Tuesday Talks: Virtual Lecture Program

The Film & Television department have recently begun a virtual lecture series available to all their course groups.

Lecturer Kim Beveridge writes:

This semester’s program of guest speakers is a direct response to us all feeling isolated, missing the physical social interaction that college and a working life normally gives us.

I thought having a weekly opportunity to bring the department together, chat with industry professionals from Film and TV and hear them discuss their experiences might boost the spirits of all of us and inspire us to keep creating as well and giving important insight into what’s happening out there, in the world of Film and TV.

It’s important to maintain and keep building on the department’s relationship with the industry, making sure we have our fingers on the pulse of what’s currently happening, especially during COVID-19, so we can be responsive in our teaching and adaptable to the industries needs.

In our first episode, we caught up with film maker Graham Hughs, director and writer, performer of ‘Death of a Vlogger’. He spoke to us about the challenges of making low budget films and gave us some insight into his process and where his ideas come from.

I’m excited to be welcoming Tam Dean Burn on Tuesday, 15th September, he’ll be joining us for a chat about this career as a performer in Film, TV and Theatre, his passion for activism within his work and his punk approach to film making

The program is ongoing and dates and speakers will be confirmed nearer the time. With everyone being so zoom literate now it has given us an opportunity to connect in ways we might not have in the past, we’re not restricted geographically, so maybe an international guest is a possibility for the future? Ultimately the goal is to build on this program, so speakers can join us in the college, in person to present their work, chat and take questions from the students, face to face.

Other future guest speakers in the series will include:

BECTU, NFTS, Director Patrick Harkins and Grant Keir: Dok Incubator.

Posted in Events

Happy Ark Day | Scenes For Survival

Over the lockdown period HND Television student Jasmin Ewing got involved with the digital project Scenes for Survival, a collaboration between BBC Scotland and National Theatre of Scotland creating a specially curated new digital programme of work that is available online.

The fruits of their labour, Happy Ark Day is a short film shot entirely in isolation by Jasmin who also plays the role of the daughter alongside her real life mum; Liz.

Jasmin writes:

“Happy Ark Day was my first professional job in terms of both acting and production! This film was produced by the National Theatre of Scotland, in association with BBC Scotland, Screen Scotland, BBC Arts’ Culture in Quarantine project and The Tron Theatre with support from Hopscotch Films.

My mum and I both have acting agents and they got us to audition to play a mother and a daughter. We both sent in a self tape, recording a scene each, and a couple of days later, received a phone call to say that I got the part!

Rehearsals took place over two days, where we met the company and crew members via Zoom meetings, and had one to one sessions with the director Kol and the company manager Sophie, just rehearsing the scenes.

I was extremely lucky that I had college equipment at home with me, otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to made this film as good as it is! The shoot lasted for 3 days in total. They discussed how it wanted to be filmed, shot ideas and lighting placements.

We were also given a storyboard to work from which helped us significantly; The experts of lighting, sound and camera had a consultation with us, about the do’s and dont’s during the filming process which was really helpful.

It was also an honour, taking advice from industry professionals that work for the BBC! that was pretty awesome!!! Everyone was very helpful and supportive as my mum and I had to film, light and record the sound by ourselves! This was a huge task for us to complete. The filming required a lot of concentration and attention to detail, as we had to be aware of continuity, pay attention to the casting of shadows from light sources, and most importantly, making sure that the shot was in focus!

Thankfully, everyone was extremely pleased with what we had filmed and were ‘over the moon’ with our content. This piece is quite different from the other ‘Scenes for Survival’ films – the main focus of the film wasn’t solely based on the effect of the coronavirus outbreak -although there is some relation to an extent – the film is based on a play that hasn’t yet been on stage, and is a condensed version of it.

I loved the script, I felt like it was quite easy to connect with my character, as we share the same qualities, in ambition, determination and teenage strop! Hahaha…

I feel like we turned this beautiful piece of writing, with the help of the National Theatre of Scotland,into something special, that audiences can connect with.”

Jasmin Ewing – HND Television Student

“Everyone in the department was most impressed with Jasmin’s feature Happy Ark Day. The quality of her technical skills in setting up and shooting the feature are there for all to see. We were also taken by the quality of the acting performances from both her and her mum. This is a great addition to Jasmin’s production CV and we’re looking forward to seeing what she produces in her HND year at NCL.

Michael Grant – Film & Television Lecturer
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Learning Lessons from Covid-19

Preparations begin for face to face teaching beginning Monday 21st September

With a new academic term now underway in the midst of a pandemic, it is still massively important to make efforts to stop the possible spread of coronavirus.

The Film & TV team spent the summer working on timetables to ensure that their students could return safely for the new academic session.This included reducing the capacity of class sizes, capping the number of days the students would be in college and spreading each of the course groups across the working week. Within the classrooms themselves, each student has been assigned a workstation which they will use exclusively throughout the year. The staff room and techbase have been moved to ensure that the “Film & TV bubble” does indeed become a bubble. 

Other measures the department have put in place include designing a student questionnaire back in July and sending it out to all students in advance. This sought to ask various questions such as ICT requirements, the distance each student would be travelling to college, any equipment students already had at their disposal and any caring responsibilities they may have.

Students were also asked to complete a Film & TV Production Coronavirus Basic Awareness module through industry body Skillset before starting the course. Before any face-to-face teaching can begin, they have also been issued with separate guidance on how to conduct themselves whilst in college. 

“We identified as far back as April that we would be facing huge challenges if the situation had not changed by August this year.

Having been the person who took responsibility for the timetabling of our courses since merger, I predicted that the 40% estate capacity would have a huge bearing on what a “working day” would like. I began to work on versions of a timetable that struck a compromise between bringing the students into college for face-to-face teaching whilst driving the learning and teaching remotely using a combination of Zoom lectures, teams guidance and meaningful self-directed study through project work.

We thus have to adapt and hope the learners can see we are making a huge effort to make this work for them.”

-Alan Moffat, Film & Television Lecturer

Face masks at the ready. Face-to-face teaching begins on Monday 21st September. Fingers crossed it will continue…

Posted in News

HND Film Alumni Develop Lockdown Idea For Pilot TV show

Vestigial cast: Jamie Strachan, Ross Cowan, Richard Naylor, Emma Armstrong and Liam O’Gorman. Photo: James Reid

2019 HND Film & Television Alumni; James Reid and Conor Purvis have kept themselves busy over the lockdown period collaborating on a treatment for a post apocalyptic thriller set in Scotland with their fellow New College Lanarkshire graduates from the Performing Arts department, including actor Jamie Strachan.

“Vestigal” is set in various locations across Hamilton and follows four young individuals surviving strange times as their lives are turned upside down by a mysterious stranger.

James Reid writes:

“It all started with a  conversation late at night between Jamie, Conor and myself… All 3 of us started writing, combining and editing an idea until we had a pilot written then we deleted that and started again.

The 2nd draft had a much better tone,  you could feel there was something going on with these characters that left you asking a few questions.. Now it’s suddenly started to materialize, it’s kept us sharp and focused on working on a project, and it’s given people in our  group, Actors, Crew etc, something to take their mind off the world and media at the moment.”

The team are in talks with various networks to partner up and possibly broadcast the show which will be serialised, once the pilot is shot by the end of July 2020, with a view to a national television debut by the end of this year. You can read more about the project in an article in the Daily Record at this link.

Posted in Alumni | Tagged

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

Posted in News | Tagged

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

Posted in News

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 his 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.”

Posted in Student Films | Tagged ,

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.

Posted in News | Tagged