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Film // Festival success for LCC staff

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Still from ’72-82′, William Raban.

Three members of LCC staff, William Raban, David Knight and Brad Butler, have recently been featured in film festivals around London, balancing their roles as academics and active practitioners.

Professor of Film William Raban had ’72-82′, his latest film, selected by 2014′s London Film Festival (LFF). ’72-82′ explores the first ten years of groundbreaking London arts organisation Acme Studios and their critical work in housing some of the most renowned artists of our time, such as Richard Deacon and Anthony Whishaw.

Despite having more than 50 films under his belt, William describes the making of ’72-82′ as a “completely new experience”, as it solely uses archival visual materials to revisit the formative years of the organisation.

In addition to screenings at the BFI and Acme Studios, the feature-length documentary will also be screened at LCC’s Inside Out Festival, where William is in conversation with acclaimed sculptor, the two-time Turner Prize-nominated Richard Wilson.

David Knight’s work as Senior Lecturer on BA (Hons) Film and Television at LCC has taken him beyond teaching, as he enjoys success as Director of Photography on ‘The Quiet Hour’, which was nominated for Best UK Feature Film at the 22nd Raindance Film Festival.

“It is hugely satisfying to bring my professional practice back to the classroom. Working at features level brings into play a whole new set of skills to disseminate through workshops at LCC,” said David.

Recently appointed LCC Research Fellow Brad Butler continues the trend with a screening of his short film, ‘The Unreliable Narrator, at this year’s LFF.

Read profiles of William Raban, David Knight and Brad Butler

Read about BA (Hons) Film and Television

Read about Brad Butler’s work at the Hayward Gallery

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MA Material Futures Announces New Bursaries

MA Material Futures

Central Saint Martins is collaborating with file sharing service WeTransfer to create two ground-breaking bursaries. Two students joining MA Material Futures in September 2015 will receive funding for the full two years of study.

For the next decade, these new bursaries – which have been initiated and funded by WeTransfer – will support two students each year in their full-time studies.

Caroline Till, MA Futures Course Leader, said: “For us this is an amazing opportunity and really important because we are trying to keep accessibility to postgraduate education open to the broadest spectrum of students.

“Fees are one of the biggest problems, so to partner with WeTransfer on this kind of scholarship is ideal for those students who wouldn’t normally be able to apply.”

Inspiring creative talents
Each of the selected students will make a short film introducing themselves and their creative process, and they will continue to document their work throughout the year. This documentation will be showcased to WeTransfer’s monthly and global user base of 65 million people.

The bursaries will be open to all applicants, with a focus on people who incorporate disruptive technology into their creative practices. Each student will also be provided with mentorship from a member of the WeTransfer team.

WeTransfer’s Chief Strategy Officer, Damian Bradfield, said: “Central Saint Martins is one of the most prestigious schools for art and fashion in the world. To be able to offer two bursaries to the MA Material Futures postgraduate course – and in turn support two inspiring creative talents from around the globe each year – is an exciting opportunity for us.”

The MA Material Futures bursaries will be open for applications early next year, when the course application process begins.

More information:
MA Material Futures

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Journalism Guest Speaker Review // BBC News and the Digital Future

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Robin Pembrooke described how BBC journalism is adapting to the digital era

As LCC’s Journalism Guest Speaker talks return for 2014-15, first-year BA (Hons) Journalism student Dylan Taylor reports on the first event in the series.

For the first of these guest lectures on Tuesday 14 October, we were joined by the BBC’s Head of Product for Online News and Weather Robin Pembrooke.

Pembrooke’s visit to LCC comes at an interesting and challenging time for the BBC. The corporation is attempting to advance its news content online, whilst also trying to strike a balance between appealing to consumers both young and old.

It was interesting to hear how the BBC was trying to appeal to the somewhat under-represented demographic of 16-24 year olds, regarding online news.

So how does the oldest and most recognisable broadcaster in the UK go about the digital transformation of its news content? The answer, according to Pembrooke, lies in a more personalised relationship between the news and the audience.

We were given an exciting sneak preview of the BBC’s brand new app, which would allow users to customise their own news content by choosing which areas they wanted their news from and which specific journalists they wanted to read content from.

With the app enabling the BBC to have an enhanced web presence, we were told that the launch of new digital programmes such as this did not come without its problems. It was interesting to find out that the average age of someone looking at the BBC’s homepage was 48.

Pembrooke informed us that most people of this age were very sceptical about any kind of change to an already successful online news platform. Any process that involved change of this nature would have to be a gradual process to keep consumers of all ages interested in the BBC’s news content.

For us aspiring journalists, it was intriguing to hear that the BBC was looking to allow its journalists to publish content on the go, without having to wait for the traditional news slots on television to broadcast the content first.

With the BBC’s tagging and curation now powering their storytelling, Pembrooke encouraged us to have a look at the BBC’s Chartbeat data-monitoring website.

This type of information wasn’t just for the “nerds” though. By monitoring what people were reading, Pembrooke told us that journalists would have a better understanding of what people were looking at regularly and therefore what people were more likely to view in the future.

As a final piece of advice, Pembrooke encouraged us to tweet and promote our own content effectively as in the case of Laura Kuenssberg.

Currently working for the BBC’s Newsnight programme, Kuenssberg is incredibly effective at promoting teaser content online, to get the public interested in what will be on the programme that night.

With many of us creating our own blogs and content throughout our studies, it was inspiring to hear how effectively promoting our own content could help us all up our profiles in a competitive journalistic environment.

Words by Dylan Taylor

Read about BA (Hons) Journalism

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BA (Hons) Journalism at LCC launches brand new magazine designed by Scott King

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Artefact’s first cover star is model and actress Lily Cole

October sees the launch of Artefact, a 52-page A3 magazine produced by students on the third year of LCC’s BA (Hons) Journalism course.

The first issue contains features on ketamine abuse, sugar daddies, the fashion muse Isabella Blow and the couchsurfing phenomenon, as well as reviews of music, films and games.

After this initial issue, the magazine will appear, free of charge, four times a year in the autumn and spring terms. Written and edited by student journalists, it replaces Arts London News, the newspaper produced by students on the course for many years.

Simon Hinde, Programme Director of Journalism and Publishing at LCC, explains:

“I felt it was time to move on from the ALN format and produce a magazine that gives students the opportunity to produce work that they are passionate about and to present that in a quality publication that they’re proud of and can show to future employers.

“LCC has an amazing heritage and culture of art and design and I want Artefact to be part of that tradition.”

As well as being distributed in UAL’s Colleges, Artefact will be available in shops, bars and cafes around London.

seen on campus

‘Seen on Campus’ profiles students’ sense of style

The magazine was designed by Scott King, UAL’s Chair of Visual Communication. Scott brought to the project his experience of working as Art Director of i-D and Creative Director of Sleazenation magazines.

Through his contacts in the worlds of art and photography, Scott persuaded the likes of Jeremy Deller, Linder Sterling and Juergen Teller to allow their work to be used to illustrate the students’ journalism.

“Scott’s worked incredibly hard on this over the last few months and I’m massively grateful to him,” said Simon Hinde. “We’ve created the basis of a great magazine and the students are already working hard on the next issue.”

Read more about BA (Hons) Journalism

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Inside the Industry: Imran Amed of the Business of Fashion in conversation with Frances Corner

Inside the Industry with Imran Amed at LCF Inside the Industry with Imran Amed at LCF Inside the Industry with Imran Amed at LCF

Discussing all things creative and commercial, Business of Fashion website founder and editor Imran Amed set LCF’s 2014 Inside the Industry series off with an insightful and savvy start this week.

Since its inception in 2007 as a blog updated from Amed’s sofa, the Business of Fashion (BoF) has become an indispensible daily resource for fashion designers, executives, entrepreneurs and of course switched-on students worldwide.

As a self-proclaimed “fashion outsider” who had spent most of his career in the corporate world of management consultancy, Amed explained he wanted to see beyond the glamour, celebrity and flash bulb realm of fashion:

“That is obviously part of the industry but behind all of that is this magic. I was trying to understand how that magic happened and to show the more serious side of fashion.”

It’s this objective approach that has encouraged critics to not only take BoF seriously as a legitimate source but also the entire fashion industry as a global influencer -

“What BoF has done is provide a new dialogue around what the fashion industry is: how it can be improved, what its merits and demerits are, why it’s interesting and why it’s a contributor to popular culture.”

For an industry often considered trivial and superficial, it was motivating to hear someone with a healthy distance still value the driving force fashion is in society, from the economy to technology. Amed touched upon the excitement over the Apple watch at last month’s fashion shows, for example.

But for all its influence, he spoke as frankly in person about the industry’s failings as BoF. Amed answered students’ questions covering topics from intellectual property (“if creativity is the lifeblood of the industry then as an industry we must strive to protect ideas”) to underpaid internships (“I hope over time there’ll be more balance over how the profits of the fashion industry are shared”) to sweatshop labour (“just think about what it takes for a company to be able to sell a bag for £5, who has been rewarded along the way?”)

Hearing his points from a business as well as cultural perspective was particularly interesting. For budding fashion entrepreneurs, perceptive advice about appealing to consumers and “pro-sumers” (professional consumers taking an active role through social media and brand awareness) in the 21st century was gold dust.

“There’s still aspiration in fashion image but there’s a lot of inspiration in brands that are growing and developing online now. Inspiring people to be interested in your brand, to take part in your brand and to have a conversation about your brand is a much more powerful way of engaging people.”

Amed also took a considered approach to the current, unsustainable speed of design turnover. Reminding us “newness is what drives conversation but predictability, stability, experience, foundation is what drives the business of fashion”. In other words, designers don’t be overwhelmed! Find your own signature Chanel 2.55 bag, Burberry trench or Furstenberg wrap dress!

With BoF’s worldwide outreach, it was interesting to hear Amed’s view of the industry on a global scale. While he believes the four major fashion capitals will remain key, we should “do away with fashion nationalism”. He encouraged us to think of the global fashion centres as “global fashion platforms” rather than rigid representatives of that country’s own fashion tradition.

It’s a good point considering so many buyers and editors were apparently underwhelmed with last season’s collections. “If we looked for creativity beyond our own borders maybe we could make things a bit more exciting and make it justifiable to spend all that money and time travelling round.” Amed’s emerging market to watch out for is Africa and advice to expanding businesses is to always remain respectful of local cultures and traditions.

Of course the ultimate question was: what advice could he give anyone wanting to enter and be successful within fashion? A novice less than a decade ago, Amed has learnt everything he knows along the way and finished with a few simple guidelines. Keep your integrity and professionalism as a business and individual, designers wanting to make a success of their brands should understand the business basics too, find your USP and most of all remain passionate. “You have to care about this industry to be successful in it.”

From someone who’s built an award-winning resource up from mere “passion project”, there are few who’d know better.

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