A Story of a Film



This page is part of a series of examples of ways to write about Art & Design.

It can be used as part of an English for Creatives Class Plan, or by artists and designers looking to improve their writing about art/presentation skills.

Here I tell you the story of a film.

Not because I think it’s a particularly great film!

This blog is intended as a resource for English language learners to gain practical and professional language in a context.


English for Creatives Class Plan


Today’s subjects are marketing, social media, film-making and creativity.

We’ll also discuss spontaneity over planning – which is stronger in your creative practice?


Let’s Begin with the Film…

I made a film to wish all  Blue Noun Language Hub’s clients a Happy New Year.

Your Artist English Teacher


Although I’m a language teacher, I’m also a visual artist, At the time of making the film I thought Instagram was perfect for communicating the ethos and fun of our language school.

I also enjoyed seeing the images from around the world that the many people we follow post.

It’s odd to think of a virtual platform of mostly strangers as a community, but it is!

“The trick to good animation is meticulous planning & storyboarding – and I quite obviously did none of that.”

Ruth Pringle, 2020

 Spontaneity or Planning?

I’m a painter at heart. I build on what I see, so I made the little stop-motion animation first without considering too much about what (if any) text I would write.

Respect to animators, film-makers, architects and tapestry makers who have to have everything planned out in advance.

I just can’t get creative in that way.

It’s a real skill and I wish I could.

Rookie Errors

I uploaded the images onto my computer for editing and discovered an annoying piece of fluff in most of the shots.

It also turned out that I should have set the date/time on the second camera, as it jumbled all the images up while uploading.

Perhaps impulsivity is a creative strength (I’m sure it makes me an engaging teacher). 

However, it’s a huge weakness in animation!


English for Creatives Class Plan

Turn this example into a conversation about spontaneity over planning.


Are the students more prone to one or the other, does it disadvantage them in their chosen field? And how can one learn these skills? Are they habits or innate personality traits?

What About the Pickled People?

Had I spent the last month making little effigies of people to put in a jam jar to make a film with?
No, but I wish I had that kind of mind and patience.

I bought the jar of people at our fabulous local 
Remake Scrap Store. 
Remake is a charity that diverts useful materials from landfills, and sells them at low prices for the community to reuse.
Simple and genius.

the story of a film - pickled people sculpture<br />

“Remake Scotland is a creative reuse organisation, aiming to divert potential landfill and encourage grassroots creativity. We encourage everyone to make good stuff from old stuff while learning to use tools with confidence.”

Perthshire Creates Website

Remake: Impossible to Leave Empty-Handed

Remake is full of lovely crafting materials and I rarely leave empty-handed.

I discovered the jar of people a couple of months ago and bought it for Kenny’s Christmas present ( I think it cost a pound – he’s such a lucky guy!).


The hardest thing about it was keeping it secret for two months!

the story of a film - pickled people sculpture<br />

English for Creatives Class Plan

Do you have a similar environmental initiative in your home town? How does it work?

So Who Made All The Pickled People?

 I have no idea.
By the way, Gurning is a medieval but still celebrated rural English tradition, in which contestants compete to pull the ugliest face.

There’s even a 
World Gurning Championship(Britain quite likes its odd and unusual sporting events).



English for Creative Careers Class Plan

From Cheese Rolling to Extreme Ironing, what weird British sports or community traditions can the students find online?


Share with the class. 

gurning screenshot
language school closed for covid lockdown

The Context of the Film

The creative dilemma was how to wish everyone a happy new year, while our communities are so badly hurting.
Our language school was closed. I knew it was just one of many effects of the COVID pandemic – and not the worst, but it hurt.
How could I be optimistic about the forthcoming year without being trite about the past one?
I saw a lot of people cursing the passing of 2020 on Social Media, but last year I had a lot to admire.
My gratitude for family, friends and our wonderful local countryside has deepened.

Communicating on Social Media

Here’s what I wrote about the film when I posted it.

A short film to wish everyone a Happy New Year, describing how we feel about celebrating a new year within our current climate. The last year brought such profound change, disappointment, sadness – but was also filled with heroes, community spirit and new forms of trust.

We wish the last year had been very different, but welcome the new year as new chance for change, and want to wish you all the very best.

Happy New Year everyone!

Ruth Pringle, 2020


English for Creative Careers Class Plan

Instagram, what do you use it for?

Hint: remember after for to use the gerundive form of the verb (I use it for ____ing …).