Digital Media and Design is an exciting new creative A Level introduced into the college in 2019.
It may sound similar to Media Studies A Level, but it really is very different as it is 100% production based. Students are taught a range of digital media skills and although the initial focus has been moving image and digital photography, we’re looking forward to exploring mobile and multimedia applications next year.
The emphasis really is on ‘media’ and ‘design’. Our students are encouraged to research, explore, experiment and develop innovative ideas influenced by different artists from different fields. We don’t just look at the digital arena to take stock. For example, we’ve looked at theatre set design, performance art, sculpture and architecture to inspire us so far. And we do mean ‘us’. We pitch ideas, evolve projects and introduce each other to things we’ve seen on our own daily digital journeys as the face of the internet is changing so quickly; the sharing of ideas from student to teacher is of equal importance in this subject because of the growing user experience. Lots of ‘mini-projects’ introduce a wide variety of skills and we take full advantage of a broad range of software, trialling new platforms and evaluating them to see if they meet our production needs for products such as:
- Music videos (including lyric videos)
- Visual poetry
- Short films (fictional, experimental and documentary for example)
- Animation shorts including stop frame
- Photostories and Photo essays
- Photographic installation or projections
- Animated visitor guides
- Web design
- Social media promotional films as part of an online campaign
- Mobile phone games
- Creative multi-media displays
Once basic skills have been established, our students follow their own interests and create their own path. Their final production is self-led which means they are free to write their own brief and target a suitable audience. This year’s students all chose to create products they were passionate about, with three students dealing with real clients to create digital media content for an existing brand and target audience. Products included:
- A music video for an up and coming post-punk band
- A social media campaign for a new streetwear fashion label
- An architecture media projection
- A short neo-noir film
- An animated title sequence for Egyptian football
- A short social realist film with a twist
- A music lyric video
- Visual poetry influenced by German Expressionism
- An immersive digital experience for a museum on sustainable transport
- Photo essays inspired by documentary photographers, cubism and
Digital Media and Design suits UK based students as well as international students as the nature of digital content creation means that students can share their own experiences from across the globe. This year we had students from the UK, Ghana, Zambia, Reunion, Egypt, China and the Philippines.
Digital Media and Design really does work well alongside Film Studies and Media Studies as although there are some cross-over skills, the focus in the subjects are very different. However, students this year studied a wide range of A Levels with Digital Media and Design from Maths and Economics to Graphics and Photography.