Archive for the ‘London College of Communication’ category

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.

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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.

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

Read Artofthetitle.com’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

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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”.

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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.

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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.

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

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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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