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Bronze Arts Award Portfolio

My Bronze Arts Award Portfolio

George Usher

on 10 March 2013

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Transcript of Bronze Arts Award Portfolio

George Usher Bronze Award Sharing My Skills My Arts Hero Charlie Higson My Art Project I also made a short animated film Arts Event Julian Lloyd Webber played the cello solo in Fredrick Delius' Cello Concerto, and John Inverdale narrated Benjamin Britten's Young Person's guide to the orchestra. John Inverdale signed my program Click the Arrow From www.charliehigson.com Charlie Higson is a successful author, actor, comedian and writer for television and radio.

He wrote the phenomenally successful Young Bond series which has now sold over a million copies in the UK and has been translated into over 24 different languages. The series began with SilverFin and was followed by Blood Fever, Double or Die, Hurricane Gold and By Royal Command. All five novels entered the children’s bestseller charts in the top five.

The first novel in his bestselling zombie-adventure series for teenagers, The Enemy, was published by Puffin in September 2009, with the second The Dead, following in September 2010. Both books have been published to great critical acclaim. Charlie is a huge fan of horror films and books, and even studied gothic literature at university. With three sons of his own, Charlie knows exactly how to terrify and captivate teenagers in equal measure.

After leaving university, Charlie formed a band, The Higsons. He then became a decorator before turning to the world of television and going into partnership Paul Whitehouse. His television successes have included Saturday Live, the Harry Enfield Television Programme, The Smell of Reeves and Mortimer, Shooting Stars, Randall and Hopkirk Deceased, the film Suite 16, Swiss Toni and of course, the Fast Show. Charlie Higson is my Arts Award hero because... I have been reading his books for a long time; the Young Bond series when I was younger, and now the Enemy series. His books inspire me to do well in English and other subjects. Did you write a lot in school? My Questions to Charlie Higson I did. I started writing little books, which I would illustrate, when I was about 10. I got hooked on the idea that you could just sit down with a pen and paper and make something up - a story, characters, places, whole universes. That’s a pretty strong kind of magic. I obviously also had to do a lot of writing in English lessons, though I remember one of my teachers told me not to be too imaginative and to steer clear of fantasy and science fiction. This only made me want to write that sort of stuff more. At home, when I was supposed to be doing my homework, I used to write big long fantasy epics, even making up the language and creating little dictionaries. I never finished any of the books but it kept me happy. Where you good at writing in school? I did well in English and enjoyed it. I’ve always been happy writing so it comes quite easily to me. I did an English A level and then went on to study it at university, so I must have been quite good, What were you interested in as a child? The same as most children I guess. Except that we didn't have computers and games consoles back then. I grew up in the countryside and liked to go and explore and play in the woods and fields. I was never really into sport. I used to collect and paint war-game figures ancient Rome and its enemies. What I was really into, though, as I say, was fantasy. I loved anything books, films, TV shows, games that took me out of my own boring little world and off on an adventure. Who was your favorite author as a child? I read a lot when I was younger, but unfortunately most of the authors and books I’ve completely forgotten. I was into Greek myths and legends, and historical novels, also comedy (I loved the Professor Branestawm books) then I got into fantasy Tolkien, Michael Moorcock, etc. and finally moved on to science fiction Philip K Dick, JG Ballard I think it’s good for kids to open their minds a bit and not just read about other kids skateboarding and playing on their computers. I asked Charlie Higson some questions on Twitter How did you start writing for children? Did you have to get permission to write the Young Bonds? I have 3 boys of my own and about ten years ago I’d been trying to think of something I could write for them – something with lots of action and adventure - and then I was approached completely out of the blue by the Ian Fleming estate (the organization that looks after the literary side of James Bond). They said they were looking for an author to write Bond books for younger readers, about his early life, and thought I might be suitable (I’d written some adult thrillers, and was known to be a big James Bond fan). I jumped at the chance and so, at my relatively late stage of life I was offered a brand new job as a children’s write. I found that kids liked my writing style and enjoyed my books, so when I finished the Bond series I stuck with it and am now writing my Enemy books. What inspired you to write The Enemy Series? I had several ideas knocking around before I started writing the Enemy series and they all sort of fell into place. I knew I wanted to write something scary. I’d done thrillers for kids with the Young James Bond books, so thought that horror would be something different, and I’ve always been a big horror fan. The monsters that scare me the most are zombies, so I thought I’d like to try something zombie related. Then I remembered a fantasy I’d had when I was growing up of a world without adults, where kids could have free run with no one stopping them going where they wanted and doing what they wanted. I’d always wanted to write something along these lines but wasn’t sure how to do it. Plus I knew wanted to write about a gang of kids rather than just one central character to get away from the James Bond model. And then it hit me – what about a disease that only affects older people? That seemed to be the key to making all these elements work. It got rid of most adults, except the ones I needed to keep alive to behave like zombies, and it created an empty London for kids to use as their own. There’s something primal about big nasty adults chasing little kids around. It’s like all those giants and ogres in fairy stories, and is the sort of thing I had nightmares about when I was a boy. Cont. My Questions to Charlie Higson Part 2 Do your children read your books and what do they think of them? When I started writing the Bond books, because I’d never written anything for kids before, as I finished each chapter I read them to my own boys as bedtime stories to see how they reacted. They were very good at telling me what was good and what was bad, what worked and what didn't. If they fell asleep, for instance, I knew I had to put in a couple more explosions and a car chase. Now they are all too old for me to read to them any more but I’ve sort of worked out how to do it now, so they’re not so vital to my research and feedback, though they do still read the books and it’s important to me that they enjoy them. How long does it take you to write a book? From writing the first page to the book being ready at the printers takes a year. The first draft probably takes me up to 6 months. Then there will be two or three rewrites based on my own thoughts, notes from my editor, the copy editor and the proof reader. You need to keep going over and over it to make it better. Then there are lots of meetings along the way about the cover and marketing and publicity and that all takes time. Plus I always like to have a couple of other projects on the go at the same time. I work in TV and radio and write quite a lot or articles. So it’s a long process. Which of your own books are you most proud of? My next one. You always have to think ahead like that as a writer, and believe that your best work is still to come, otherwise you would give up. Where do you write your books? I have a tiny little room at home that I call an office. It suits me fine. I can shut myself away and get stuck in on my computer undisturbed, and there’s no time wasted on travel, sitting on buses, or trains or in traffic jams. I taught a 7 year old how to display his Lego figures in a frame and how to decorate it 1) First I got Erik to design a plan on a piece of paper
2) Next he looked through all my old Lego people and chose some to frame
3) Then I helped him stick them to some card to go in the frame
4) Erik then decorated the background with a sharpie
5) After that he stuck the Lego in with the tape
6) Then we put the box together and I helped him paint the frame
7) Finally he decorated the outside of the frame with the sharpie How I taught him: I went to see the Worthing Symphony Orchestra perform. The theme was family, film and sport Or use the Arrow Keys About Me I've painted a mural for the hoardings around the new swimming pool being built. I was Sussex winner of a competition done by SightSavers Click For my main project I made a paper mache Dog (called Stanley!). I then used that dog in a short comic What people thought about my animation Lucas Baiz: I think this is a very cool video and its well taken time on. Edward Lawson: I Like the use of real photos and cartoons. Louis Packer: I thought the film was very entertaining. The part I liked the most was when he had a devil stick I made the dog by creating a shell out of chicken wire, and then covering it in paper mache and painting. I then took a picture of it and edited out the background on the computer. Erik Said: I really enjoyed making the Lego frame and I'm going to make some more at home! After we made the Lego Frames, Erik and I made a short animated film using Lego. Erik thought of the story and we animated it together. I then posted it on YouTube! Erik really enjoyed it and his mum thought the film was brilliant! My name is George Usher and I am 13 years old. I live in Worthing and am really interested in Art. I am especially interested in computer art, graphics and animation. When I was younger I made Lego animations with my Dad, and now I like to make my own. I really enjoy my fortnightly group art sessions with Nadia Chalk where I learn lots of different art techniques. I also got to Sea Scouts and play for Worthing Hockey Club. What I thought about it I enjoyed the performance by Julian Lloyd Webber, as we sat near the front and had a very good view of him playing. It was quite long but very impressive. The guide to the orchestra by Benjamin Britten was interesting as it gave me an insight into the instruments of the orchestra. I have since seen a recording of Bill Bailey's Guide to the Orchestra, and liked it better because it was more modern and comedic. Although I liked seeing Benjamin Britten's because it was live
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