A team of four students from Nescot's creative media courses won a Gold medal at Worldskills UK last week (17 November). They had spent the week in Manchester along with teams from around the UK, competing in digital media production. Two days of intense work shooting and editing their film was followed by a ceremony on Friday night, where the team were thrilled to be announced as the Gold medal winners, chosen by a panel of experts and employers from the industry.
Head of Curriculum Louise Gaskin said, "We're delighted for the team, they have a lot of talent but the dedication they showed preparing themselves is what really set them apart. Together with their tutors they have been living and breathing the competition for the past few weeks and that hard work really paid off."
The Nescot team included Katie, Scarlett, Amie and Charlie, as seen in the picture with tutors Ben, Jess, Abi and Louise.
Back in college after the competition, the group met up with us to discuss the experience.
How did you feel when you got the competition brief?
Amie: “The brief was very clever actually, because it really forced us to be creative. We were told our films had to be about 2 minutes long, and include a door scene. That was it!”
Katie: “Us, and all the teams, were a bit surprised by how open the brief was. But our team was soon chatting away about ideas.”
Charlie: “Yes, straight away we knew we had to think outside the box. Not getting a lot of detail for a task is unusual but we had prepared for everything, so we got on with it.”
How did you approach the brief?
Scarlett: “We chatted it over for a while, but it helped that we had pre-determined our individual roles. From a collective brainstorm, one of us was able to get on with developing the ideas and developing the storyboard.”
Katie: “We had a few hours on the first day to prepare two ideas to discuss with the judges. Our first idea was around ‘growing into media’, telling our own journeys in education. The second was using doors as a metaphor.”
Charlie: “Yes we wanted to explore the idea of doors in the mind, the kind of mental health and self-belief struggles we can all come up against.”
Scarlett: “That was the idea we felt happier with, the judges seemed to agree fortunately! We then had 2 days to get our film finished.”
Give us an idea what the competition process was like
Amie: “They were long days. 8 – 6.30 officially working, but on the first day we were still thinking through ideas and tasks for the next day till we had to go to sleep.”
Charlie: “Intense! You just have to keep coming up with ideas to solve problems, you can’t take a break or leave anything unfinished.”
Scarlett: “When we weren’t discussing ideas we worked on individual tasks: writing, editing, tidying up footage, finding locations to film. The door area that was suggested for that sequence didn’t really fit our plan, so we had to find somewhere else to shoot, get permissions, wait till it was quiet enough… but it all worked.”
And after you’d finished your film?
Katie: “We had a day off in Manchester before the ceremony. It was good to relax a bit and spend some time with the other teams.”
Amie: “We felt quite confident, because we all felt we’d enjoyed it. When we did the semi-final, we’d been a bit stressed, but the final, it was actually fun.”
Charlie: “We’d had brilliant preparation from everyone in the course team, including a dummy run in the college the previous week. Our teachers had made sure we had confidence in ourselves.”
Scarlett: “At the ceremony, they called out the Bronze and Silver, so you get really tense waiting for the Gold to be announced, you know it’s all or nothing, lucky for us we got it!”
And what do you think you’ll take away from the whole experience?
Scarlett: “Teamwork. Through the qualifying, practice and final we got better and better at that.”
Charlie: “Yes, collaborating but working in our roles and dealing with pressure, we know that’ll happen in working life. It’s not the same in college normally so the competition has really taught us how that feels.”
Amie: “Going away from home, a new environment, making friends with the other competitors, it was all a fantastic experience.”
Katie: “It’s given us a really good insight into the industry. What we’ve learnt, judges’ feedback, the extra tuition. I can’t imagine not taking part!”
YOU CAN WATCH THEIR WINNING FILM ON YOUTUBE HERE
If you want to find out more about the courses that prepared the team for success, click here.
Worldksills UK is the UK's biggest skills competition, with annual competitions in over 30 subject areas, and thousands of students taking part in local and regional heats to qualify for national finals.