Media students learn from the professionals

Over February half term MEDIA31 arranged two day-long workshops at Canterbury College as part of a widening participation initiative. MEDIA31 have brought skilled professionals onto the College campus in order for students 13 years plus to develop and improve their skills within the Arts for free.

MEDIA31 is a branch enterprise which has arisen from a collaboration with ART31 — a group which began at the Gulbenkian that aims to create more artistic events and opportunities for young people — and the Media and Communication department at Canterbury College.

Eleanor Cocks, Head of Creative Learning at the Gulbenkian, said: “We are excited to deliver sessions at Canterbury College because we’re really keen to recruit an exciting and diverse mix of young people for our new MEDIA31 programme.”

Monday’s workshop taught film-making skills for social media. Chris Duncan from Spark Film Production and Ben Wooldridge from Glitter Pot Social & PR headed up the workshop. Participants were arranged into groups, given a quick masterclass in how to work the film equipment provided and allowed time to create their own project, exemplifying the knowledge that they had learnt earlier that morning from the media experts.

At the end of the workshop, each group presented their work and explained how it had developed from the skills they had learnt over the course of the day. This workshop was a great opportunity for young people to learn exactly how to boost footfall and engagement for videos posted on social media, providing skills for future careers.

Thomas Hoffman, Media and Communication Level 3 student at Canterbury College, said: “Today went really well. I found out how to produce a video for social media and this has made me more interested in film. I would like to get involved in the film industry in the future and I think this has been a helpful step towards that.”

Chris Duncan from Spark Film Production, said: “We are reaching students who didn’t know about MEDIA31 before and teaching skills that are applicable to the film industry. As we already work in the industry, we are able to pass over relevant information that will help build towards future job roles.”

On Thursday a workshop ran on arts journalism. The day was steered by Douglas Greenwood who is a contributing editor for i-D magazine and founder of Frowning magazine, and Louisa Britton a broadcaster at KMTV. During this workshop participants were taught how to pitch articles to publications, how to find their writing voice and how to prevent writers block amongst other proactive tips for going freelance in journalism. Young people created their own pitches and articles following this advice, which they will be able to use for their own portfolios.

Douglas Greenwood, said: “It was great to learn about MEDIA31, and to speak to a group of young people who are engaged with the arts world! There is plenty of promise here.”

Katie Day, Level 3 Print and Journalism student, said: “It was really interesting to learn about pitching which is a part of journalism that I would not otherwise have learnt about.”  

Following these two workshops, MEDIA31 will be running a free five-week course of skills training, every Thursday from 22nd February to 22nd March — the first week will be held at the Gulbenkian, 6-8pm. These workshops will impart knowledge on design and digital communications including video creation, blog writing and designing marketing materials, which will create valuable connections between young people and industry professionals. For more information email, and to find out more about the courses at Canterbury College that have helped to build towards this initiative click here