Category Archives: Social Media

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The Funfair [Home Mcr] – Theatre Review by Dom Corry

Come one, Come All to this tragic Affair…is an introduction which seems fittingly implicit of the outcome in the play I have just seen;

The Funfair” is an immaculate modernisation (adapted by the genius that is Simon Stevens) of the 1932 premier “Kashimir und Karoline”. The thematic addition of the gristly glamour of fairground; with its grease, dirt and candy floss is alluring from the off in its undertow and gives the overall story an immersive new dimension and a juxtaposing poignancy.

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Kash (excellently executed in tired , masculine self-affliction by Ben Batt) and Karoline’s (Katie Moore who mastered the art of depicting decline) love is doomed from the opening scenes , corrupt and sullied by personal insecurities, coaxed and squeezed out by a wolfish world, maimed at the jaws of social, economic and political turmoil (rings a bell!).

The tragedy is set in place as Kash seeks refuge under the wings of his best friend and grubby, footloose, misogynistic Frankie Marr (played by Michael Ryan in an absolute 5 star, stand out, “Jesus he’s good “ portrayal), whilst Karoline is guided into unassuming danger by the odd, jittery Chase (endearingly played by Rhodri Meilir) and his partner, the undermined Esther (Victoria Gee).

Christopher Wright as the nauseating Southerner Mr David Spear and Ian Bartholomew as Mr Billy Smoke are the serpents in the grass, the embodiment of the world’s nastiness; the performances are again pretty much perfect and spellbinding.

The stage set-up and music are also perfect in this play, with a band playing in what seemed to be a recording both above and below the stage in each musical interlude to add a sinister and unnerving tone to the play’s foundation – a great effect.

The soundtrack itself also adds a distinct atmosphere to the play, mainly focusing on 50’s/60’s rock n roll songs – a dreamboats and petticoats nightmare emerges from the soothing melodies to further immerse me (the audience) into the plot, the effect was perfect.

The play is heart-breaking, the acting was acutely on point, the visuals hypnotic and now I want to go to The Funfair.
Bravo!”

SharpFutures [FRAMED]

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As a means of curating and displaying the work produced by our recently graduated placements, we produced a brand-new website with Pixel Kicks of The Sharp Project:

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We held an  event at The Sharp Project, where; the website was launched, films were premiered and the placements received their graduation awards.

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If you’d like to keep up-to-date with SharpFutures [FRAMED] and our online video content, subscribe on YouTube and check-out our new website.

Check out our ‘Rossendale Documentary Short’:

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NORTH: The Great Debate – Design Mcr Festival 2014

The week before last Manchester held the Design Mcr Festival: The Science of Imagination. Which is: “10 days of events celebrating creativity, collaboration and inclusivity in the worlds of art, design, illustration, animation and photography

Screen Shot 2014-11-10 at 13.17.54There were events including: exhibitions, film screenings, workshops, debates and more. Adapt Studios hosted a Graphic Design workshop at The Sharp Project called DesignDojo for young people during half-term which went down very well. Andy (pictured) delivered interesting insights into the design process; how logos and brands are conceived with imagination, creativity and trial and error. The attendees were tasked with creating identities from basic drawing tools, scissors and glue.

SharpFutures also helped to run NORTH: The Great Debate at TheIMG_1376 Manchester School of Art , myself and 4 members of our placement scheme were tasked with meet and greet, distributing name badges to the invited guests and checking tickets of visitors.

Many guests were high-profile people within the industry, the event having been organised and run by Malcolm Garrett and Kasper de Graaf of IMAGES&Cothe panel consisted of Sir Richard Leese [Leader of Manchester City Council], Lou Cordwell [CEO magneticNORTH], Caroline Norbury [CEO of Creative England] & Professor David Crow [Dean of The Manchester School of Art] who led a balanced argument from different positions and viewpoints within the sector.

During the event I was in charge of the roving microphone as the event was a general Question & Answer format between the audience and panel; whilst Dan, Lucy, Nick & Callum were collecting the names and positions of the speakers in the audience for use in title cards for the film which will be made of the debate. I will post a link of the video when it has been released, which should give a good overview of the debate.

There were some interesting points made during the evening, where even the definition of ‘The North’ became a contentious issue. But hopefully it will be the beginning of developing relations between the northern cities and creating a dynamic northern corridor for business and especially creative digital.

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Placement Workshops – Danny Moore & Dan Walsh

At SharpFutures we’ve recently recruited 8 placements for a 12 week course, which consists of workshops, masterclasses, content creation, real-life creative briefs and become part of the SharpFutures Talent Pool and support network.

Welcoming this first cohort of placements which consists of 8 people varying in many different areas of interest such as graphic design, production running, scriptwriting, social media marketing, the list goes on.

As a part of my work with SharpFutures I have been involved in a number of workshops that have been organised for the 8 placements to gain them an insight in to the industry and to also give them advice. The first workshop i was involved in was on Content management and curation.

 (Marketing Exec and Web Developer) involve a big chunk of time working through content and managing it from the SharpFutures Blog, to the website and the Social Media.
The second workshop I did was with Lauren Hira, we hosted a workshop to show and discuss all the activity that SharpFutures gets up to working for clients and on our own social media presence, we also went in to how it has become a skill very much in demand at the moment.

placement-blog150It has been a really interesting learning curve hosting the workshops as only 2 years ago, I found myself in a very similar seat to them. I remember that first workshop on Social Media Marketing I attended at SharpFutures as an Apprentice in my first month, not exactly sure of what Social Media marketing consisted of or how it could be utilised for a business. Just in 2 years of learning on the job and much of my own time being spent on researching into all the newest discoveries and innovations of the Social Media world I now find myself confident enough to share my knowledge. I know from my own experience, learning from someone actually in the industry is much more advantageous compared to learning from a book published 5 years ago. A lot of the content and advice in that book may now be bit out of date compared to the real world, with things such as Facebook and Twitter constantly adding features and innovations you have to keep up with the changes to stay on top. Being able to pass on my knowledge felt quite rewarding, although it’s now more important than ever to stay on top as I potentially have 8 competitors chasing me…

Reiterating what Danny has said,

. As it forces me to take a step back and look at the work we do on day-to-day basis more objectively . It’s also made me appreciate how much I’ve learnt over the past 2 years and not assume knowledge when talking to others.

As everyone seemed to respond positively to the workshop I’m planning to hold a workshop on using WordPress as a blogging/portfolio platform to promote yourself as a creative individual. We’ve already taken the placements through setting up and using Tumblr as way of displaying and sharing their work. But I think WordPress provides a more succinct and professional platform much like a real website, although slightly more limited than a full WordPress website; it still looks professional and can also help develop coding and design skills.

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Branding – Business Cards

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I was tasked with project a month ago, where I was to create one business card for both sites.

However according to the branding guidelines; the two logo’s cannot appear next to each other, which presented a slight challenge.

I created a version for five members of the management team, across biz-card-photothe two sites. Some of these members work solely at one site or other or both which dictated the two sides of the business cards.

I had slight challenge at one point with colour formatting in one of the logo’s, the studio at the printers had a problem with the PMS colour formats used in the PDF logo’s which I’d not come across before. The fix for this was to simply save out the PDF’s as CMYK colour images ready for print. I’m pleased with the outcome and hope they are used effectively for networking and marketing the two sites.

SharpFutures attend Creative Skillset event in London

Creative Skillset recently announced their programme to boast skills in the Creative Digital sector with a launch event at Channel 4 HQ in London . The project allows Creative Skillset £37m (£20m from government funding and £17m from the creative sector) to enhance the skills of young people and encourage diversity in the sector. The event was to celebrate the cooperation from many different sections of the creative industry in the UK ad their drive to generate an access path for young people into the sector. SharpFutures is one of the partners involved in the project and so we were invited down to London to attend the launch,
After meeting Sheni and Tom at Piccadilly station in town we all got on the 13:15 train to London. Once in London we got the London Underground Victoria line (South bound) to Victoria Station, from which the venue was only a short walk.

 

Outside C4

On arrival at Channel Four we were given badges reading ‘I am creative’ indicating our roles, for example, me and Tom were given blue ones to show we were apprentices and Sheni, Sue and Rose were given red ones. Before the event started we met up with Sue and Rose in the venue and took advantage of some photo opportunities with Channel Four executives.

We also used this time to meet people and chat about our apprenticeships, Tom talking about he has been with SharpFutures for over a year and me acquiring various ‘awwwws’ and ‘ really? How are you liking it?’ when I explained it was my fourth week. After answering numerous questions about my apprenticeship and what my day to day actives at The Space Project entail everyone started to migrate to the main event space. Not long after the guests filtered inside the speeches started. Channel Four’s sport commentator introduced speakers one by one, such as, MP Matthew Hancock (MP for business, innovation and skills, energy and climate change) Ed Vaizy (responsibility for digital industries, media, sport and business), Chairman of the John Lewis Partnership, Sir Charlie Mayfield. To finish off the speeches was David Abraham( photographed above), chief executive of Channel 4 and a board member of Creative Skillset.  Listening to the speeches made me realise how lucky I am to have this apprenticeship and without some of the people giving these speeches -and the occasional anecdote here and there- I may not have this opportunity.
Finally, after answering a few more questions, being interviewed by the photographer of the event, we got the underground back to Euston Station and grabbed a Burger King before getting on the train back to Manchester.
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What is the Creative Digital sector?

#Creative:- : originality of thought or imagination

#Digital:- : involving or relating to the use of computer technology

Creative Digital companies make, move or manipulate Digital Content around the world. The European Commission considers the digital and creative industries the most dynamic emerging sector in Europe to work in and the most important driver of innovation in other sectors. Official statistics published January 14th, 2014 reveal that the UK’s creative industries are now worth £71.4 billion per year to the UK economy. With a growth of almost 10% in 2012, outperforming all other sectors of UK industry, the sector also accounted for 1.68 million jobs in 2012, 5.6 per cent of UK jobs.

With a sector showing so much growth, here at SharpFutures our aim is to empower and equip young people with all the creative and digital tools vital for success in this sector – and to advise of the realities and pitfalls. Creative work is often project-based and can come in ebbs and flows. To succeed in this industry takes determination, imagination and flexibility.

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It’s all about the Content

The first thing you need is a dedicated skill, ambition and an idea of the career path you hope to take.What are your strengths? What is your talent? Can you illustrate a logo or a design a website? Take stunning photographs, write compelling copy or create animation?

Whatever your skill, an absolute must is a digital portfolio. Whether it’s a showreel, blog, website, YouTube channel or any other audio / visual representation of your work, Employers or Clients want to see results, style and creativity. If you haven’t already got one, go and make one. There are an abundance of free tools available such as:

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and too many others to mention.

If you have got this far, you are already on to the next step…It’s all about the content…

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#DigitalTeapot14

IWD-14-logoMarch 8th marked the 100th annual International Womens’ Day (IWD) and also the second annual Digital Teapot event at The Sharp Project – After last year’s event was so successful and well received.

The event is aimed at encouraging women and especially young women to embark on careers in the Creative Digital sector.

SharpFutures hosted over 150 women at the free, sold-out event which saw inspirational talks, workshops, networking, biographies & interviews with some famous and aspirational female figures. Again the event went down very well, and we encouraged attendees to network and meet each other by setting up a competition to win an iPad mini via Twitter for people who tweeted about who they’ve met and what they do!

Our in-house social media marketing team managed an interactive DT-logo14social media campaign on the back of Digital Teapot 14. This campaign was strategically very content driven as it was to create a live feed throughout the day for people who were unable to attend. It was also an opportunity for attendees of the event to add content of their own and spread the positive atmosphere from within the event. The campaign and conversation resulted in #DigitalTeapot14 trending within an hour from the doors opening due to the high volume of people talking about #DigitalTeapot using the hashtag – an achievement which took over five hours last year!DT14-trending-ss

If you are interested in reading some of the material from Digital Teapot 14, we will be making some of the presentations available for download:

Digital Teapot Main Presentation LHV3_edit‘ etc. | ‘Blog-Your-Way-to-Success_PaulAspden_edit‘ |

You can also follow our speakers on Twitter or Linkedin:

Viktorya Hollings | Christine Bellamy | Hilary Bevan-Jones | Paul Aspden | Stuart Almond | Ann Davies | Mark Ashmore | Rose Marley | Phil Coen | Graeme Ankers | Paul Frift