Ladders: Film/TV – Week 1

Monday marked the start of the Ladders programme, an eight-week course designed to give 18-24 year olds an insight into the creative industry of their choice, gaining them new skills and making them more employable along the way. As the creative industry sector has been one of the largest growing industries in recent years, the programme will certainly be beneficial. Within the programme, there are three separate focuses – Film and TV; Software Development; and Music, all of which are mentored by experienced individuals from within the industry.

As a Media student currently at university, I was interested in following the Film and TV course, something I am fascinated by but have little experience with, so hopefully I will be learning alongside the students throughout the duration of the course.

Day One:

The first step was the introduction to the programme. Jennifer Barrett, the Founder and Managing Director of This Is Creative Enterprise, outlined what the course would entail, the intentions of it and what the students can get out of it, whilst Louise Henry from Generator explained how the company had helped to set up this scheme. Students were also informed of a welfare service they could access to ensure they are provided with the necessary support for the duration of the course. After this, we separated into our three groups and began the first session.

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Leading the Film and TV course is Chloe Rodham, a university associate lecturer and animation specialist. Giving us an insight into the projects and shows she has worked on, such as The Clangers, it is clear she has a lot of expertise and knowledge to pass on to the students. As Chloe pointed out, the course is designed to educate the students but also has the ability to be taken in the direction that the students want, so it is more relevant and beneficial to what they are currently doing in regards to Film and TV.

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Rather than introducing ourselves to the group, we familiarised ourselves in small groups and then had to present facts about another person, which enabled us to learn more about each other. With people from sixth form to university graduates, the diversity of the group highlights how continually learning new skills is important in a creative industry like Film and TV.

We were shown a video entitled Film is Great Britain, which showcased various clips from live action and animated films that were at least partly made in Britain, bringing attention to the high profile work created in this country. We were also introduced to some key terms relating to animation – who knew an inbetweener was more than just a TV show and there are actual jobs specifically for rearranging greenery on screen?

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Onto the activity of the day – to create a treatment (an approach you would take to a set brief) for either Maltesers or Lloyd’s Bank, ensuring the message, theme and platform were all considered. The treatment had to include a style example, a storyboard, a guide-script, a mood board and a show reel. The first step was to research the chosen brand and their existing work to ensure the correct message is conveyed and it is in keeping with other projects. After researching and brainstorming, everyone got down to preparing their storyboards with just six frames to showcase the ideas of their 15-second advert. It was amazing to hear about the ideas the students came up with as soon as they had looked into previous advertisements released by the companies. By the end of the session, everyone’s storyboards were well under way and were to be completed and refined by the next meeting. Just by observing this workshop, I was already able to gain a lot of insight into the process of responding to a brief and am convinced the students participating will have learnt even more.

Day Two:

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After the success of the first session, I was excited to see what the emphasis of this day would be. The focus of this session was to play around with Premiere Pro (an entertainment software). As someone who has never used the programme before, it was useful to talk to the students and see what they were doing with it.

The first task was to use the software to create an introduction between 30 seconds and two minutes for a documentary looking at the impact of the Internet. Using the transcript and clips provided, the students were free to take the piece in a direction of their choice, giving them free creative reign. Everyone took his or her own approach to the introduction, which was encouraging to see.

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After the first session, everyone was encouraged to tidy up and complete their storyboard so being able to see the progress people had made in those couple of days was amazing – the storyboards looked extremely professional and put together. The storyboards were scanned in to the computers to be used in Premiere Pro software, so it was even better to see the storyboards on screen and how one panel could be transitioned into another.

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After the initial week of the programme, it has already proved to be a great learning experience. I’m sure there will be plenty more skills to acquire over the remainder of the programme and the prospect of seeing the progress the students make and how they can tailor the course to fit their existing projects or goals is very exciting. Hopefully you will follow these regular updates and maybe learn a thing or two along the way as well!

By Olivia Carr (TICE Blogger)