Archive for the ‘London College of Communication’ category

Did you study BA Print Management at the London College of Printing in 1976?

If so, your old classmate Steve Lee wants to get in touch to arrange a reunion…

LCP football team,1975/6 season

LCP football team,1975/6 season (Steve Lee is back row, second from left).

Here’s a photo of the 1976 London College of Printing which might help jog your memory!

If you were at LCP this year or know anyone who was and would like to get in touch for a possible reunion let us know –

Please pass this on to anyone you know who studied at London College of Printing and help us spread the word to find these lost alumni!

Meet: Alan Gubby

Alan Gubby studied BA (Hons) Digital Media Production at London College of Communication, graduating in 2008. He teaches media and film studies, but has also set up his own record label, Buried Treasure

Alan Gubby

What were you doing before UAL? What made you want to study at London College of Communication?
I was a music producer for several electronic and jazz music labels and also working as a part time music lecturer. I couldn’t progress further in my teaching career without a relevant degree. Because of the massive growth in the internet in the 2000s I decided to focus on digital media production and UAL / LCC was highly recommended, plus perfectly located in terms of industry and creativity.

Did you enjoy your time at LCC? What were your biggest challenges/achievements?
I found the academic environment inspiring and the resources at LCC were perfect, either using Apple Macs for design work or the library archives for endless research opportunities.
My biggest challenge was going through a divorce during my studies, but UAL was very understanding and supportive whilst I got my personal affairs in order. I had to work hard for my degree and got a 2:1, but my lecturers were understanding and supportive wherever they could be.

What have you been doing since? What advice would you give to UAL graduates wanting to find work in music?
After graduating in 2008 I went on to do a PGCE at Reading University and have been teaching media and film studies ever since.
I also set up the Buried Treasure label and have been releasing music by the BBC Radiophonic Workshop and other experimental electronic, folk and psychedelic sounds from the 1960’s and 1970’s.
My advice to students would be to soak up everything! Utterly absorb yourself in the university environment, go to as many lectures as possible, even ones not directly related to your course (if you are allowed). Make as many friends and contacts as possible because these people will help you throughout your future career and vice versa.

What are you working on now? And do you have any future projects in the pipeline
I’ve been writing a screenplay for a psychological thriller loosely based on the lives of Delia Derbyshire and John Baker, two hugely influential British electronic musicians. I’m putting on a musical version of the story at South Street Arts centre in Reading on November 14th. There are lots of performers involved including Pete Wiggs from Saint Etienne and Jonny Trunk. It’s pretty cosmic visually due to the occult 1960s subject matter. You can get tickets here.  I’m also about to release an album by The Dandelion Set featuring cult writer / graphic novelist Alan Moore who wrote V For Vendetta, The Watchmen and so much more.

What inspires you?
Musically I love film soundtracks that combine different disciplines and technology in unusual or inventive ways. Classical, folk, electronic, rock. It can be anything really and literally by anyone as long as there is something unique, emotional or boundary-pushing within it. In terms of the writing and research I do when compiling records I’m a bit of a revisionist. Often the official or accepted version of events is only one person’s version – writing sleeve notes allows the chance to present a different point of view and helps people make their own minds up.


Meet: Ashley Buttle

Ashley Buttle

Ashley Buttle

A huge congratulations to Ashley Buttle, who graduated from BA Photography at London College of Communication last Friday.  We met with Ashley to find out more about his time at LCC, his highly acclaimed final project; ‘This Space Contains Work’ and his plans for the future…

What made you chose to study Photography at London College of Communication?

I chose to study at London College of Communication because of a recommendation by an alum of then London College of Printing (now LCC), and because of its really good reputation.

When studying AVCE Art and Design, which was mixed media, I was always drawn to photography. So I studied FdA Photography at the University of Gloucester and then worked for a while. I felt like I wanted to go back and finish my studies, so I joined LCC in the second year.

Did you enjoy the course?

I loved the degree; I took every opportunity I could, including doing a semester in Bielefeld, Germany as part of ERASMUS.  This was really good experience that helped develop my way of working.

I especially enjoyed contextual studies, which was run by Paul Tebbs, who is a theoretical tutor.  He and the module really challenged my perceptions, and changed the way I thought about photography. We were lucky to have guest lecturers such as Craig Smith and Dallas Seitz, which helped give different opinions and perspectives.

What would you say the benefits of studying in London, and in particular LCC?

Studying at LCC has great proximity to galleries – Whitechapel gallery, TATE and Somerset House to name a few… It was also amazing to make use of all the facilities. Every part of my final project was created at the workshops in Elephant & Castle, including book arts, print finishing and reprographics. The graphic design of my book was also done by a LCC MA Graphic Design graduate.

LCC also houses the Photography Archive Research Centre (PARC), run by the well-respected academic, Val Williams who was also available for crits.  I was extremely lucky that Val agree to write the introduction to my book.

I also enjoyed the second year collaboration unit with the BA Sound Arts and Design students. It was in partnership with the National Gallery – one of the lead curators there gave us a brief where we had to respond to the works from the gallery – this was a great chance to work in a different manner.

Tell us about your final project This Space Contains Work…

This Space Contains Work

This Space Contains Work

As a bit of a troublemaker, I was keen to create a project that challenged the notions of the institution. The final major project consisted of a book (edition of 25), installation in two locations, and performance. It responded to photography in many ways without strictly adhering to the traditional ‘photo-essay’ or ‘photo-series’ format. As a result I created bodies of work whose purpose was only to be situated in the book, or a vitrine, and spoken about in the past tense. The work is described or illustrated, but never both at the same time. After completion of the book, copies were donated to libraries and institutions, so that now if you search me on the Tate library, you will find a copy of the book, or if you visit the Whitechapel Gallery Archives it is hidden on the shelves. Two copies were donated into the LCC library, and the Dewey reference code used to catalogue the book was used as the basis for the installation.

During the summer show a plinth holding a glowing plaque, with “709.2 BUT” laser-etched into the surface lay in a custom-built 3×3 meter white space, cordoned off with black rope. By following this clue into the library, you walked past a glass display cabinet, positioned beside other temporary displays of the LCC archive, offering some objects that are discussed in the book. Under shelf-mark 709.2 you could find the book, whose text explores memory, archive, reference, the visual, parody and pastiche. The project’s purpose was to respond to its surroundings, that of the educational frame, and the creation of work within a specified context. The 3x3m installation was positioned on the periphery of the main exhibition, between the main gallery, and the library. The introduction to the book was written by Val Williams, who discusses a project that is mentioned only in the introduction, and neither explained nor illustrated elsewhere, to further play with what can and cannot be explained, understood, or known.

What are your plans after graduation?

I feel like I have really developed from two years ago, the degree has been a steep learning curve.  After graduation I want to continue to work in photography and the arts, but not strictly taking pictures, more responding to images. I am also considering to further my studies.

New Course Discourse // BA (Hons) Information and Interface Design


Digital installation.

In our latest New Course Discourse feature, we chat to Programme Director Ben Stopher to find out more about the new BA (Hons) Information and Interface Design course.

So Ben, can you explain a little bit about the course and its aims?

Well this new course is highly digital and its design lead, so really the core of the course is about putting information design and interface design in this more digital context. There are three key specialisms that make up the course, UX and UI, data visualisation and graphic and information design.

If you’ve ever want to make websites, or build apps and data-visualisations, or even just something screen based and visual then this is the course for you.


Gephi network graph, Ben Stopher, 2015.

What can students expect from the course in terms of structure?

So in the first year you do graphic design, typography and information visualisation. You also do graphic design animation coding for the web, which is a really valuable skill to develop.

In year two you start to work in the user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) design studio, then you do interactive data visualisation and a major industry project. In both of these units we visit studios and also get live briefs from industry.

Why is this course unique?

It’s highly industry aligned and highly digital. We’ve offered this very specific area because there is definitely a gap. No one else explicitly teaches UX and UI design and no one else explicitly teaches interactive based visualisation so those three things are really unique to this course.


Gesture capture data visualisation, Ben Stopher, 2015.

In terms of careers and futures, where could this course lead its students?

You can be a UX designer, you can be a UI designer, basically anyone who wants to work with how things look on screen; phone apps, websites, any kind of digital interactive content. There’s tons and tons of work for people with those sorts of skills.

One of the main selling points of this course is that it is highly industry aligned, and designers that have those kind of digital skills – that can work with data – are going to be highly sought after.

The industry really struggles to find designers with that digital skill set – and so that’s partly why we developed this course.


Introduction to Infographics Workshop, 2015.

So what skills or qualifications are you going to be looking for in students?

We take students from foundation but we would also consider students straight from A level, if they know that they want to do digital design then we will look at their portfolios. Students will have similar qualities to applicants for Graphic Media Design, but also an awareness of what UX and UI is.

If you are an A level student who knows what those things are then you are highly likely to be a person that would be relevant for us to look at. I don’t expect schools to have a clue about the nuance of this course, but it’s about if the applicant has enough presence of mind to know what these things are, and thinks they might want to do them, then I’ll look at anything.

inter 2

LCC student with digital work.

Any last words?

It’s a super future relevant digital course. Graduates are going to be highly sort after because it isn’t a massive course, there are only 25 places. Students will get a brand new studio and a whole new team of tutors.

Find out more about BA (Hons) Information and Interface Design.

The post New Course Discourse // BA (Hons) Information and Interface Design appeared first on London College of Communication Blog.

From LCC to Hollywood, alumnus Henry Hobson talks to us about his work on the Oscars, his feature film and more

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Oscars graphics 2015, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Henry Hobson.

Since graduating from the BA (Hons) Graphic and Media Design course at LCC, Henry Hobson has gone on to make it big in showbusiness. From leading the graphic designs for the Oscars, to directing his own feature film ‘Maggie’ starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Henry has worked his way to the top.

In the week that the first trailer for his Tribeca Film Festival-nominated movie is released, we caught up with him to find out a little more about his journey from LCC to Hollywood.

Can you tell us a little bit about your time at LCC. What were the most important lessons you learnt here?

I studied at LCC, or LCP as I knew it, for my Foundation course and BA. From the outset the focus on design was what drew me in, even on Foundation my tutors helped me explore the possibilities of design, and this was just before computers were becoming truly effective design tools.

Handmade and crafted techniques that I learnt, testing out colour and thinking critically meant that when I got to the BA I already had a shorthand in place.

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Oscars graphics 2015, The Imitation Game, Henry Hobson.

During term time I would do internships – I worked in my first year with Why Not Associates. I found the first couple of weeks a bit dull, but doing small tasks and little pieces of work helped me understand how valuable the creative experience I was getting at LCC was.

I learnt to push as hard as possible with projects, answering the briefs how I wanted to answer them. I learnt there is no incorrect answer if you have navigated to it from the brief. I still stick to that open way of thinking now, when a brief comes in.


The making of the Oscars graphics 2015, Interstellar, Henry Hobson.

Can you quickly talk us through your journey from graduation to where you are now in your career? Were there any key opportunities that you feel particularly grateful for? Formative experiences?

By the time I left LCC I had done so many internships that I was able to get a job at Why Not Associates almost straight away. I worked for them for years, before getting a place at the Royal College of Art. Whilst studying at a postgraduate level, I still found that my experiences at LCC, and the lessons I learnt there were fundamental in developing my ability to think creatively, even though they were hard to get my head around at the time.

What made you move to America, and is there a difference in the culture of design in the UK and the US?

The move to America came a little bit out of the blue, after my work was spotted. I found the design culture intensely different. Even my first week in the States when I was asked to pitch and I was presenting concepts and theories, the Americans wanted finished designs in the pitch not theories. The technical skill level is insane here.

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Oscars graphics 2015, Boyhood, Henry Hobson.

How did you get into films, and can you explain a little about what led you to your feature film, ‘Maggie’?

I chose LCC because of the late Ian Noble, who sat me down when I went to a D&AD event in Holborn. I wanted to study film and Ian convinced me that design was a secret backdoor into cinema, telling me that Hitchcock, Ridley Scott, Kirostami and others all started as designers, and that the British film industry is so closed off it would be so difficult.


The making of the Oscars graphics 2015, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Henry Hobson.

So my long game always involved film, using moving image and design as a creative outlet to try and tell stories. Why Not Associates had their foot in all sorts of doors and shortly before arriving I was able to be mentored by David Ellis in directing, going to shoots and being behind the camera.

I learnt the technical terms and ways of working and this allowed me the confidence when I moved to the states to tell bigger stories. It was a few of those bigger stories that led me to Maggie.

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Oscars graphics 2015, Birdman, Henry Hobson.

With your feet so firmly in both the graphic design industry and the film industry, where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time, how will you maintain that balance, or do you want to move more definitely into one area?

I love being in both areas! Creatively design allows for a more spontaneous outlet and film is the slow fix, you have to have immense stamina to build and work on films, because they take so long to make!

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Oscars graphics 2015, Maleficent, Henry Hobson.

What advice would you give someone graduating from a graphics course this summer?

I left LCC and my website was filled with conceptual thinking and graphic projects, which was an exciting position to be in. However, I soon realised that to get where I wanted to be I needed to tailor my portfolio into a language that design studios could see as applicable; to show proficiency in the core software and subtlety within my designs. My advice would be to keep this exciting conceptual stuff on your websites, but think about sectioning them off to show the different ways you can work.

Find out more about BA (Hons) Graphic and Media Design.

Read’s fascinating interview with Henry about his graphic designs for the Oscars.

Read’s interview with behind the scenes pictures of the Oscars graphic design process.

The post From LCC to Hollywood, alumnus Henry Hobson talks to us about his work on the Oscars, his feature film and more appeared first on London College of Communication Blog.

Waste-Off and LCC’s Museum of Reinvention


The Museum of Reinvention, Waste-Off, LCC, 2015.

This week marks the conclusion of the cross-University Waste-Off Challenge, a  project to give waste new value and help promote material reuse and sharing. As part of this the Museum of Reinvention is being exhibited at LCC.

Waste-Off was launched at the end of last year by the UAL research hub Conscientious Communicators with support from Stephen Reid, Deputy Vice Chancellor of UAL, who saw the project as an opportunity to “harness the passion to drive forward change”.


The Museum of Reinvention, Waste-Off, LCC, 2015.

Teams comprised of students, academic and technical staff came together to collect material waste and via studio working and workshops facilitated by design-maker and UAL alumnus Jan Hendzel, created collaborative inventions.


The Museum of Reinvention, Waste-Off, LCC, 2015.

The result was the generation of diverse and inventive projects from across London College of Communication, Central St Martins, Camberwell and London College of Fashion.

LCC students, staff and alumni created  two cabinets of reclaimed, up-cycled and reinvented objects – to act as a permanent showcase of inspirational examples, teaching tools and unexpected ‘creative curiosities.’ The aim was to demonstrate that salvaged items can have greater value, character and potential than virgin materials.


The Museum of Reinvention, Waste-Off, LCC, 2015.


The Museum of Reinvention, Waste-Off, LCC, 2015.

Sarah Temple and Tara Hanrahan, who conceived and managed the project, explain: “We wanted people to explore the creative potential of the discarded! To show by example what is possible and through this activity help establish practical processes for staff and students to share resources and avoid contributing to landfill.”

Find out more about Conscientious Communicators here.


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BA (Hons) Advertising student premieres romantic drama Handle with Care at Cineworld


Handle with Care (2015) in production.

Third-year LCC student Tope Phillips has just completed his second feature Handle with Care, a British romantic drama exploring the highs and lows of love and friendship within a circle of five twenty-somethings living in London’s evolving suburbia.

The film touches on issues faced in contemporary relationships including interracial dating, serial daters, the challenges of commitment and many others, premiering recently at Cineworld Canary Wharf.

Watch the trailer //

We caught up with Tope to find out more about his work.

How did you first get into filmmaking?

I have always had an interest in films and writing, however I first got into filmmaking in my first year of university. I discovered I had a flair for filmmaking after I worked on a couple of projects.

One of my old friends Josh Bridge then contacted me, after seeing some of my work, about teaming up and creating films together at the end of 2012. We got together with the same vision and we have created two films together [the first was Squeeze, which premiered at Cineworld Chelsea].

What do you most enjoy about the process as a whole?

I enjoy every part of filmmaking, from the writing and developing of the storyline and scripts, to the audition, meeting and getting to know the actors during the rehearsals, and selecting locations for filming.

I also really enjoy the production and all the technical aspects of filming such as lighting, selecting the lenses and using different equipment on set such as the rigs and mini-cranes, and the post-production aspects such as editing, selecting the film soundtrack, designing the posters and then promoting the film.

Seeing the whole plan come together was very rewarding, however I would say my favourite part of the process was the production. This was the most rigorous, however also the most rewarding.


What has so far been the biggest challenge?

The biggest challenge was during the production of the film, we had really long days with some days starting shooting at 9am till 3-4am and resuming filming the next day at 9am.

We also had really big scenes like a scene at a comedy club where we had over 50 extras, so we had to be really organised in order for things to run smoothly.

Handle with Care is about dating in London – obviously there are a lot of films exploring this area, so what did you particularly want to address in your own film?

We made sure this film wasn’t like the typical romantic comedy/drama with the typical fairytale ending.

We made sure the characters were real and relatable and touched on many issues in young people’s relationships today such as interracial dating when parents and other parties may not approve, relationships where one party is eager to get married whilst the other isn’t, serial dating and the impacts it has, and lots more.

We also focused it on a group of friends so we could tell multiple stories at the same time.


Behind-the-scenes moments during shooting.

You’re currently studying BA (Hons) Advertising – how do you think this has helped your filmmaking?

Studying advertising gave me a can-do attitude, it definitely helped me in seeing things from different point of views.

Advertising involves a lot of planning and developing ideas which is essential in filmmaking. My lecturers helped to keep me motivated and encouraged me to pursue filmmaking.

What’s next for you?

Hopefully I can carry on making films on a bigger, better scale in the future. I also really like advertising so I might work in the advertising industry for some time.


Third-year BA (Hons) Advertising student and filmmaker Tope Phillips

Visit the Handle with Care website

Read more about BA (Hons) Advertising

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Artefact // Behind the Scenes

artefact team in newsroom

The Artefact team at work in the newsroom. Image © SUARTS

Third-year BA (Hons) Journalism student Paula Wik reflects on her experience as Managing Editor on Artefact magazine.

Behind the scenes, blood, sweat and tears are shed as we try to pull it all together. We are in the newsroom Monday to Wednesday 10am-5pm and the process is similar to that of a ‘real’ publication.

That’s because we are a real publication. Over the two terms we have worked on Artefact, over 600 articles have been published, many over 1,000 words.

We have secured interviews with big shots such as news anchor Jon Snow, Green Party leader Natalie Bennett and celebrated photographer and UAL alumnus Rankin, as well as many less famous individuals who we find inspiring and/or interesting.

We’ve done original research and created some pretty darn exciting pieces – our piece on whaling in the Faroe Islands has drawn over 3,600 unique viewers alone!

faroe islands piece

Artefact recently investigated whaling in the Faroe Islands.

Each article is painstakingly processed through the workflow from its beginnings as a ‘pitch’ (a suggestion of a story to be written – either from writers or editors), to ‘in progress’ (when writers write the story), to ‘draft submitted’ (when editors edit the piece), to ‘pending subbing’ (when sub-editors correct flow, spelling and grammar), to ‘editor’s check’ (when senior editors give the piece a once over).

Finally, the article reaches the tutors who approve the piece before publishing.

Along the way it can be sent back and forth between the writer and the editors many times for polishing and improvements – maybe another quote is needed for balance, maybe there’s a legal issue, maybe the whole piece doesn’t make sense.

Our turnaround for our print publication is very time-limited. We’re only in the newsroom three days a week and one printed edition has to be created in four weeks – from pitch to being sent off to the printer.

liberty cover

The magazine explored the idea of freedom in the Liberty issue.

Everything has to be considered – content (of course), layout, design. Will this appeal to our readers? Will our front cover make our readers want to pick it up? The balance of the articles: harder stories mixed with softer; images versus illustrations.

Does the content mirror our issue theme – this year we’ve looked at Metamorphosis, Greed, Liberty and Therapy. Does the content relate to the theme in too much of an obvious, literal or ‘samey’ way?

We work with a designer who guides us with the layout of the printed editions. We often clash, but always try to reach a compromise.

green issue cover

The Natural Capital issue was released to coincide with LCC Green Week 2015.

As the managing editor for the last two issues I have been massively privileged. Being in the middle of it all means that I have been able, and required, to learn at least a little of what all the different roles demand.

There have been many flaws in our system; some roles are only needed for a few hours per day, while my job has turned into a full-time, seven days a week position.

A big difference between Artefact and a publication out in the real world is that we are students and have not been employed – instead, we’re paying to produce the content.

We all bring varying levels of dedication, talent and experience, which has been the biggest challenge of the module. For those students who have taken ownership of Artefact, it’s enriched our experience of BA (Hons) Journalism.

liberty piece

Spread from the Liberty issue of Artefact.

I know there will be changes made for the future Artefact team, by which time we will hopefully be employed after having wowed the industry folks out there with our incredibly impressive publication.

Our baby, created from nothing, has grown up to be the talk of the town. Maybe not quite, but we’ve had amazing feedback.

I am grateful for this module and being able to leave three years of university with four brilliant editions of Artefact in my hand – knowing that the hard work we have poured into it has, to at least an extent, made up for the masses of money we have poured into our education. And did I learn…

Visit the Artefact website

Read more about BA (Hons) Journalism

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Review // PR Guest Lecture: Anaïs Hayes, Google UK

Google logo for blog

Second-year BA (Hons) Public Relations student Mary Davoudi reports on LCC’s recent PR Guest Lecture by Google UK’s Head of Brand Development, Anaïs Hayes.

Anaïs’s engaging speech shared her extensive insights from Google on how technology is changing marketing communications and reorganising brands and businesses.

She reminded us that the rise of technology today is the slowest it has ever been, and it is only going to speed up, as the 2.8 billion people who are online now are expected to at least triple in the next five or six years.

She compared it to Moore’s Law and stated that every single year the number of connections we can fit into a device will double. Not only will it get faster but also smaller and a lot cheaper.

She shared the amazing fact that mobile data in 2014 was 12 times the size of the entire internet in 2000. She reminded us that access to connections is also getting much more global and there are 10 billion devices worldwide; more people have access to a mobile device than a toothbrush!

Anaïs introduced the concept of instant gratification: how as consumers we will wait only two seconds for a webpage to load. Linked to this, it is not only the device or the message that matters, but the speed of the message. If, in those two seconds, the page is not loading, we immediately go to a competitor’s website.

As a result consumer behaviour can be understood by a completely different www acronym. It is not world wide web anymore, it is ‘what I want, where I want, when I want it’ – and if I can’t have that I will go somewhere else.

Baking speed into every concept you present to a client is crucial, Anaïs reminded us. According to her, businesses that support this are the businesses that succeed. Success is now based around ease, fluency and service.

Anaïs also discussed YouTube being not just a digital platform but the largest focus group in the world, where people will comment, like and view things and let your brand know what they like in real-time. As a public relations practitioner or a brand marketer, you can react to these changes immediately.

She highlighted an example of car brand Honda, who launched two different versions of their advert to see which one attracted more people. The one that got fewer views was taken down and all ad spend focused on the most successful one.

During her speech, Anaïs showed us a short video of a child playing with an iPad. In the next shot the child is seen playing with a magazine which she thinks is a touch screen iPad. Instead of turning the pages, she tries to touch them with her fingers.

The video demonstrated that we shouldn’t just be thinking about the current generation but focusing our expectations on future generations who have entirely different ways of thinking and behaving. As public relations practitioners we have to be ahead of the curve to advise our clients on these changes.

Anaïs also introduced another important concept for the future of communications and marketing: permission-based media.

It used to be that if brands showed you something frequently enough, eventually as a consumer you would buy it. Now, when an ad annoys you, you can avoid it.

As a result communications need to become permission-based. People don’t buy from brands. People buy from people. Brands need to work hard to understand how to do this to ‘hear’ consumer’s permission.

Anaïs finished her lecture by reminding us that in the 1920s, messages were presented on cinema screens metres away from us; in the 1960s to 1980s the message was in our living room via television. Then on our laptops and tablets.

Then we start becoming more personally involved and today we have wearable technology such as Google Glass. Is this the future of communications and marketing?

Studies show that the closer information is to cerebral cortex the more effectively it is processed, while it is predicted that in 2020 there will be 250 million wearable devices. What will this do to the discipline?

Words by Mary Davoudi

Read more about BA (Hons) Public Relations

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Two LCC alumni premiere their latest film ‘Firewalker’ based on the music of funk band Jungle Fire


Firewalker, Alejo Restrepo and Roger Gonzalez, 2014.

The 70s are back in this visual tribute to Afro-Latin Funk band Jungle Fire, created by break-through filmmakers and LCC BA (Hons) Design for Interaction and Moving Image alumni Alejo Restrepo and Roger Gonzalez. The pair, who funded the film with a successful Kickstarter campaign, released their film this week.

Their journey began two years ago whilst Alejo and Roger were studying together at LCC. On a friend’s recommendation they went out to watch a show by Jungle Fire. The band, a much talked about Afro Latin Funk band hailing from Los Angeles, were in the middle of a tour made possible by support given by Tony Morrison, DJ Lubi, Craig Charles of BBC6, DJ Snowboy and the UK Arts Council.


Still from Firewalker, Alejo Restrepo and Roger Gonzalez, 2014.

Jungle Fire had been packing venues and generating a very healthy buzz around their performances. Alejo explains, “The show was bananas, and we felt so inspired by the energy we felt at that packed venue, that we approached the band about creating something together.”

After going back and forth for about six months, Alejo and Roger came up with a concept for a short film based on the band’s track ‘Firewalker’. The film, with a storyline loosely based around how Jungle Fire formed, is a creative project produced in conjunction with Walter Pictures and features some of the LA area’s most promising young actors and dancers.


Still from Firewalker, Alejo Restrepo and Roger Gonzalez, 2014.

Alejo explains, “The goal was to create a piece that could be shown in film festivals but also stands on its own as a music video, like Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’. This project was a complete labour of love. Roger and I even quit our jobs in London to come to LA and make this happen!”

Using music from the band’s new record ‘Tropicoso’ as inspiration, the film takes viewers back to the decade of funk and flares, offering a new creative alternative to the music video format we have come so accustomed to.


Still from Firewalker, Alejo Restrepo and Roger Gonzalez, 2014.

The 9 minute short, which was shot on location in LA, provides a visual representation of the whole album. With its laid back, funky style, the film aims to highlight the sense of euphoria that this Afro-Latin Funk music induces.

Find out more about BA (Hons) Interaction Design Arts (previously BA (Hons) Design for Interaction and Moving Image)

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