Young people attend a VFX Masterclass to highlight STEM in film

12 Dec 2014

3 mins
Workshop in green screen for Opening Minds Transforming Lives
Workshop in green screen for Opening Minds Transforming Lives

We recently hosted a VFX masterclass for young people with a panel of film and gaming VFX professionals on hand as part of our Opening Minds, Transforming Lives project, funded by with Big Lottery Fund.

Children and young people from five schools in the Greater Manchester area were invited to take part, and were treated to a whole day of activities revolving around the use of Science, Technology,Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) in film, with experts including Ed Hall, VFX editor on Skyfall, and experienced digital sculptor Glen Southern.

Split into groups, pupils participated in three workshops: a green screen activity to illustrate the practise of chroma keying; a digital sculpt session where pupils designed 2D models and worked on graphic tablets, before expert Glen chose one of the 2D designs to paint and render as 3D using industry standard technology; and a VFX careers workshop to illustrate progression routes into the industry using STEM subjects.

My pupils have been really inspired and I think we have a few budding film industry workers now. They've been able to see parts of the industry they didn't see themselves in before and now they've become aware of them and different routes into the industry. It's definitely opened their eyes.

STEM Teacher from Parrs Wood High School, Manchester

Through these hands-on workshops, young people were given increased awareness of the relevance of STEM within the film industry, as well as advice, information and guidance regarding careers in the film industry. STEM ambassadors were on hand to highlight the potential importance of STEM subjects in any given career path, and pupils were inspired to consider pursuing these paths in their further education, with an eye towards filmmaking.

"It was really interesting; better then I expected. I hadn't thought about working the film industry before today but now I'll consider it", enthused one student from Parrs Wood High School in Manchester.

Opening Minds, Transforming Lives is funded by the Big Lottery Fund, and supported by local arts and education organisations including Manchester Museum, Z-arts andĀ Cornerhouse Cinema.

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