We started planning questionnaires on paper so that we would have an idea of what we were writing on Google docs, which we use for making our questionnaires. Our brief was to find out about the people who are interested in Electric December and how the night went or could be improved next year. I found this task very interesting as the questions asked would inform us on the quality of all our preparation etc. After we had all made our questionnaires Mr Gove had to edit them all into one which is the final one people will be filling in.
Before the invite session I didn’t know how to use Photoshop, but after I made the invite for Electric December i learned how. I even enjoyed it, when I never used to. What we did in our invite session for Electric December was that we used the pictures from our Alphabet City task where we went around town taking pictures of objects and building sites to make them look like an alphabet. Our goal was to take every picture of every letter of the alphabet an to use them as our background for our invites. I chose the letter D for my invite because I wanted It to stand for the word December.
Watershed set the live invite brief. This invite had ideas for us to form a suitable e-card to be sent to all of the people invited to the Electric December Launch Event. We spent most of our day designing an invite for the launch night, as we used Photoshop to design it; I personally added a picture I made on Photoshop by combining a photo from alphabet city and my linocut design, it worked well with my invite as a background with different colors. I had to add the logos of who sponsors watershed e.g. Bristol City Council. Unfortunately my design wasn’t used for the e-card, but a nice design was chosen for it and it is more suitable for the event and reflects more about it. I enjoyed designing the invite on Photoshop mostly because it helped me with my Photoshop skills, it showed me how to combine two pictures on Photoshop.
Last week the Watershed set the live invite brief. This involved getting ideas together for an e-Card that would be sent to all of the people invited to the Electric December launch night. Last week was dedicated to an analysis of existing promotional materials from a variety of sources. The majority of today’s lesson was dedicated to an invite design workshop.
The group used the key discussion points from last week’s existing material analysis to directly influence plans for their own production work. By this point learners had access to a variety of images gathered or created over the duration of the assignment brief. This image bank included: photograms, alphabet city and portrait photographs, linocut prints and digitally manipulated linocut prints. The session was very intensive and every student showcased the Photoshop skills that they have been developing since September. It is hard to believe that just a couple of months ago some of the group had never used Photoshop before.
After a busy morning at Burleigh Press the group were hoping they would be able to relax for the final session of the day. Unfortunately resting up wasn’t on the cards what with the launch night fast approaching. Hannah and Cat from the Watershed team arrived at Fairfield as we arrived back from Burleigh. The Watershed had arrived to set the live e-Card invite brief for the group. As well as being given the precise technical requirements of the e-Card Hannah and Cat went through another phase of benchmark analysis, a concept introduced to the group at the beginning of the project. Each group member engaged in some detailed analysis of existing promotional materials such as: invites, flyers, business cards and mini-brochures. The Watershed supported the group in thinking through aspects of a series of these printed materials such as layout, design, appeal and target audience.
There was a very productive group discussion in which individuals pitched some initial ideas for the invites that they might consider creating in-line with the points emerging from existing material analysis. Once Hannah and Cat and finished working through initial design ideas the group started to put their newly acquired Photoshop skills into action. The was a strict deadline set – each invite had to be Emailed over to the Watershed by midday next Thursday. A few felt a little panicked by the amount of time that they had to complete this task but this deadline also seemed to focus the group on good quality planning and production.
The Burleigh press visit was interesting as we learnt how the print production industry works. We spent half the day at Burleigh and we got a tour that explained how the business works. We have to learn how the print production industry works as in our assignment brief unit 7 says ‘Know about print production techniques and technologies.’ Because we have been looking at lino cutting and editing we needed to know how to create the finished product, the Burleigh trip taught us how to do this by showing us the four stages they use to create their work.
As part of our assignment, we have to know two printing techniques, so we went to Burleigh press to learn about offset-lithography and the processes.
I especially liked learning about the design process, where the design team works with the client to create a product that fits the brief. I liked this because it’s not a particularly manual process, you get to use creative skills, and work with people to create something that’s best for them.
Burleigh not only taught us about the process of printing, it showed us different work aspects of media, and different branches we can go into, like design and pre-production, so that we have more of an understanding of work related media, not just a classroom perspective.
This week the group were given a fantastic opportunity to visit an offset lithography printing factory in order to contextualise their knowledge this form of printing. The trip was kindly offered by Keith Blake from Burleigh Press. The BTEC Diploma has visited Burleigh Press in previous years and the Fairfield Media Studies Department felt extremely lucky to be invited back once again.
The day started with a drive over to Portishead where the factory is based, after some questionable navigation we arrived at Burleigh Press and the group were taken straight into the board room. Keith welcomed the group to the factory and gave a detailed and engaging talk on both the technical aspects of offset-litho printing and the specific materials that were produced at Burleigh Press. The group were able to make quite a few notes during this introductory session that would be used to create a research report on the visit.
The group were then taken on a guided tour of the factory that covered each stage of production from design right through to shipping. At each production stage the group engaged with a specialist within the field, being given the opportunity to ask questions and clarify any aspect of the production stage that they weren’t sure of. Somewhat surprisingly the question “how much do you get paid to do this” wasn’t asked this year, which was refreshing! Throughout the tour each group member used the camera that they had been issued to capture images and video to use in their research report.
We finished the tour by returning to the board room for a debriefing. During this final session the group were encouraged to recall what happened during each stage of production as well as applying some of the technical terms that they had been introduced to during the tour. Although the group had found themselves engaging with a huge amount of information during the tour they all did extremely well in coming up with concise answers when questioned about the process.
Another highly successful and informative visit to Burleigh Press, the department and the students that study within it really appreciate the company giving up their time to offer learners the opportunity to contextualise classroom-based learning.
My experience on planning the launch night was different and new because I have never planned something so big before. During this session I had to put my ideas across for how the rooms should be laid out for the launch night, e.g. where we wanted the tables, where photos should be, etc. For me it was really nice to use team work to get that done and to input my opinion.
I also enjoyed judging the videos; having an input of who we want to win the electric December overall. I have enjoyed the whole experience of working with the watershed, working with new people and I advise people to go and look at the Electric December website, watch all the amazing videos on there and enter if you have the talent.
We started with the planning. I personally was dealing with the food and drink. We debated about wine and other food related things, what fun! We agreed on the wine menu: we have white or red, simple. We also agree on the food, mini pizzas. We then went into the cinema at the end of the corridor and went into the jury session where we were given jury forms to fill out about what we liked and what we didn’t like about each film. My personal favourite was “Tick Tock” but I didn’t enjoy many others. The session went on for a bit with a small break / interval in the middle, overall it was slightly boring but the first bit wasn’t bad. Sadly the jury session was quite repetitive and we couldn’t really enjoy the films because we were thinking about the criteria, but I think when we see them again we will enjoy them more. When we handed the forms in we went to go and wait for a bit, go to the toilets and stuff before we went back to school and went home.
The planning session was a useful insight into the process used to plan an event. This set the basic guidelines for the Electric December launch, which proved useful later. They had an interesting way of getting us to brainstorm, and it helped to develop our event planning skills.
Judging the films was fun, seeing the different reactions to the different styles and themes, and by the end a few clear popular favourites had emerged. This was a good way to try jurying, and gave us a brief overview of the difficulty of picking out a shortlist / winning entries from a wide range of films, despite the fact we only watched 24. Over all, my favourite had to be ‘Beloved’, a brilliantly shot film with well-incorporated graphics and an unexpected twist at the end. There were other films I liked, but this one was the most witty and original in my opinion.
Today’s session was based entirely at the Watershed and involved a series of detailed planning tasks. The morning was dedicated to planning how the Watershed spaces would be used during the Electric December launch night. The group were taken of a tour of the main spaces available and given details of the various ways in which they could be set up. This tour covered legal, technical and spatial considerations that would need to be thought through as part of the launch night formal planning process.
Once the tour had been completed, and many notes had been made, the group reformed for a meeting to decide how best to move forward with the launch night planning. The group first discussed some of the best parties they had been to and whether any of the key themes that seemed to ensure a ‘good’ party could be applied to the Electric December launch night. The group then spilt into teams to focus on specific planning tasks including: food & drink selection and budgeting, meeting and greeting requirements, signage and promotional materials, technical requirements and room layouts. Each team reported back on their choices, justified their decisions and submitted a formal proposal sheet to The Watershed.
After lunch the BTEC Diploma group joined forces with students from Katharine Lady Berkeley’s School and Henbury School to form a judging panel for the Electric December film entries. Working through an intensive two-hour film screening session students from each of the three schools contributed to the judging process by using a scoring and comment system. Some clear favourites emerged although there was plenty of critical discussion too! By the end of the jury session it was becoming clear which of the films were likely to receive awards although nobody would know for sure until the scoring cards had been totalled.