Pocklington School

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Charity single and music video raise awareness of homelessness in Hull

Man with dog, looking over a wall to the sea beyond

Upper Sixth student, George Brignall McDougall, has filmed and edited a music video to promote a Christmas charity single to raise awareness of homelessness in Hull. 

The alternative folk /pop Christmas single, entitled ‘The Ballad of Jimmie Johnson’, was written by Ben Burt to highlight the problem of homelessness in Hull and in the UK generally. All proceeds from sales will be donated to the Hull Homeless Community Project which assists those affected by, at risk of, or who are currently homeless, as well as campaigning to tackle the issue of homelessness at its root causes. During lockdown, the charity has also delivered food, books, toys and games to isolated and at-risk families. 

George explained: “A friend of the family wrote the song, and they were looking for someone to make a music video to promote the single. Filmmaking has always been a passion of mine since I was young, so this was a great opportunity for me to develop my skills and at the same time, help raise awareness of homelessness in Hull and fundraise for the charity.” 

In preparation for making the film, George had listened to the song to understand the meaning of the lyrics and the emotion they conveyed. He had a brief of where the filming was to take place and specific scenes to be included, but he was also able to contribute his own ideas and creative vision to the making of the film, which he directed himself. 

The black and white film is set in Hull and follows a day in the life of fictional character Jimmie Johnson and his dog, as they walk through the city after finding themselves homeless. There is a seasonal Christmas twist, but this does not detract from the main message that homelessness can happen to anyone. 

The music video, along with details of how to buy the Christmas charity single and donate directly to the Hull Homeless Community Project can be seen here https://www.facebook.com/TheBalladOfJimmieJohnson/

George is studying A level Photography and would like to study filmmaking at university, with the career goal of making it into the film industry as a director. 

Dan Cimmermann, Head of Art at Pocklington School said: “George is a talented videographer and it is wonderful to see him utilise his skills outside of school for such a good cause. The film is beautifully shot, interpreting the brief sensitively. An exciting future ahead, we are all excited to see what George will produce next, whilst studying at university and beyond".