Critten wins awards for his documentaries.
His latest two videos won silver diplomas at the Cotswold International
But he doesn't just spend his time behind the camera. He also teaches
at the Plymouth College of Further Education, for a programme called
"Skills for Working Life".
This helps students with learning disabilities to gain the skills
they need to survive in the world of work. And Pip uses video production
to help them.
"I do the filming, but they do everything else," explained
Critten with student Tom Phillips
students decide what they want to make a film about, they research
it, make all the arrangements for locations, and then they invite
an audience to come and preview the film."
Pip says the students haven't fitted into the mainstream education
system, and he's found making video and radio programmes give them
skills that help them find work.
"It's a combination of individual and team work, and we don't
just use video but also radio and photography.
"The resulting work is something they can be proud of. It often
turns out better than work produced by mainstream students.
"These students are totally dedicated, and some of the work
they've done has been commissioned and is being used as a teaching
Today's class sees eight young adults focussed on their computer
screens in the media suite at the
Goschen Centre. It's their second session with Pip, and they've
been asked to take photographs on a number of themes.
Brown is 18, and he enjoys media studies. He likes taking photographs
and planning what he's going to do.
"We were told to take a picture of some stairs and make them interesting,"
he said, "so I tilted the camera a bit. I think it's worked."
They now have to decide which is their favourite image, and to explain
which one they've chosen and why.
Pip's past students have organised filming at the Warner Village
and at the MOD police HQ. The work is geared around the abilities
of each individual.
Some of the videos produced by past groups have been used as marketing
and teaching resources. "College Life" is used to show school pupils
what life is like at the CFE - from the point of view of the students.
One ex-student of Pip's went on to take a GNVQ in media and is now
in his second year of Advanced Vocational certificate in Education.
for Working Life" uses courses like this one to help the students
grow in confidence and to work both individually and as a team.
They can also opt for painting and decorating, gardening and car
Pip says he enjoys teaching his students. "It's such a buzz. They're
so dedicated and they give everything to the course.
"I feel it's a bit selfish of me in a way, as (don't tell my
boss) but I don't work. I enjoy myself for a living!"
Article written: 27th September 2004