Category Archives: Events

N-tgd_1-2

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.

hilary-bevan-jones-Paul-frift-14-Edit

Paul Frift and Hilary Bevan Jones’ Essential Tips for Being A Successful TV Producer

Earlier this year, DigitalTeapot14 attendees were fortunate enough to be part of an interactive panel with respected TV Producers Paul Frift and Hilary Bevan from Endor Productions. Together with Director and Actor Victoria Wood, they had recently completed filming Tubby and Enid at The Sharp Project. 

digital-teapot-2014-60

Hilary has worked on numerous ground breaking and influential drama (“Cracker” for ITV and “Red Dwarf” and “State of Play” for BBC) and has won a primetime Emmy for the acclaimed HBO film “The Girl in the Café”. In 2006, she was also made Chairman of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, the first woman in its 60 year history to hold this position. Paul is best known for The Escape Artist, and Restless. He has also worked on such feature films as Aliens (1986), Empire of the Sun (1987) and Rob Roy (1995).

  • PREPARATION at every stage is key – always do your homework!
  • ANTICIPATE, anticipate, anticipate – The ability to anticipate is vital.
  • ATTENTION to detail – You have to be able to see both the bigger picture and pay close attention to the tiniest detail.
  •  ASSUMPTION is the Mother of all ‘screw-ups’ – An oldie but goodie.
  • NEVER assume that someone else has done something – Inevitably, they won’t have!
  • You need STAMINA – so look after yourself, eat, sleep and exercise
  • It’s a SERIOUS job, so make sure you are prepared for filming conditions – suitable footwear, wet weather clothing, sun cream, insect repellent etc.
  • Be PERSISTENT –  Never give up!
  • It’s all about HARD WORK – There is NO substitute.
  • RESPECT and learn from your colleagues especially those with experience.
  • Aim HIGH and follow your dreams – But also be realistic, don’t try to run before you can walk!

All photos courtesy of Neilson Reeves Photography

eveningnews-1038x576

GuestBlog – 12 year old Harry talks about Minecraft and Manchester Coder Dojo

My name is Harry and I am 12 years old, I have been going to Manchester Coder Dojo since it’s been at The Sharp Project.

Minecraft is a very popular and fun game, the aim of the game is to run around your world, collect resources and build whatever you want whilst also surviving against hunger and angry mobs. The angry mobs can be things like: zombies, skeletons that fire arrows, creepers that blow up, spiders and witches who throw potions at you.  In Minecraft there are mods where its adds a tonne of different blocks, mobs and weapons. You can also go to the moon and mars.

minecraft
There are servers on Minecraft where people can connect  and play against each other on different mini-games, team games, and survival games.

I like to play this at Manchester Coder Dojo at The Sharp Project because you can play with your friends and experts volunteer 
to help you code and programme games.

coderdojo-at-the-sharp-project-3552-art
I really do recommend this game and Manchester Coder Dojo to everyone. For more information on Manchester Coder Dojo have a look at the website here.

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.
Mondrians-Studio-resize-472x264

Mondrian & his Studios – Tate Liverpool

I recently came across an exhibition at Tate Liverpool of Piet Mondrian and the relationship between his work and environment, called ‘Mondrian & his studios’ – which focuses as much on his work as it does on how and why he created the pieces he did.

This interested me in particular as it gives you a fresh angle on his world famous style and technique. I’ve visited Salvador Dalí‘s House-Museum at Port Lligat on Spains’ Costa Brava, which I found fascinating as it gave you a window into his world; his inspiration and what stimulated him. And I think this a gives a similar, although slightly contrived simulation of how it might have been to be Piet Mondrian.

mondrian

Classic Mondrian Design

The main focus of the exhibition is to explore the connection between his work and urban environments, as he had studios in Paris, Amsterdam & New York at different times during his life – all very unique and iconic cities which had a profound effect upon his work at the time. You can see how urban 3 have influenced his work with, the grid-system of modern cities like New York reflected in his most famous works like the iconic red/yellow/blue rectangles & black line paintings. For example his reconstructed Parisian studio of circa 1925 is essentially a giant living Mondrian made up of movable coloured wall panels.

The exhibition is running at Tate Liverpool until 5th October, find out more here.

photo5

CSI Manchester – BBC 5 Live

Recently, I got the chance to make my first visit over to MediaCityUK this week to the BBC 5 Live studios for the Richard Bacon Show. The show features a variety of guests from the fields of news, sport and entertainment with a typical audience for BBC 5 Live of 6.3 million listeners.

photo5Booths in Quays House – MediaCityUK

With the BBC relocating to Manchester, MediaCityUK is now becoming the nucleus of media in the north.  Being able to see it first hand was an amazing opportunity. Already being based at Creative Digital hub The Sharp Project I was already accustomed to walking in to a building and being hit with edgy, modern design and creativity but was very impressed with the look and feel of MediaCityUK. I was already aware that it was a huge site but it really overwhelms you when you are stood in the centre of new development buildings which are now housing the likes of BBC Children‘s, BBC Learning, BBC Sport, BBC Radio Manchester and BBC Breakfast and also the likes of Dock 10 and The Pie Factory.

photo4Myself and Ken Bagshaw in BBC 5 Live studio

I was there with some tenants from The Sharp Project who feature in a press piece on Digital Forensics, the tenants featuring were Glen & Adam from Aequitas Forensics, Jayne from Taylor Smith Forensics and Ken & Sean from Ev-iDen-Tial/3DSI .

  • Aequitas Forensics Ltd is an Expert Witness company offering services in the areas of Digital media, Cellsite Analysis, body fluids, DNA profiling and Firearm examinations.
  • Taylor Smith Forensics offer services covering all aspects of digital media including audio, cellsite analysis, fingerprints, body fluids, DNA profiling and firearm examinations
  • 3DSi provides expert witness services specialising in forensic geomatics, surveying, CAD and evidential presentation services
  • Ev-i-Den-Tial offer presentation of evenidential marterial to allow a greater understanding and recollection of vital evidence by jurors.

photo7 (2)Jayne Leponis, Ken Bagshaw, Adam McArthy, Glen Siddall and Sean Murphy live on BBC 5 Live

BBC 5 Live thought this would be a great topic for its listeners so invited a number of companies down from The Sharp Project who are experts in Digital Forensics. The theme – ‘CSI Manchester‘ had previously been distributed in print media for the past few months so radio was the final part of the journey.

I had been with this process from the beginning which started with  the distribution of the press release, then to go on meeting with the researcher from Richard Bacon’s show. I then got to witness and hear the show being broadcast live from the adjacent production room. It was a really interesting insight on the process of doing press piece and how all the different forms of media can be used as a communication tool.

Listen to the podcast here

Daily Bacon – June 9th, 2014 Forensics Special

Or listen to a short snippet of the interview below

dom-blog-feature

Dom Corry – Digital Runner Apprentice

The first thing I feel is the ease and breeze, people seem to enjoy what they do here, so in turn you aren’t met with hostility or general bad reverberations, vibes, air …this then makes for a clean and un turbulent landing on to planet Sharp Project and since that landing I have enjoyed my first week here.

‘What is it people actually do here then, man?’

I hear you inquire in your mind’s eye (I’m pretty shamanic in that way see)

It’s a fair question and seeing as I am now officially a ‘digital production runner’ here, I should have the answers…I do… I think.

So as I understand it The Sharp Project is a building ,hub and general epicenter of all things creative digital based in Manchester, in which specifically creative digital based businesses form this sector rent space to run day to day duties of their ever blossoming ports of call, be that photography (Nelson Reeves) or the creation and distribution of stage lights (ELP) and of course as well as being primarily tenant based this big bad spaceship of a structure also has 4 stages available for anything from events to television and set storage even if I went off the question a tad bit. if you want more information where tenants are concerned then I can give you some; this place also has memberships available for people(again within a creative digital context) who want a place to work, resolve and generally come to plot world domination. That would be my understanding of ‘what people do in here’ and what it actually is that The Sharp Project erm is, even though you didn’t ask, I told you I was shamanic.

You also didn’t ask what the role digital production runner entails, but I will tell you in brief. I help with the day to day running of the machine and pumping of the heart.

So the moral of the first week at The Sharp Project and I’m pretty certain in life generally is that being polite being honest and generally being a good human being will serve you well; first and fore mostly within the sharp project.

Over and out (for now).

Dominic Corry

scott-blog-feature

Scott Rosbottom – IT/AV Apprentice

It has been an interesting first two weeks for me. In which I have learnt a fair bit already whether it’s from some basic coding to making an Ethernet cable. I honestly believe this is a fantastic opportunity for me and hopefully for the people who later on follow in my footsteps. Everything seems to kind of just flow and as much as it can be completely hectic at points it still seems to all work. It’s got an amazing team of employees in which you can build a close rapport with very quickly, it’s a close environment with a variety of different tasks and jobs to do partly being the reason it flows so well because even though everyone has their certain aspects in a job and specialise in certain things we all chip into different jobs and aspects to have it done to the best it can be and the most efficiently.

I have personally never felt so comfortable in a job, its doing what I want to do, how I want to do it and the environment I most thrive in. everyone has good attributes and bad attributes, I have found in these two weeks alone some of the stuff I am better at than I thought and some things I need to brush up on in which I knew already but I have the help to better myself in them ways within my time here. In my time here up to yet I have configured a wireless router, set up my own desktop, made the Ethernet cable for it, made a inventory of all our stuff which we will be using also as a in and out system, learnt front of house, and have the job of setting up the AV in the campus. I’ve also learnt that I need to stop sometimes and just listen sometimes as it would be massively beneficial to me and I don’t always have to be in the limelight I can step back and learn from other people.

digital_strategy612

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.

Nick-headshot

Nick Wood: Freelance Videographer / Runner / Production Assistant.

I am a freelance videographer and a member of the SharpFutures Talent Pool. I graduated from studying Film and TV Production at Manchester’s Futureworks in 2013.

I became involved with the SharpFutures team in June 2013 after volunteering at Event #005, since then, I have been involved in many key events such as LEANCONF, Creative Digital Experience Days & Digital Teapot 14.

Being a part of the Talent Pool means that I am recommended to The Sharp Project tenants ABF Pictures and Stone Cross Films when they need additional skills. I have been offered paid work on set as a Runner, and as a Production Assistant, providing me practical experience and a good insight into larger scale productions, as well as expanding my contacts network.

As part of the Talent Pool, I was also lucky enough to work as part of the SharpFutures Team on a Social Media Booster Campaign for an event launching the new Peugeot 308 – a great experience further expanding my photography and social media skills.

As a Freelancer, I am currently looking at an idea to develop a business that utilises video production as a way of advertising for brands and companies via social media.
I am also looking to develop a portfolio career with a larger scale production company where I can develop my knowledge and skills in a wider environment.

I am looking to find a junior researcher role in the creative digital sector so I can develop a sustainable career, and am hopeful that my experience with SharpFutures Talent Pool will help me achieve this.

You can see some of my work here that I have obtained during and since my studies along with some personal projects. My work has been heavily based within the snow sports industry and I am looking to build upon this whilst also expanding my portfolio.

Follow me on twitter @njwood84 & Linkedin

Lauren Hira,
Talent Manager at SharpFutures –

“Nick has become a valued member of the Talent Pool who we are happy to recommend, he is reliable, creative and able to turn his hand to any task we throw at him. We are proud to have him as part of our team. “