On Friday 13th January Year 12 Media and Film Studies students were lucky enough to visit the BFI in London, Southbank where the A-level Media Magazine conference took place this year. Speakers such as Simon Bird and David Hesmondhalgh presented their ideas and guidance to young aspiring journalists, producers, directors and more. Students later reported that this trip was educational, inspiring and interesting!
To start off the conference, the students had a lecture delivered by top journalists from The Guardian newspaper. Lucy McCormick illustrated to the students the technological advances that newspapers are making, in an effort to move more online. The Sixth Formers were shown a range of job opportunities within the industry and given details of future projects and ways to keep in touch.
Following this was:
Simon Bird - Actor (Inbetweeners, Friday Night Dinner), director, comedian (a firm favourite with the students!)
Maitrayee Basu – University lecturer specialising in activism and afrofuturism.
Alex Kayode-Kay - Director of the BAFTA nominated short film The Ballad of Olive Morris
David Hesmondhalgh - Key A-Level theorist (Senior Lecturer in Media and Communications at Leeds University)
Anamik Saha – Leeds University Media lecturer, spoke mostly about the legacy of influential theorist and media sociologist, Stuart Hall
Students left the conference with a strong sense of direction as to where their Media/Film/English qualifications can take them in the future. Student feedback showed that Basu and Kayode-Kay were the most inspiring of the speakers; giving them an idea as to what a role in the industry could look like and how positive the modern media is becoming - as a way to act on previous and modern political and racial issues.
Students thoroughly enjoyed Simon Bird’s interview too as he is very current and his work is very relevant to teens today, who tend to appreciate the comedy of the sitcom - The Inbetweeners. Bird was asked numerous questions about how he broke into the industry. He spoke fondly about his memories, giving an insight to students and modestly claiming a lot of his success was based on ‘pure luck’. He was enthusiastic about his upcoming projects for Channel 4 and his new Sit-Com, Everyone Else Burns.
Report by Amelie Pullen (12Andrewes), Emilia Barnett (12King) & Cassie Bailey (12Story)