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Lights, Cameras and Action!

July 2018


Students were allowed to sit on one of the most iconic Emmerdale sets - the home of the Dingles.

Media Studies students in Years 11 and 13 have returned from a two-day Media experience to Leeds. The trip included a range of activities designed to increase their understanding of the media industry, and various opportunities to simply try something new.

The trip began with a visit to Emmerdale Studios in the centre of Leeds. In a 90-minute guided tour, the group were able to discover behind-the-scenes secrets and see first-hand how teams of professionals turn scripts into a finished episode, using sets, props and special effects. They learned the whole process of creating an episode of Yorkshire’s favourite soap opera, and learned how the cast and crew capture the spectacular stunts you see on your screens.

The tour included interactive experiences throughout; students tried their hand at lighting and editing and viewed authentic costumes and exact set reconstructions of ‘The Woolpack’ and ‘Beauty & Bernice’. They even had their photo taken on the most iconic sofa in the world of soaps on the replica ‘Dingles’ set.

In addition to the tour, a special educational workshop entitled ‘Script to Screen’ was arranged; this deconstructed a real scene from the show and focussed on the narrative elements of the production process and key characteristics of a typical storyline. Students in both year groups are currently working on film production units for their BTEC coursework, which means that they will have plenty of opportunities to practice the skills that they have learned at the Studios.

In the evening, they visited The Great Escape Game to take part in one of the fastest-growing activities for groups in the UK. Teams enter a sealed room, filled with puzzles which must be solved within an hour in order to open the door; our students divided into two teams to compete against each other in two identical submarine-themed rooms called ‘Submerged’. Not only was this an excellent team building exercise, but it was also a perfect demonstration of how sound, lighting and props are used to create a theme and mood; this is something that TV and movie producers must consider in every production. The venue provided a full evening of entertainment for the group as they also ate pizza and played a range of retro board and computer games.

On day two, students were given some free time to explore the vibrant city centre and enjoy a little shopping. Some headed for fashion or music shops, whilst others joined our staff in a visit to the Kitty Café, which offers an interactive experience for cat-lovers to relax and enjoy tea surrounded by a community of cats and kittens. The group then visited the Red Hot World Buffet restaurant, which offers a wide range of dishes from across the globe, prepared at themed cooking stations. Students were able to sample Chinese, Indian, Italian and Tex-Mex dishes, alongside those from the Carvery, Sushi bar, Salad bar and American and Teppanyaki grills.

The trip ended with a tour of the University of Leeds campus, including a walk through the stunning Brotherton Library, which houses over 200,000 rare books and manuscripts; and there was even a surprise drop-in at the Dogs’ Trust on the way home!

For many, this trip was the first time they had been away from home and students enjoyed the chance to be independent. As a result of positive student feedback, the department is now investigating the possibility of a two-night trip, which would allow time to visit some of the fantastic museums in Leeds and incorporate a visit to the National Media Museum in Bradford.

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