liked the acoustics.
Jackie McManus, Head of Widening Participation at UAL, said:
"UAL's Widening Participation team is delighted to have been invited by the V&A to work with Ravens Wood School (known as Bromley Tech when Bowie was there). The film is a celebration and honouring of Bowie; students at Ravens Wood School and UAL, and all those on a journey of creative discovery."
Adrian Deakes, Programme Manager for Theatre and Performance in the Learning Department of the V&A, said:
“It’s been a pleasure working with UAL and the school and their students. Although they were obviously aware that Bowie was an ex-pupil, I think they were amazed by how the exhibition highlights his world influence and how wide-ranging this has been. I think the film, from the costumes, to the make-up, to the music and choreography really reflects that.”
UAL believes that widening participation to art and design higher education is essential to realising the University's vision and values, of innovating and stimulating creativity, and valuing diversity and respecting individuality.