Students get stuck into Flatpack Film Festival and Studio_Lab on campus


Our partnership with the Flatpack Film Festival goes from strength to strength and once again students from the School of Visual Communication have immersed themselves in the diverse, creative world of this internationally renowned event.

It was a week crammed full of extra-curricular activities that added a whole new dimension to their learning experience. Students from different courses whether Film and Animation, Design for Performance, Illustration and others were directly involved in this exciting event. Students created animations, contributed to a pop up experimental studio space, developed video installations, had fun with Virtual Reality drawing using Google’s tilt brush, took part in workshops, listened to some fantastic guest speakers, presented a variety of creative and thought provoking events, and  hosted 30 students from our partner university in Hong Kong. 

Nathan Tromans, Head of the School of Visual Communication said:

Students could view a wide range of projects right on their doorstep as the the city centre campus hosted a multitude of events. Take this year’s Holorama for example, situated in Millennium Point. Using dioramas and holographic imaging, visual artist Jeff Desom recreated iconic scenes from well -loved films in perfect miniature. Third year Film and Animation students Andrea Haenze and Mikolaj Kacprazak were invidulators for the installation, presiding over it every day and being the source of information, education and guidance for visitors. They worked closely with Desom himself to produce their own documentary film, currently in process, to be shown at next year’s Holorama. The subject is a behind-the-scenes look at Holorama featuring an interview with Desom and insight into how and why it originally came about and has developed.

A huge part of the festival was the pop up experimental space, Studio_Lab, run by lecturer Gareth Barnett. Gareth explains:

Studio_Lab featured many different experiments, including a video installation of deconstructed light images, created by second year Illustration student, Caitlin Kiely. Paper illustrations were turned into GIFs and then projected back onto fabric and plastic for the final exhibition in a project that explored the transferability from physical, to digital, to physical again. Caitlin describes how beneficial the project has been to her:

Other Studio_Lab projects from Design for Performance, Film and Animation and Illustration students include cardboard video game controllers designed and constructed by Charlie Soffe, and a feature on Transhumanism (inserting technology into human bodies) by Alice Morgan.  This was also backed up by a visit and a talk from renowned Thai illustrator, Kannitta Meechabot.

Yasmin Cowen, Illustration student who took part in the Studio_Lab project spoke to us about her experience with Flatpack;

Design for Theatre, Performance and Events student Bella Jackson-Moss recommends that anybody interested in taking part in projects such as Studio_Lab to always take the plunge in order to reap the really great rewards:

Some Film and Animation students even screened their own films at the festival, a huge achievement. Mauricio Hernandez screened his own cultural documentaries based on his and his friends’ upbringing in Mexico.

With all this activity, we can’t wait for Flatpack to roll around again next year!

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