New student visual effects competition – now open for entry!


BFX is a 6–week team competition for visual effects and animation students from around the country hosted by Bournemouth University and AUB in July and August 2013. Groups will be competing to win an internship at a leading UK film and visual effects studio and all works will be screened at the BFX festival taking place in Bournemouth in September 2013!

The competition aims to replicate a film studio working on a live project with participants working in groups of up to six to produce a highly polished short visual effects or animated sequence. Teams will get to select their own brief from a number of pieces of classic literature and will be mentored and monitored by industry practitioners throughout the competition. A panel of carefully selected industry judges will have the task of picking a winning team.

Sofronis Efstathiou, BFX Festival Director said; “BFX competition presents the opportunity for students to be mentored by the very best VFX animators, producers and artists in the UK. Working on a live brief in a collaborative manner within an intense competitive environment will add invaluable experience to all participants CV’s; and for a lucky few a coveted internship will help kick start their career.”

Supported by the Creative Skillset Film Skills Fund as part of A Bigger Future 2, BFX competition is free to enter and participants will receive accommodation and a stipend towards living expenses. Industry partners so far include The Mill, MPC, Double–Negative, Framestore, and Cinesite some of whom will be offering internships to the very best individuals.

BFX competition is now open for entry and applications must be received by 26 April. Applicants must be 18 years or older currently studying, or recently graduated, at a UK Higher Education Institution (university or Art College).

To find out more about how to apply to BFX visit the BFX website.

BFX Competition is part of a larger festival taking place in Bournemouth 25 to 29 September, which aims to celebrate British talent and creativity in animation and visual effects. The event, in its first year, is being organised by The International VFX Hub; a collaboration between the award–winning National Centre for Computer Animation at Bournemouth University (NCCA) and the Faculty of Media and Performance at the Arts University Bournemouth (AUB).

BU event provides insight into media reform post-Leveson


Academics, media industry experts and journalists all joined together at Bournemouth University to discuss media reform through a post–Leveson lens.

The address, given by Natalie Bennett, Leader of the Green Party, set the scene for the conference before other guest speakers, including Professor James Curran of Goldsmiths University, gave their views.

The event, called ‘Opportunities for Media Reform post–Leveson’, provided analysis of the current media climate and provoked discussion on the ways in which the sector needs to change and adapt so as to align itself with the Leveson Report while maintaining its core ethics.

Topics included discussion on the use of technology in media, the financial restrictions placed on media organisations and the failure of the British press to reform in the past. Each guest speaker spoke on a different facet of media reform to give thought provoking insight into what the Leveson Report could mean for the future of the British press.

As a part of her address, Natalie Bennett said, “We have got technological advances, issues with the local media and, of course, huge commercial pressures. But the risk is that all of those pressures are only going to make the dark side of the press worse, unless we take some action.”

Stephen Jukes, Dean of BU’s Media School and former journalist, opened the conference by saying, “I’m the first to admit that the ethical standards across the media have fallen to an all–time low. There are already a whole range of laws out there – I say reform them and use them.”

For more information about the event you can visit the conference website.

PR student leads first live tweeting from UK surgery


A PR student from Bournemouth University (BU) led the first live tweets from surgery in the UK.

Jessica North, 22, is in her final year of the BA (Hons) Public Relations degree at BU and works for Merchant Marketing Group alongside studying.

Jessica led the live tweeting from gastric bypass surgery at Spire Bushey Hospital, which is one of Merchant’s clients.

She sat in the operating theatre and tweeted throughout each step of the two and a half hour procedure.

Jessica, who lives in Bournemouth, said: “By tweeting the procedure live as it took place, we were able to provide real insight.”

She added: “Social media and digital communications is my absolute passion in the industry and I’m very fortunate for the opportunity to combine them both.

“We had to fully prepare in case of a crisis, in which case the live tweet would have stopped with an explanation as to why, in this situation it is vital the patient and his family come first.

“I spoke with the patient and his family so they not only fully consented but were all happy with what would happen and could ask me any questions if they were unsure at all – this kind of thing can understandably be a little nerve-racking.

“He understood what a fantastic educational opportunity this would be for the public and wanted to be involved because of that.”

Although live tweeting has been done during surgery in the US, this was the first time it has been done in the UK.

Jessica tweeted throughout the gastric bypass surgery – an operation which alters the size of the stomach to aid weight loss – from the hospital’s Twitter account, using the hashtag #liveatbushey.

She said: “With the help from the surgical team, I answered people’s questions and enquiries and shared a few images from the operation room.

“It was amazing to be sat in that room; the skills and expertise of Mr Sufi and his team are inspiring. I don’t think there’s another industry that can simply change an individual’s life in just a day.”

Jessica added that the response from the public had been great, and there were plans to do it again in future.

“We had such lovely feedback from people, being the first in the UK meant people were glued to the screens as we revealed the next tweet,” she said.

“My absolute favourite moment though was after the procedure when I went to see his family.

“They’d been following the live tweet and despite earlier apprehensions were really pleased it took place. They said it gave them an inside look at what was happening to him and it was peace of mind knowing that nothing was going wrong.

“We are looking at repeating the procedure and we’re currently researching the best operation to showcase.”

Event marks the launch of new art displays at BU


The Atrium Art Gallery at Bournemouth University opens its new year long exhibition called ‘The Art of Making: Handcrafted & Traditional Skills’.

Art work will be displayed in a number of public areas around Bournemouth University for the whole of 2013, starting with a series of pieces under the heading of ‘Handcrafted 2D Works’.

The exhibition includes art and drawing by Bernard Leach and photography from local photographers Krishula Auckland and Denis Roberts.

During the well–attended event, guests were treated to their first glimpse of the artwork along with live entertainment.

Photographer Krishula Auckland said at the event, “University is a time when you are exploring different interests, so it is important to see art at university. All culture is important at university as it broadens your horizons.”

Denis Roberts, whose photographs are also on display in the Atrium Art Gallery, agreed with Krishula’s comments stating, “I work a lot with students and artists and I want to share this art with them.”

Denis’ unique photographs include prints of Bournemouth University’s campus, offering an artistic perspective to some of the campus’ most aesthetically pleasing elements.

Julie Herring, Curator at the Atrium Art Gallery, said the opening went well, with more than 150 visitors.

She added: “‘The Art of Making’ highlighted the processes of working and ‘creating work over a period of time’, so the overall displays celebrated the skills and craftsmanship.

“It was really rewarding to see so many people enjoy the artwork and spend time looking and talking with each other about the making.”

The ‘Handcrafted 2D Works’ will be on display from Thursday 14 February until Saturday 6 April 2013 and will be open from Monday to Saturday, 9am to 6pm with free admission.

Deputy Editor of Channel 4 News gives masterclass at BU


The Deputy Editor of Channel 4 News visited Bournemouth University to give a media masterclass to students.

Felicity Spector, who has worked for the news organisation for the past 24 years, spoke to students about her experiences – particularly those covering US Presidential Elections.

Felicity is now Deputy Programme Editor for Channel 4 News, with responsibilities including writing the show’s script, but has also acted as a political correspondent on the programme, as well as writing for the website.

She said: “I went into journalism because I like writing people’s stories – there are so many people who have really great stories.

“I still get excited every day because it is a job where no two days are ever the same.”

Felicity added that she was in the USA during Barack Obama’s 2008 Election Campaign, and also dealt with coverage of his 2012 re-election.

She said: “It was the most astonishing election campaign. The whole atmosphere across the country was unprecedented really. People were partying in the streets in Washington – it was the most amazing feeling, it really felt like something had changed.

She added: “This election was not as exciting, as it was not as close, but it was really fascinating in terms of what it has shown about the system.”

David McQueen, course leader of the BA (Hons) Politics and Media course at BU, introduced Felicity.

He said: “It is a real privilege to be able to hear from someone working right at the heart of one of Britain’s biggest news providers.”

Felicity, who studied Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at university, joined Channel 4 News as a scriptwriter on a graduate training scheme and has been there ever since.

“I was very lucky that I stumbled into this job. I think now it is all about trying to get experience,” she said.

“Even if you can’t get a placement, have a blog and just be curious about what is going on.

“Just do something interesting and different to make yourself stand out. You just have to have the initiative to find something which you’re passionate about and badger people with it.”

Felicity said that she hoped students – who came from a diverse range of courses including journalism, politics and marketing to listen to her talk – would take away the realities of being a journalist.

“When you study media as an academic subject, it is quite different than when you actually work in it,” she said.

“I just wanted to talk about how you are always learning when you’re a journalist, and you never know it all.”

Intellectual property law brought to life in student collaboration


Students from the Business School and School of Design, Engineering and Computing (DEC) will work together on a project that aims to bring intellectual property to life.

Final year Law students, from the Business School will advise final year DEC students from across product design and creative technology-based courses, while they create a product or innovation to bring to market.

Intellectual property law – such as copyright, trademarks, designs and patents – is particularly important for design students as it provides a means of protecting the products they create.

Dr Dinusha Mendis, Senior Lecturer in Law and Co-Director of the Centre for Intellectual Property Policy and Management (CIPPM) at BU said: “This project provides for real-life scenarios and brings intellectual property to life.  It is a very practical project which allows the law students to act as lawyers for the DEC students who are their clients.”

The project will last until March, and kicked off with an Intellectual Property Masterclass, where students from across the two schools learned more about the law and how it can be used.

Donal O’Connell, from Chawton Innovation Services spoke to the students about what Intellectual Property is, and how it can benefit businesses.

He welcomed the idea of the student project.

“It seems to be quite unique – I haven’t come across it before,” he said.

“Having this sort of collaboration helps breaks down barriers – the engineers understand that there is more to life than just creating a product.

“The fact that they are doing it at university, before they even get into industry, is absolutely great.”

Matthew Schrader, Head of Intellectual Property Law, at Kiteleys Solicitors in Bournemouth, also spoke to the students.

He agreed that the collaboration would be great experience for the students.

“From a law point of view, it is a good opportunity to find out what it is like to work with real clients,” he said. “It’s a very good idea.”

The students will work in teams to put the theory they have learnt into practice.

There will also be prizes for the best Law student, best DEC student and the best group, sponsored by Paul Turner, a retired Patent Attorney.

Team GB Judo star at BU


A member of the Great Britain judo team was at Bournemouth University to inspire more students and staff to take up the sport.

Tom Reed, who is training to compete in the Rio 2016 Olympics, joined representatives from British Judo in The Atrium to encourage students to start going to judo sessions, which have recently started at BU.

Tom, who was British Champion in 2012, said: “It is a complex sport, but it is good fun and there are lots of ways to do throws and lots of different moves.

“It’s completely different every time so you can’t really get bored of it.”

He added: “It’s a really safe sport – the first thing you learn is how to land safely and things like that – which helps you in everyday life as well, and it helps in other sports with things like balance, coordination and footwork.”

Active Dorset have given BU £4,000 for new judo mats and the weekly judo sessions are part of the Free Your Fitness project, funded by Sport England to increase student and staff participation in sport.

The judo sessions take place every Sunday in Talbot House from 11.30am to 1.30pm and cost £2 per person.

Chris Payne, Sport Activator for the Free Your Fitness Project at Bournemouth University, said: “British Judo approached us and we are always looking to put new sports and activities on. We thought it would be great to get a couple of new things going.

“Since the Olympics, there has been a lot more interest in Judo, and the aim is to raise awareness.

“It definitely helps to have Tom and British Judo here – it’s great to have that Judo knowledge.

“It is just offering students and staff more opportunities really – you can make friends, have fun and get fit.”

Roxanne Blanks, who is in her first year of a Biological Anthropology degree at BU, has been doing judo for the past four years.

She said: “I love it – it’s such a good way to get fit and it’s fun. It’s cool to know that you can look after yourself.”

Find out more about Free Your Fitness at BU

I don’t Beliebe it!


A journalism student from Bournemouth University has won the chance to travel to Miami and meet teen pop sensation Justin Bieber.

Third year BA (Hons) Multimedia Journalism student Joseph Kent beat entries from around the world to win the competition, run by Adidas NEO.

The prize includes an all-expenses paid trip to Miami at the end of the month, and the chance to meet Justin Bieber after one of his concerts.

Joseph, who will then blog about the experience, said: “It is the trip that I am more excited for – I have never been to Miami and it sounds amazing. I’ve already been checking the weather reports.

“The great thing is that I don’t really have an opinion on Justin Bieber so I can go to the concert and form a justified opinion on him.”

A keen fashion blogger through his site, Joseph was contacted by the Adidas social media team and encouraged to enter.

To get through the first round of the competition, Joseph had to send in a photo of the face he would pull if he found out he had won.

“That took me ages,” said Joseph, 21, who is from Woking and lives in Winton while studying.

“It was a mixture of surprise and disbelief, with a little glimmer of ‘oh my gosh’. It took me a while of taking photos with myself to find a face that I was happy with.

“I’m sure it wasn’t the face I actually pulled when I found out I’d won.”

For the second round, entrants were sent a rucksack and then had to blog about what they would put in it for their trip to Miami.

Joseph created a stop motion video of the items – including his camera, spare lens, passport and shorthand notebook – magically appearing to put themselves in the bag to one of Justin Bieber’s songs.

He said: “It took about two hours to shoot everything and about four hours to do all the editing but it was really fun to make.”

Initially Joseph was told that he had come in third place, but technicalities meant that one of the winners could not take up the prize.

He was at university helping out with an Activity Day for prospective students when he found out he would be going to Miami after all.

“It came as a total surprise,” he said.

“I was on my lunch break and checking my emails when I saw the one saying that I was going after all. I had to read it twice before I absorbed it.

“I think my jaw actually dropped and I started screaming and jumping up and down.”

Joseph will be one of two bloggers reporting on the experience, and will travel to Miami on Friday 25th January.

He will stay at a hotel on Miami Beach and will see Justin Bieber’s concert at the American Airlines Arena on the Saturday, before returning home on Sunday 27th January.

He will meet Justin following the concert, and hopes he will get the chance to interview the teen pop icon.

“If I have the chance to get a few words from him, I’m really interested to see what he thinks about the fact that there are his superfans who do really crazy things and then people who absolutely hate him.

“I want to see how that affects him and get his point of view.”

Joseph added that his friends are proud of him winning the competition.

“My friends and coursemates have been saying that they are proud of me as I work so hard and that I deserve this. I feel quite overwhelmed by that.”

You can watch the stop-motion video that Joseph created for the competition here:

BU student wins prestigious Prince’s Trust Award


Nat Hawley won Education Achiever of the Year Award, and may now get to meet the Prince of Wales.

A Television Production student who overcame adversity to gain a place at Bournemouth University has been given a prestigious Prince’s Trust Award.

Nat Hawley won Educational Achiever of the Year for the South of England and London at the Prince’s Trust Celebrate Success Awards.

The award recognises young people who have overcome barriers and developed new skills to improve their prospects through education.

Nat, 21, who is now in his second year of a BA (Hons) Television Production degree at BU, said: “It felt pretty fantastic as I wasn’t expecting to win.

“I felt quite honoured really, as there were a lot of other people in the running for the award who had really inspirational stories, so it was brilliant to win.

“I was the only person who had made it to university. At one point when I was going through trouble, I didn’t think I would be able to get through the next day – let alone end up studying something that I have always loved.”

Nat, who is autistic and dyslexic, became a full-time carer for his mother when he was 16 and studying for his GCSEs.

“It was a full-time job and it meant that I couldn’t really leave the house or do things that other kids my age do.”

But after Nat, who is from Eastleigh, began to struggle while at college, a teacher referred him to the Prince’s Trust Fairbridge Programme, a personal development scheme which offers one-to-one support and group activities.

“They helped me to live independently and build confidence, and I also learned about first aid – which has helped me to save my mum’s life a few times,” said Nat, who now lives in Talbot Woods.

“As well as learning skills like food hygiene, I did lots of other things like climbing and sailing that I wouldn’t get to do before.

“I also met other young people who had been through the same difficulties as me – it helped me to gain some perspective and hang out with similar people.”

Nat was presented with the award at St Mary’s Stadium, in Southampton, in December.

As well as receiving a trophy, Nat may now have the opportunity to meet the Prince of Wales himself, as well as attending a further event in London.

Winning the award has also helped Nat to make contacts which has helped him secure work placements in the industry.

“I am going to be moving to London, which is another great step. There are amazing possibilities and opportunities that I wouldn’t have had if it wasn’t for the Prince’s Trust.”

The Bourne Legacy


Alumni who have done well in the creative industries come back to BU to give advice to Media School students.

Successful Media School alumni were back at Bournemouth University to share their stories and advice with final year students.

Among those speaking at The Bourne Legacy event were BU graduates who have gone on to edit The X-Factor, work on Tim Burton animated film Frankenweenie, and have gained positions at BBC Radio 1Xtra.

The event is now in its second year, and has been organised to inspire current final year students from across the Digital Media Design, TV and Radio Production courses, Scriptwriting and Global Media Practice degrees.

Mark Shufflebottom, Programme Co-ordinator BA (Hons) Digital Media Design, helped to organise the event.

He said: “It is a chance for [the students] to meet people from BU who have gone out into industry and are doing great things.

“It is about meeting these guys and them giving some really good idea of how to get into the industry.”

The first speaker of the day was Dan Mellow, an editor who has worked on TV shows including the X-Factor and Comic Relief, and is now editing comedy programmes.

Dan, who completed a Media Production degree at BU in 1995, said: “There were so many skills that I learnt at Bournemouth University that I have taken into the industry and that continue to be useful today.

He added: “I’ve hugely enjoyed the event. I hope it’s very useful for the current batch of students for alumni to come back and share their experiences and stories of how they got into the industry.”

Also speaking at the event was producer and director Céin McGillicuddy, who has worked on programmes like Made in Chelsea and MTV’s My Super Sweet World Class since completing a BA (Hons) in Scriptwriting for Film and TV then an MA (Hons) in TVProduction at BU, and fellow Scriptwriting for Film and TV graduate Danna Wills, who worked at Aardman Animations and Disney before moving into children’s magazines.

Following the talks, there was a Q&A panel session with the alumni and the opportunity for networking.

Anna Goodridge, who studied TV Production at BU from 2005 to 2008 was another of the speakers.

She is currently working as a Production Coordinator on BBC drama Holby City.

Anna said: “I started off as a runner and worked my way up the old-fashioned way, which is how you’re always going to have to do it.

“I want to let students know that your mum or dad doesn’t have to work in television – with hard work and a bit of research you can get in quite easily but you’ve got to be patient and one day, eventually, you’ll get to where you want to be.”