Tag Archives: The Sharp Project

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Halloween Caketober at The Shriek Project by Shu-Ling Li

This Friday, October 30th SharpFutures will be hosting a fancy dress encouraged, Halloween Caketober special at The Sharp Project, all in aid of Forever Manchester, a charity that funds thousands of community projects across Greater Manchester.

Forever Manchester’s recent projects have included supporting The Film Makers Club; a fun group aimed at 8-16-year-olds to find and research ideas, direct, interview, use cameras and edit their own material. Forever Manchester has also made a positive impact supporting dementia sufferers for groups such as Singing with Dementia; which encourages the use of music to ease symptoms of dementia.

As you may well be aware the annual Great British Bake Off has resulted in a baking buzz that has gotten people eager to whip our their cake tins and sift out their favourite recipes ready to prove their Pillsbury flare! Much of this knead to roll out sponges your grandmother would be proud of has risen from baking judges Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood (not as Tom Clarke insists Mary Shelly and that dude from Duran Duran!) simmering our senses with layer upon layer of thrilling challenges that have kept us gluten to our television sets week by week and it’s not gone amiss within The Sharp Project.

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Living with Rachael Rothwell, our resident baker and true Wednesday Adams of the Halloween season, I’ve seen her train blood, sweat and treacle for the ultimate prize of the highly sought-after Caketober Golden Rolling pin – awarded to the champion of this years #Cakecomp, just when I think everyone’s sound asleep I hear a curdling yell from Rachael’s crypt “This batch has a soggy bottom, must start again!”. She is however up against a trifle of competition from our very own Rachael McGuinness, renowned in our caverns for her striking rainbow cake creations and Kerry Parker with her flurry of iced cupcakes.

In this baker’s dozen, we also have the talented Amanda’s catering team – not ones to be outdone with plans for a spooky selection of confectionary delights and decorations to boot. Needless to say, with the likes of Claire Hinds and Brownbag Films beguiling baking skills awaiting release from the realms of their aprons, who knows how this cauldron of caramel, chocolate and cobwebs will set! It’s not just baking that will receive recognition as there will also be a prize for the #BestDressed, be it bizarre, gory or gruesome! Dusted throughout the day will be a mixture of ghoulish games and a drizzle of gruesome goodies to giveaway, folding in with our special guests to judge your beastly bakes.

Join us if you dare just doughnut forget to bake, dress up, and raise money!

From 12.00

Friday, October 30th

The Campus

The Sharp Project

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Favourite Production created at The Sharp Project or The Space Project

As part of our “Favourite…” series, we decided to create a blog about the SharpFutures apprentice team’s  favourite TV productions that have been created at either The Sharp Project or The Space Project. Below are our initial choices, part two to follow soon!

Fresh Meat

Fresh Meat’ (Objective Productions for Channel 4)

Chosen by Amy Williams

My favourite production made at The Sharp Project has to be Fresh Meat. I didn’t actually watch the series when it was on TV, I watched the whole thing on Netflix simply because I love Jack Whitehall, plus some of the other actors were instantly recognisable from other programmes like The Inbetweeners and Wild Child/Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging  which is something I look for before watching a programme.

I think the main reason I enjoyed Fresh Meat is because it’s relatable to my age group, with the storyline being about a young group of adults starting university and getting used to living with other students, so I was able to understand what they were going through. But apart from that it is hilarious, I did have high expectations for it to be funny since Jack Whitehall, a brilliant comedian, and Joe Thomas, from the comedy series The Inbetweeners, were starring in, so was really pleased. Plus it’s an easy programme to watch allowing you to be a passive viewer, you don’t have to concentrate what’s going on you can literally sit back and relax whilst watching it. I must admit I wasn’t sold straight away, I had to watch 2 or 3 episodes before I was completely into it, but then from that I couldn’t be pulled away from my TV!  I think the best part about it is that it’s realistic, nothing out of this world happens, it’s literally things you can imagine happening to yourself when you go to live with complete strangers and personalities clash but that’s what makes it so funny because you start to imagine yourself in the situations. It’s quirky, it’s simple and I love it. And since I watch everything with Jack Whitehall in, it was a must see for me! I would definitely recommend Fresh Meat to anyone!


Dragon's Den


Dragon’s Den (BBC North for BBC 2)

Chosen by Aleena Sharif

I love watching Dragon’s Den, as inventions, new products and innovative smart services inspire me. They are fascinating, some are very simple and right under your nose- while others have been hand crafted and are more abstract. It helps me come up with ideas similar, improvements to products or services and inspires me.

I watch it from time to time when I see it on. I make my mum change the channel to Dragon’s Den. I personally prefer to watch programmes like Grand Designs, or things like Dragon’s Den – as I love seeing new products and inventions. Maybe it’s because one day I would like to pitch an idea of my own or start up my own business eventually. Dragon’s Den is definitely a programme that gets me talking, sometimes I can’t shut up when it’s on! (Yes, my mum has to rewind it a lot…)

I also like the aesthetics of it, how it is set in an industrial warehouse- like a basement underground with old rough walls. It was really cool seeing the Dragon’s Den set at The Space Project on my first visit there. I instantly recognised the big and rusty metal cogwheel – but was surprised to find out that this set was built by artists – and not everything was real! (I would have never known when watching it on TV!)

The prop and environment set artists have a lot of skill, around the edges of the set was unpainted and rough torn bits of materials the artists had used- but when on camera- this is not visible. It was fascinating seeing that right next to the finished set, as you could see the development/comparison of the raw materials underneath the finalised, realistic set.

If I had to choose a favourite dragon, it has to be Sarah Willingham – the creator of restaurant chain The Bombay Bicycle Club and co-founder of The London Cocktail Club. I like her because she seems fair and also nice, she gives people a chance. It can be hard and nerve wracking standing in front of many professionals who are very strong minded and straight to the point. Most of the Dragons are harsh and straight to the point, but Sarah seems to have a warmness about her – but knows when to back out and criticise.


 

No Offence

No Offence (AbbottVision for Channel 4)

Chosen by Dominic Corry

 I particularly enjoyed No Offence, mainly because Paul Abbot’s scripts are unparalleled and, generally, this show is a further exemplification of this he explores the gallows humour prevalent in the day to day lives of Manchester based coppers.

He is one of the writers who can display realism and actuality in the shows and fiction that he produces without the finished product being jarring or try hard. It’s brilliant that we are associated with such great drama at both The Sharp Project and The Space Project.


 

eHarmony

eHarmony Adverts (422vision)

Chosen by Lewis Marsh

My choice of favourite production at The Space Project doesn’t come down to what the actual production was…

It doesn’t come down to the narrative, actors or what channel it will be broadcasted on, it comes down to the fact that the eHarmony advert filmed at The Space Project was the first professional production I had experienced first-hand, the transition between filming in the studio/stage to the final piece had only been seen on the internet by my eyes, that is until 422 Shoots came to The Space Project to film this advert and I got to see how it all works, who does what and just get a feel for the atmosphere on an actual production set.

So this is my favourite production filmed at The Space Project and The Sharp Project because it was my first experience, something I will never forget along with the fact that there was a live camel on the site!

Don’t forget the popcorn as well…

eHarmony Camels eHarmony Sam & Lewis

 


 

BMG

Boy Meets Girl (Tiger Aspect for BBC Two)

Chosen by Kerry Parker

The reason why Boy Meets Girl is my favourite production is for a few reasons. The fact that it was groundbreaking in the sense of bringing the transgender community into our lives – but rather than shoving it down our throats, it was done by using comedy and a bit of romance.

It follows the lives of Leo and Judy, who meet at a bar and hit it off. The opening scene of the whole series is Judy telling Leo that she used to be a man but now a woman. It follows their relationship as they have to get over the age gap (Leo is in his 20s whereas Judy is turning 40), introducing each other to their families and of course, the whole telling Leo’s parents that Judy is transgender.

Like I said, the story is more about the relationship of Leo and Judy rather than her being transgender and it’s a good mix of both.

Another reason why I enjoy the show so much is that some of the SharpFutures team and myself have helped with the production and the Social Media afterwards. Some of the team interviewed the cast (all the interviews can be watched here) and we have also promoted their show by uploading the behind the scenes images that were taken onto our Pinterest page.

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WE’RE HIRING : Production placements at The Sharp Project & The Space Project

SHARPFUTURES ARROW

SharpFutures are looking for 8 talented people for a 12-week Production and runner support Placement Programme.

Please see below for details: 

12-week PLACEMENT (full-time work experience)

REAL LIFE PRACTICAL BRIEF

START DATE: 9th November 2015

Must be available to work:

* Stage 1: 9th November 2015 – 18th December 2015

* Stage 2: 7th January 2016 – 18th February 2016

To gain a place on this work experience programme you need to demonstrate that you have the right mix of skills in addition to creativity, tenacity and perseverance. You also need to demonstrate that you would be interested in and provisionally available to join SharpFutures POD for part-time and casual work after the placement has been completed as well as during the placement. For more details on SharpFutures POD http://sharpfutures.org.uk/pod/

The Space Project

You may have graduated from a Production course at University or are self-taught and passionate about working in the industry. Either way you have to have some knowledge be it camera skills, editing skills or production skills or creative project management in general. This course is not for a complete novice but equally it is not for industry professionals.

SharpFutures production placement programme will offer you the opportunity to enhance and gain valuable industry skills in addition to an insight into the many roles associated with digital production.

You will attend regular workshops held by industry professionals, whilst learning the ropes of how to be a runner for The Sharp Project and The Space Project and in the second half of the placement you will work on producing a live content brief with fellow placements.

Whether you would like experience drawing storyboards, writing scripts or scouting locations in pre-production, be part of the camera, lighting or sound crews in production or be involved with the editing in post-production. SharpFutures production placement programme will give you the opportunity to gain valuable experience.

Applicants should have knowledge of the production industry and display an amount of skills relevant in producing video content. You should have either had experience in Production before be it a University course or are a keen enthusiast of all things ‘content making’ in your own time.

THE SHARP PROJECT - ANDY MARSHALL 2500 (1)

Essential qualities

* Reliable

* Motivated

* Can commit to two six week work placement (a minimum of thirty five hours per week across twelve weeks in total)

* Over 18 (due to Health & Safety)

* Be able to attend The Sharp Project and The Space Project every day for the duration of the placement

* MUST NOT BE in full-time education

* Have be able to work flexibly, across a seven day week and in some cases on a twelve-hour rota

To apply you must send a short description (100 words or less) of why you should be offered this opportunity, your CV and your portfolio of previous work to talent@sharpfutures.org.uk

Placements will be paid at national minimum wage for your age.

Manchester residents will be given priority interviews.

All successful applicants will be offered a formal interview to meet the team discuss the details.

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Aleena Sharif’s First Week at SharpFutures

First day as an apprentice…

As I previously have worked as a Social Media Placement at SharpFutures and also an apprentice with Playground Squad at The Sharp Project, I was glad to be back! I am very familiar with the building and some of the people here. I understand that it is a creative, busy and hard working- environment. It is a cool place to work and there is always something new going on. The Sharp Project never sleeps!

On my first day as an apprentice, I had an induction in which I met my new colleagues- as well as people I have met before through working at SharpFutures. It was strange being classed as a new apprentice since I had worked with SharpFutures previously- but as a placement!

I came in as normal and was invited into Gold 66, where I used to have workshops in Social Media Marketing, to find notebooks and pens on the table as well as Jayne and a TV. This was the first I had seen of my new colleagues and we had to introduce ourselves.

We then watched a presentation, which was about the rules and code of conduct mainly, as well as some questions to ensure we were clear of what is required from us. After this, we had to do a short icebreaker task to see how we all perceive or interpret information differently.

It was interesting to find we all did this in a similar way – but differently at the same time. We all cut out the unnecessary parts of the conversation and concentrated on the informational elements. Essentially this task was to get to know the other person a little bit, as well as to see how we take information in differently.

We were then told we had to do a presentation by the end of the day, just after lunch and were sent content to read through- as well as questions to answer. After logging onto our laptops, we all read through the content together and suggested ways of making a more interesting presentation- in a short space of time.  Vanessa and I, since we were more familiar with SharpFutures, were told to lead on the presentation- but we all had to speak.

When we were researching and discussing, we were also getting to know each other more and having a good laugh whilst coming up with ideas. I decided it might be fun to make a few short videos of us roleplaying the rules of ‘misconduct’, to show that we all understand what is not acceptable behaviour, as we were supposed to be filmed – but unfortunately we did not have a camera to hand._DSC0423

It was quite funny doing daft things and it was a good way of making our presentation more fun and less boring. We also agreed that both Vanessa and I would start with the two opening questions – since we knew more about them – then make it more of a conversation style interview – asking the new apprentices to answer the same set of questions about themselves. It went well and by the end of the day I felt like I already knew a lot about the new apprentices!

Next day…

On the second day, I was assigned my own task and told I must gather information and read through more content sent to me by my new main managers. I must present this information back in my own way, gathering information and answering questions about The Sharp Project, The Space Project and also other questions relevant to the apprenticeship.

I read through the content and started doing research. I decided to manage my time efficiently, to make a Trello board with guidelines and a checklist to keep myself on track. I also started typing up rough notes and breaking down the questions into power point slide sections.

Though the presentation will be less formal, I was a bit nervous thinking about it! (I usually hate presentations). This is the reason
why I chose to do it though, so I get used to presenting and it just seems like the best method to answer the questions I have been asked. When I get used to them, I start to enjoy them more- and this is what SharpFutures are about- learning new things and coming out of your comfort zone!

Third day…

Day 3, I was then continuing to do research as well as taking more notes and re-drafting them. I did a lot of reading and typing, keeping in mind what I already know about The Sharp and Space Project brands. I found The Sharp Project easier to talk about and expand on, but The Space Project – not as easy in a way, as I have only visited it once!

The Space Project is the sister site to  The Sharp Project and is the purpose built TV production stage complex for the North of England. The research has helped me learn more about the differences and similarities- which is quite important to know when working with/on the brands.

The rest of the week…

Throughout the week I worked on this presentation, constantly adding to my notes and re-wording, breaking it down into sections so it was then easier to transfer into a speech and also work as a presentation – without duplicating my notes and repeating myself too much. There was a lot of information to take in, so my
presentation became a lot longer than expected!

I then had a conversation with Kerry, as I was told we needed to help with tweeting and promoting content we had all created for Boy meets Girl. Kerry told me about a cool online presentation site – Prezi – so I decided to use this for my presentation.

I felt a little nervous about doing the presentation but decided to make myself do it to get used to presenting in front of others! I was also struggling with finding the right presentation program to create a nice and also smooth, clear presentation – without it being too complicated to use – as when I am nervous- it’s good to be sure of how to use the software at least!

Having familiarised myself with it slightly, I was then able to start creating an interesting presentation which follows a similar theme to the brands themselves. It also made me feel more confident that I hopefully won’t be boring anyone to death! (Despite the fact there are 24 slides in total…)

On Thursday, Lauren unexpectedly mentions Dan’s graphics and has a quick chat with Kris and me about some content she wanted to be produced. I was then told she wanted graphics from me, a report of
The Sharp Project and helping with some tweets for the social media channels.

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This is life at SharpFutures, one day you’ll be working on your apprenticeship, then the next you are given 101 tasks to do, totally unexpected! This is the charm of working with SharpFutures, you never know what is going to happen and what you will be responsible for doing! It may seem like a very relaxed job, where we look like we are having too much fun at times, but there is a lot of work involved too. There are a lot of rules we must adhere to, though as long as we do- this isn’t a problem!

I was then emailed on Friday, told that I need to produce a report of The Sharp Project. I finalized my presentation today but rescheduled it for the following week as it is all a bit chaotic here! It pays to be an expert multi-tasker whilst working here, it is a great place to be. It is definitely daring and adventurous at SharpFutures and The Sharp Project…

To be continued…

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National Dog Day – A selection of recent canine visitors to The Sharp Project

Each week at The Sharp Project a wide range of visitors pass through the doors and at SharpFutures our favourite has to be dogs! (we’ve had kangaroos and camels visit too but that’s for another blog.)

Production companies and tenants often bring their canine friends in to work with them as The Sharp Project is a pet-friendly site. This means that over the last few months we’ve been able to take pictures of a whole range of furry visitors –  please see below for a selection and Tweet us @SharpFutures to let us know your favourite! 


Meet Buddy Buckley, who belongs to Chris from Pixel Kicks

BUDDY-FROM-PIXEL-KICKS


Here’s Bella, Michael from Project Simply’s terrier.

Bella Project Simply 01


This is Tim from Digital Ninjas very excitable Labradoodle.

DIGITAL NINJAS - LABRAPOODLE


Here is The Drawing Room’s King Charles Spaniel, checking out what’s going on outside the Drawing Room
DRAWING ROOM DOG


Meet Beryl, who belongs to our newest tenants Digital Stage, whose new home is in Red 010
BERYL -


Let me introduce you to Dr Feelgood. This friendly pooch belongs to John Bramwell, lead singer of I Am Kloot who visited The Sharp Project to film the St Anthony video

HENRY AKA DR FEELGOOD - JOHN BRAMWELLS DOG


We spotted this lovely Bichon Frise (with protective collar) wondering around Red and couldn’t resist taking a picture

DOG IN RED


Meet this Jack Russell cross who belongs to Riskbox, Campus members at The Sharp Project

RISKBOX DOG



This gorgeous Pomeranian likes visiting  80 Hertz, the recording & post production studio we have at The Sharp Project

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Meet the adorable pup Kodak, who belong to Promotion Hire who are tenants in Gold 068

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& Promotions Kodak again!

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Here is the beautiful Cleo who belongs to our very own Elli from SharpFutures who are tenants in Blue 056.

CLEO with ELLI SharpFutures


This lovely dog is Tess who belongs to Louise from Intelesant who are based in Gold 059INTELESSENT-DOG-CALLED-TESS


This lovely Labrador came in to film an advert a couple of weeks back in Stage One. Keep your eye out to see if you can see this pooch on TV!

DREAMS BED DOG


Here is a special guest over at The Space Project. Meet Wilhemena the Staffordshire Bull Terrier from the make-up department at Houdini & Doyle.

Screen Shot 2015-08-26 at 10.52.23 am

Compiled & written by SharpFutures apprentice Sophie Hukin

Rachael Rothwell – My First Week With SharpFutures

Growing up the Sharp Electronics building has always been part of my local landscape. Travelling into Manchester on the train it was a recognisable landmark of my journey but more as a derelict unused building. These days the train no longer runs and has been regenerated into our new tram system connecting our city better than ever. This is also true in regards to the Sharp building as it has also been regenerated and evolved into the place I’m currently starting a work placement for SharpFutures, working for the Sharp Project. It really does feel that as my landscape is changing around me in local area, so are my opportunities. I will be writing a blog to give an insight into what it is like to undertake a placement with SharpFutures, what I learn through this experience and what opportunities it presents me. It will involve the typical day to day activities of the people around me, hopefully showing what an asset this space can bring for young people and Manchester as a community.

Continue reading

GENERIC-Sharp-Space-Biz-Card-FINAL

Branding – Business Cards

sharp-biz-card-photo

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.

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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. 

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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