From the big screen to Oldmeldrum

Scottish actor John Bell pictured with Meldrum Academy pupils
Scottish actor John Bell pictured with Meldrum Academy pupils

Meldrum Academy pupils had a taste of Hollywood recently when Scottish actor John Bell paid a visit for the education charity Into Film.

The 17 year-old actor, who is best known for his roles in “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”; “Battleship”; and “Wrath of the Titans” and will play Bain in upcoming release The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, shared his experiences as a young actor, provided tips on how to get into the industry and answered questions.

The event was arranged by Into Film, an education charity supported by the BFI with Lottery funding, as part of its drive to educate and inspire young people through film and provide young people from all backgrounds and areas of the UK with opportunities to go behind the scenes of the film industry. Around 45 students aged 13-17 attended.

Commenting on the impact of the visit, Meldrum Academy teacher Claire Stewart said, “It was very exciting for the students to meet someone from the industry so they could get a real understanding of how the industry works. The Q&A session gave students the opportunity to ask questions that were relevant to them and that they truly wanted to know. The event exceeded my expectations and gave the students a lot of material they could work with and apply to their own careers in the future”.

Into Film is an education charity that puts film at the heart of young people’s learning. Into Film clubs are free for all state funded schools and non-school settings and offer free access to thousands of films and education resources for learning through and about film, as well as opportunities to learn about filmmaking and go behind the scenes of the film industry. Inclusive and accessible for all students, film clubs help promote young people’s social, moral, spiritual and cultural development.

In Scotland, a bespoke film education programme has been created in collaboration with key arts and education organisations including Scottish Film, Creative Scotland, Education Scotland and many others who, as part of Into Film’s Scottish Education Advisory Group, have assisted in shaping activities which will support literacy across learning, enable the use of film across all areas of the Curriculum for Excellence and be accessible and appropriate for young people throughout Scotland.

For further information about Into Film and to start a film club visit: or call 0207 288 4520.