Creating and curating teaching content through YouTube

Film & Television Lecturer Kevin Walls has been putting YouTube through its paces delivering classes on the platform throughout the Covid- 19 pandemic.

With blended learning and reduced physical contact with classes looking likely for the forseeable future, Kevin discusses the methodology and advantages of teaching using the world’s biggest streaming platform.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has been an undisputable challenge for a plethora of reasons. In teaching, one such challenge has been: how can we continue to deliver a high level of educational content to students under the current lockdown and social distancing measures? Technology has been key. Programmes like Microsoft Teams and Zoom have supplemented the existing VLE platforms and have allowed us to keep in touch with our students through instant messaging and video conferencing. However, I believe there is another extremely valuable tool at our disposal: YouTube.

A staggering one billion hours of video content is watched on YouTube every day. Although it’s an undeniable force in the world of entertainment, it can also be an incredibly useful learning resource. The platform is bursting with short video lessons designed to help you learn or master a new skill or hobby. You can find woodworking tutorials, programming tutorials, makeup tutorials; there’s even an ultra-meta ‘How to Make Tutorial Videos’ tutorial. At the beginning of the lockdown, I decided to test the possibilities of YouTube within the context of further education by creating a series of short tutorials and streaming live lectures.”

NQ Photographing People – Live Lecture https://youtu.be/GKSjUGEyE2U

I was extremely pleased with the results. YouTube’s robust streaming platform offered superior video and audio quality in comparison to other available programmes. Using Open Broadcaster Software in conjunction with the AverMedia LGP Lite gaming capture card, I was able to bypass my lousy webcam entirely and stream with my professional video camera. Students were able to engage with the lecture in real-time, by posting questions in the comment section, and those who couldn’t attend the class as it was streaming live had the option to watch the entire lecture on-demand at a time that suited their needs. This was especially beneficial for students with roles as key workers or those with caring duties as a result of the pandemic.

Similarly, short video tutorials can be accessed anywhere and at any time. Unlike traditional lectures, these videos can be paused and repeated as often as required, until the student is comfortable to move on to the next topic.

Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO – Controlling Light https://youtu.be/0CMmk92o1to

Why use YouTube over a dedicated, or perhaps bespoke, educational app? Besides the superior video and audio quality, most students will already have immediate access to YouTube. It’s more than likely that the students will already have the app installed on their phone, tablet or even their smart TV. The accessibility, quality, and quantity of its content makes YouTube a great learning resource but – as is true with the internet as a whole – there is a lot of confidently delivered misinformation disguised as unquestionable fact. However, if we can create and curate our own content, we can ensure our students have access to high quality, consistent and reliable learning materials, even amidst a unique global crisis.

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“Always The Worst” Podcast

NC Film & Photography student Chris Haughey (top Left) with fellow contributors on the Always The Worst Podcast Twitch Live stream.

“On Friday the 22nd of May I launched “Always The Worst” Podcast on twitch. A podcast around all things film and TV, the first episode featured a review The Wickerman…from 2006. Remakes or reboots are always to be approached with caution and this is no option. Myself and the other reviewers took a critical, albeit comical, look at the film and “deconstructed” everything from the plot to the cinematography. We concluded that if this was actually a comedy more than a horror, it would probably have a 95% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

The move to twitch came about as we wanted to engage with our audience in a way that sometimes live audio podcasts can’t. The feedback we got from those who watched the livestream bears this out. They got everything from fact checking, to movie requests and top notch banter…as well as being able to see our ugly mugs on camera.” 

Always The Worst Podcast airs every Friday at 6pm on twitch.tv/alwaystheworstpodcast

Chris Haughey, NQ Film and Photography Student

“I have listened to Chris’s podcast on Spotify since lockdown began and I’ve been impressed with the level of research they have put into their reviews. I was delighted to hear he’s moved it up a notch and migrated across to Twitch.

He is demonstrating that during lockdown you can continue to be engaged by working on research, developing ideas and building your skillset using new technologies. It’s also entertaining which in some ways is rule number 1″

Alan Moffat, Film & Television Lecturer

Catch up with archived episodes of “Always The Worst” podcast  at YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gjtxf0Hgqs

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The Flames: Home and Staying In

Film and Television lecturer Kim Beveridge has recently worked on two features for the performance company “The Flames”, which deal with issues surrounding the Covid-19 Pandemic. Kim writes:

As associate artist of Tricky Hat for over 10 years I was fortunate enough to visit Japan in 2018, as part of the creative team on a research trip supported by British Council and Creative Scotland. 

In April 2020, we planned to return with a small group of performers from The Flames, Tricky Hat’s multimedia performance company for people over 50 years of age.  In  partnership with the London Panda Theatre Company they would collaborate with some older people in Sendai,  to create a multi-media performance event.

After the Great Eastern Japan earthquake and Tsunami of 2011, many grassroots arts projects sprung up in the Sendai and Tōhoku area. Building on this theme, Tricky Hat intended to use performance, film and music to explore people’s past, present and dreams for the future.

This project is supported by the British Council Scotland and Creative Scotland partnership as part of ‘UK in Japan 2019-20’, a joint initiative by the British Council and the British Embassy Tokyo to highlight the breadth of the UK’s relationship with Japan.

Unfortunately due to the Covid-19 travel ban and the cancellation of the Olympics this year our trip was also postponed, however our creativity was not stifled. 

During the first week of lock down the Tricky Hat team and  I worked closely with The Flames both here and in Japan to create a film in response to this global pandemic. The performers invited us into their HOME taking us on a journey and showing the poetry of their daily lives. 

The questions we asked were; what do you do when you can’t leave home? How does your perception of the world change? How are you coping with no one to visit your house? What crazy activities can you think of to burst these four walls?

This was achieved by setting a series of task for the performers to respond to through film and spoken word and Tricky Hat launched this digital collaboration ‘HOME’ globally on Monday the 20th of April as the first of three short films.

The second film as part of my collaboration during lock down with The Flames is called ’STAYING IN’, which went live on  Monday the 11th of May. Now that we have settled into quarantine, what has been discovered? Hobbies?, talents?, who you really are? Dressing up and dressing down. The Flames explore what they miss and what they love in this extraordinary time. 

The Flames will continue to create work through performance, film and music, exploring stories of later life, challenging perceptions of ageing and life during lock down. Nothing can stop The Flames and their tenacity is why I love working with them!

HOME and STAYING IN
Created by the Flames in collaboration with Tricky Hat Artists:
Kim Beveridge – Digital Artist
Mick Slaven – Musician & Composer
Aya Kobayashi – Movement Direction
Fiona Miller – Artistic Director

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Maclej by name: magic by nature


An NQ Film and Photography student has made good use of his time during the Covid-19 lockdown. Maclej Gapik finished editing is documentary “Citizen of the World” which documents his travels to far-flung corners such as Jordan, Iceland, Italy and Durness.

Writing about his film he said;

“I am interested in exploring new things, meeting new people and getting to know new cultures and places. That is why I love travelling.  It’s not for everyone of course but my philosophy is simple: wake up early and at the end of the day, feel that you’ve used 100% of your time.

I tend to use self-catering rather than all-inclusive , I will change accommodation rather than stay a full week in the same place and I’ll carry out research before I set off. 

Advice I would give would be to stay open for people, smile and talk to them.  Be brave and and follow your instincts. Take your camera and if you want to shoot, ask for permission. Always use your eyes and ears, feel the place, sense it, taste it, take a deep breath and collect those memories because that’s what will remain long after your visit comes to an end.”

Alan Moffat , Film and Television lecturer, added:

“Maclej has produced a really interesting piece of work which in a lot of ways gives the viewer much to think about at a time when our movement is so restricted. The range of shots he has used in the film is both technically and creatively strong and the final product really packs an emotional punch.

Some people travel to be and Maclej falls into that category. We will be looking forward to seeing what he does in the HNC next year.”

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NCL Hairdressing and Barbering Promo

HND Television students were approached by HNC Hairdressing at Cumbernauld campus and asked to film a promotional video as part of their course work.

Nadine Giles, HNC Hairdressing student said:

“We set out to make a promotional video for the Hairdressing and Barbering courses within New College Lanarkshire at Cumbernauld Campus. The aim of the promo was to make people aware of the courses and what is expected of them as students.  We did this by interviewing students both past and present across all course levels.  By speaking to salon owners who had previously studied at the college, we were able to gain an insight into how they applied their learning at college in order to start up their own businesses and how they have continued to develop their skills.

We all had so much fun planning and making the video and it was extremely enjoyable to work with other departments. It also showed us how much work goes into this behind the scenes.”

Hairdressing lecturer Christine McCaffrey added,

“I am extremely proud of our students and how they conducted themselves during this project.  They demonstrated professionalism and maturity in how they dealt with the salon owners .  Their organisational skills throughout the process, in particular, how they have dealt with the college closure during the Covid-19 crisis, is both incredible and humbling. 

Seeing the video they have produced reminds us of why we do our jobs and how important it is we create an environment that fosters their team working skills and builds their confidence to go forward into the workplace.”

HND Television student Donald McLeod said;

“Working with the Hairdressing students allowed us to focus our efforts on the video production side of the project as many of the logistics that we would usually handle were organised by the Hairdressing students.  The project also gave us all a greater level of experience of collaboration outside of our class.  The great level of communication and planning from both departments allowed this project to run smoothly which created a low-stress and enjoyable environment on location.”

For more information on the courses visit:

https://www.nclanarkshire.ac.uk/courses/hairdressing-and-barbering

https://www.nclanarkshire.ac.uk/courses/film-tv-and-radio

 

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Learning in real time…

Today the UK woke up to a Conservative Landslide victory in the first winter General Election since 1923.

Boris Johnson’s campaign was run on “Get Brexit Done” and this largely resonated with votes in England and Wales who overwhelmingly voted in 2016 to leave Europe. The picture in Scotland is vastly different. the SNP won a landslide victory where they returned 45 seats and an increase of in their popular vote from 977,569 in 2017 to 1,242,380.  The constitution is now firmly back on the agenda within UK politics. Some would argue it hasn’t really disappeared since the 2014 Referendum.

This morning, we set our students, some of them who had voted for the first time, a News Gathering task. the brief was simple…go out and film vox-pops and gauge the temperature of the local population in Cumbernauld. They had to film, edit and deliver the report in a single 3 hour period with the final report being published on our blog.

This is learning in real time.

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Short Cuts: Film Screening

On Monday the 9th December film students, friends and family gathered at the CCA in Glasgow for a night of short films and documentaries produced in the first term by HN Film students at NCL’s Cumbernauld campus.  The programme included Film Noir trailers and Horror films from our HNC students and a range of diverse documentary shorts produced by our HND level.

Andrew Dunn’s documentary feature “Forever Moments” on wet plate photographer Greg McNeill was one of the standout features from the screening and can be viewed above.  Over the next few weeks we’ll be showing other features from the night which will be archived in our Student Films section on this site.

“The Short Cuts event gave us a great opportunity to come together and showcase our student’s work created during a very busy first term. 

In addition to giving the students a professional setting to see their features, the night also gives our current HNC students an insight into the work produced at HND level, and to socialise and celebrate after completing an ambitious programme of projects we piloted this year.”

Michael Grant, Film & Television Lecturer

 

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James Reid: L’appel Du Vide 88

“My second film, I tried a bit harder, went a bit deeper into the character and came out with a film better than my first effort.

I tackled the subject of male suicide. Which is a subject I feel I owe a bit of thought about. I managed to get a composer called Emily Frances Ippolito to score the full film, which I  think works to great effect during each scene.

Paul Chalmers, the lead actor, really stole the show. On screen he was in the zone, fully committed to the character, then off camera very funny, a charming man who will be going places in the future.”

-James Reid, HND Film & Television.

Going into his HND year James Reid began production on a personal project in addition to his college work. In collaboration with Christopher Mullins he worked up a script which dealt with the difficult subject matter of suicide, which is one of the biggest single killers of males aged under 45 years of age in the UK.

With a completed script he undertook an ambitious plan for what was only his second feature. This involved putting together a crew from his HN classmates, auditioning three actors for the feature’s major roles and securing permission to film at the Centre for Contemporary Arts in Glasgow as one of the locations.

After the production phase was completed James set to work on the edit and  also secured the services of  composer Emily Frances Ippolito to score the film.

We were all impressed with the tenacity, vision and ambition James displayed throughout all three phases of production and the level of professionalism he brought to all aspects of his second film.  As a result he was awarded the category of “Promising Young Director” at our end of year Film Festival 2019.

After completing his HND in Film & Television at NCL  James secured entry to year 3 of a BA course in Film at Napier University, where he is currently continuing his studies.

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NCL Short Cuts: Film Screening, 9th December 2019

Short Cuts, Poster 2019

Monday 9th of December is the date for a night of short films from NCL HN Film and Television  students, which are being screened  in Centre of Contemporary Arts in Glasgow.

Students across both HNC and HND levels of Film and Television have been invited to show the features they have been working on in the first term.  HNC students have been working in groups to create a Film Noir trailer and a short horror film, while our HND students have been filming documentary shorts on a variety of subject matter.

Both levels have been afforded a full month for the production phase of these features in an ambitious change to Film and Television course delivery this term. 

“We looked at a different model this academic year for curriculum delivery and this involved bringing forward a more project based focus to the first semester.

The main idea behind this was to get the students working in groups before embarking on their Graded Unit and for them to learn through practice.

The challenges have been around the areas of collaboration and being able to compromise and as a creative department, we feel it is imperative that students strive to achieve these essential skills”

Alan Moffat: Film & Television Lecturer

NCL Short Cuts,
Monday 9th December, 2019,
Centre for Contemporary Arts (CCA),
350 Sauchiehall St, Glasgow G2 3JD,
7pm – 11.00pm

 

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Foundation Apprentices meet their mentor

Seth Hardwick presents some of his work for the National Theatre of Scotland

Foundation apprentices in Creative and Digital Media at NCL’s Motherwell campus met with an industry mentor last week and got a chance to pitch ideas for their forthcoming projects.

Seth Hardwick is a video producer who works with the National Theatre of Scotland and is responsible for the creation of high quality trailers and promotional films, filming and archiving all of their theatrical productions. He has previously worked with NCL Film students during the creation of Shift,  a large scale, multi-media theatrical event created in partnership with Culture NL, and North Lanarkshire Council in 2018.

Groups and individuals pitched varied ideas to Seth during the session including ideas for music videos, website development, theatre promotion, film-making and an audio journey.

Seth, Kim, Adam and the students studying the Foundation Apprenticeship in Creative and Digital Media.

“It was excellent having Seth come and listen to the students pitches. He gave incredibly valuable feedback that gave the students some much needed industry insight to their projects.

For the students, getting that sort of experience of pitching a project to someone as active in the industry as Seth, while still in school, can only be a good thing in terms of building confidence and encouraging them to pursue their creative ideas.”

Alec Cheer: Film & Television Lecturer

‘Was a real pleasure having Seth with us in college for the afternoon. He shared some of this own work with us and the breadth of his video experience with the FA students in the form of feed back on their pitch ideas.

Seth’s advice was both insightful and humorous, he told me he found the student’s pitches inspiring and is looking forward to seeing all the proposed videos soon.”

Kim Beveridge: Film & Television Lecturer

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