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Workshops & Courses Spring 2011 - Spring 2012

For children, young people, families and adults


Thank you for picking up a copy of our Spring 2011 to Spring 2012 Learning Brochure. Signals Media Arts Centre has been a base for media learning and creativity since 1988, offering a great range of creative media workshops, as well as providing educational projects, exhibition opportunities, production equipment and facilities for hire. We are passionate about media training and production. Our new range of courses for children, young people, families and adults have been developed to help all kinds of people learn more about the expanding world of digital media. Whatever your passion, hobby, skill or career, I’m sure we’ve got a course that’s just right for you.

Contents Welcome Adult Courses Adult Courses for Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Workshops for Children and Young People Youth Film Club Course Booking Form Equipment Hire Course Planner

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Signals is also a designated Learning Destination for the Colchester Children’s University scheme. Learning Destinations’ are places and organisations which provide high quality learning opportunities and activities, validated by the Children’s University. Here the Children’s University students can get their ‘Passport To Learning’ stamped which in turn will lead to the award of National Certificates. To find out more about this scheme, follow this link: I look forward to welcoming you in our newly refurbished studio!

Lisa Wright Education Co-ordinator at Signals Media Arts Centre

Director: Rachel Hipkiss

Education Co-ordinator: Lisa Wright

Production Co-ordinator: Paul Johnson Operations Co-ordinator: Diane Bishop Filmmaker: Will Wright

Graphic & Web Designer: Shaloam Wren


PO Box 9272, Colchester, CO1 9AX Tel: 01206 863835 Email: Web:


Adult Courses

Camera Drop-In Tuesday 7th June 2011, 6 – 8pm, £5 or Saturday 17th September 2011, 10 – 12pm, £5 or Wednesday 11th January 2012, 3 – 5pm, £5

Our adult courses are taught by experienced tutors who work in the media and creative industries. We use professional equipment and offer courses for the absolute beginner and for people who already work in media.

Want to make the most of your stills camera but don’t know where to start? This informal drop in session is a chance for you to bring your camera along (whether it’s a point-and-shoot camera or digital SLR) and get some basic tuition on how to take great pictures.

Photography for Beginners Tuesday 14th June 2011, 6 – 9pm, £25 This short workshop will give you all the tips and tricks you need to create beautiful photographs at home, Bring your own equipment along if you like, we’ll show you how to make the most of your camera using the different settings. Alternatively, you can use one of Signals Canon Digital SLRs to help you practice a range of professional techniques.

Four Week Filmmaking Course: How To Make Better Films Lunchtime Scriptwriting Tuesday 3rd May 2011 (and 10th, 17th, 24th and 31st May), 12 – 2pm, £25 (or £5 per session) or Friday 2nd March 2012 (and 9th, 16th, 23rd and 30th March), 12 – 2pm, £25 (or £5 per session) If you’ve ever wanted to write a Hollywood blockbuster or have a place to share your ideas, this five-week-long Lunchtime Scriptwriting group is a great place to start. It’s an informal place to talk through scriptwriting conventions, storytelling rules, formatting, plot and character development. It’s also a chance for you to meet people who could collaborate on future scriptwriting projects.


Social Media Workout Thursday 12th May 2011, 6 – 8pm, £5 or Tuesday 6th September 2011 10 – 12pm, £5 or Friday 27th January 2012, 12 – 2pm, £5 If you feel left behind by the digital world and don’t know your Facebook from your Twitter, this informal drop in workshop will take you through social networking and the wonders of the web step by step.

Saturday 7th May 2011 (and 14th, 21st and 28th May), 10 – 4pm, £200 This course is designed to unleash the creative filmmaker within by showing you how to make better low-cost movies with the easily available equipment you may already own. Over four weeks you will learn writing, directing, producing, cinematography, sound recording and postproduction whilst producing a 3-5 min short film. Led by Will Wright, a local filmmaker and director with years of teaching experience.

Photoshop for Beginners Thursday 23rd June 2011, 6 – 9pm, £25 This course introduces Adobe Photoshop. Covering a range of techniques, from basic airbrushing to creating beautiful images using layer masks, this crash course will help you make the most of your photos. Use one of our photos or bring your own digital photos (on a hard drive).

Stop Motion Animation Saturday 2nd July 2011, 10 – 4pm, £40 or Saturday 10th March 2012, 10 – 4pm, £40 Learn the fundamentals of stop motion animation in this 2-day practical course. Using a range of artist materials including plasticine and gaining experience of animation software, you will create your own short animated film. 5

Filmmaking: Next Steps Saturday 10th September 2011 (and 24th September, 8th and 22nd October, 5th and 19th November), 10 – 4pm, £50 per session or £300 for all six sessions Led by Will Wright, these masterclasses are designed for emerging filmmakers looking to develop their professional skills in specific areas within the production process. Every session will give you an insight into advanced filmmaking techniques and methods. Block book them all for a complete course, or choose the sessions that suit you. Please bring examples of your own work and future film ideas. Saturday 10th September 2011 Session One: Film Narrative Learn the mechanics of what makes a good story and improve your own writing and script reading skills.

“As a graphic designer I get real insight into all kinds of businesses everyday is different ” Shaloam Wren - Graphic & Web Designer

Web Design Wednesday 6th July 2011 (and 7th and 8th July), 6 – 9pm or Wednesday 21st March 2012 (and 22nd and 23rd March), 6 – 9pm, £100 (or £90 if you bring your own laptop with Dreamweaver installed) This course will take you through the steps to create your own website. Our professional designer, Shaloam Wren, has tons of experience in creating beautifully crafted websites using Adobe Creative Suite tools such as In-Design and Dreamweaver.


Filmmaking for Beginners Saturday 6th August 2011 (and 13th, 20th and 27th August) 10 - 4pm, £140 Make movies now with the equipment you have at home or in the office. This course is designed to unleash the budding filmmaker within, in easy, practical steps. Learn the principles of story telling, film language and video production, using the type of camcorder and computer editing software you may already own.

Scriptwriting for Beginners Saturday 3rd September 2011, 10 – 3pm, £30 This introduction to scriptwriting will show you how to create a film script using free professional software and give you advice on genre conventions, character development and story arcs.

Autumn Photography Tuesday 18th October 2011, 10 – 2pm, £20

Saturday 24th September 2011 Session Two: Producing Learn how to make your films happen, organise cast and crew, locations and contracts. Make the most of your low to no budget and still be professional.

A complete short photography course to capture this beautiful time of year. Bring your digital camera or borrow one from Signals. We’ll go to Castle Park (weather permitting!) and show you all you need for taking great pictures outdoors. Then back to Signals studio to capture and edit images in Photoshop.

Saturday 8th October 2011 Session Three: Directing Have all the answers on set, apply artistic leadership skills and make better movies.

Saturday and Sunday 11th and 12th November 2011, 10 – 3pm, £150

Saturday 22nd October 2011 Session Four: DOP / Sound Recording Learn how to employ practical camera, lighting and sound recording skills on set. Saturday 5th November Session Five: Production Design Art Direction on a budget. A practical guide to locations, costumes, props, dressing and blagging. Saturday 19th November 2011 Session Six: Editing Learn why editing is ‘sculpting in time and space’ with tips, concepts and ideas on how to build your film with sound and vision.

After Effects for Beginners

The post-production programme that people most want to learn about. This two-day workshop is an introduction to Adobe After Effects, helping you create professional postproduction effects.

Christmas Card Workshop using Photoshop Thursday 1st December 2011, 10 – 2pm, £20 Bring photos along on a disc or memory stick and we’ll teach you how to edit them using Photoshop to create a memorable Christmas card your family and friends will treasure. 7

Adult Courses for CPD (Continuing Professional Development)

“I make films because that’s how my mind works and wants to express itself” Will Wright - Filmmaker

Will is a local professional director and filmmaker with 20 years of experience including; short film, documentary, viral, music video, corporate and performance art documentation.

These courses are designed for those who are looking to develop their creative skills within their job. If you regularly take photographs for work or are looking to build a website to promote your business, Signals CPD / INSET courses will increase your knowledge and skills, helping you to develop further within your role at work.

Digital Photography Saturday 18th June 2011, 10 – 4pm, £50 This course is a great introduction to digital photography where you will learn all the tips and tricks you need for creating beautiful, professional images using a digital camera. Bring your own camera in or use one of our Canon digital SLRs. If you regularly take photographs for work and are looking to extend your knowledge of photography and take better pictures, this one-day workshop will suit you. We’ll show you all the techniques you need to improve your digital photography skills and edit your pictures using Photoshop.

Build Your Own Website Saturday and Sunday 26th and 27th November 2011, 10 – 4pm, £150 (or £125 if you bring your own laptop with Dreamweaver installed) Aimed at creating a website for business purposes this short course over two days is a great start to get your website up and running. Covering all the basics from purchasing a domain, designing a site using Dreamweaver and syncing your website with services like Vimeo, Twitter and eBay, this is a chance to get yourself and your business online with professional support.

Teaching Video Production CPD / INSET (Basic) Thursday 13th October 2011, 9.30 – 4pm, £75 Designed to equip teaching staff and youth workers with the necessary practical knowledge and experience in moving image production. Become familiar with the operation of cameras, mics and editing software (iMovie/Windows Movie Maker). The course will provide ideas of how to construct production sessions and share best practice.

Teaching Video Production CPD / INSET (Advanced) Friday 14th October 2011, 9:30 – 4pm, £75 This course is designed to help teachers or youth workers who want to further develop their practical production skills and update techniques. This will include opportunities to share best practice and advice on equipment and software. Teaching Video Production Basic and Advanced can be booked together for a complete course in digital production.



“It’s just a great feeling, passing on a creative skill to someone else and watching them flourish” Lisa Wright - Education Co-ordinator Lisa has a BA (Hons) in Scriptwriting for Film and Television. She is a keen filmmaker and has been teaching media workshops and courses for three years.

Workshops for children, young people and families We have a great range of filmmaking, animation and photography holiday workshops. Because we want everyone to have fun and get involved, all our workshops are with small groups (12 or less) and this year some our courses are for the whole family. Bring your Children’s University passport along to our workshops and get it stamped. Once you’ve completed 30 hours of learning, you’ll be eligible for a Bronze Award. For more information on the Colchester Children’s University scheme, follow this link:

Creative Camera Workshop (age 12+)

Friday 3rd June 2011, 12 – 2pm, £20 per child

This fun and practical workshop uses small Flip video cameras in a variety of interesting ways to create innovative shots. This workshop is great for young people who want to be more creative with a camera and do something different.

A fun workshop where families have an opportunity to learn together in a trip to photograph the flora and fauna in Castle Park. Bring your own camera or use one of Signals, either way our photography tutor will help you take great pictures using a range of techniques. If it’s nice weather, bring a packed lunch along and we can picnic in the park and have a look through the photos.

Creative Editing Workshop (age 12+) Thursday 2nd June 2011, 10 – 2pm, £30 Using footage recorded on the Flip Camera workshop or your own work, this session will focus on editing the shots together using professional software, Final Cut Express. We’ll show you a range of editing techniques including how to edit the film to music and using filters and transitions. The Creative workshops can be booked together for a complete production course. 10

Family Wildlife Photography

Wednesday 1st June 2011, 10 – 2pm, £30

Family Claymation Monday 25th July 2011, 10 – 3pm, £30 per child If you love watching Wallace and Gromit with your family, then why not learn how to create your own clay-animation together? Using a range of art materials, you’ll work together to create characters and sets, then bring them to life in your very own mini-movie. 11

Five Day Film School (age 12+) Monday 1st – Friday 5th August 2011, 10 – 3pm, £200 An intense, practical course for young people that will give them the experience of filmmaking. Participants will work in small groups to create a short live action film. Activities will include: Day 1: Film screening and discussion, ideas workshop, scriptwriting and storyboarding Day 2: Camera and Sound Skills Workshop, Production Roles, Filming Day 3: Filming Day 4: Filming Day 5: Editing Skills Workshop, Post Production, Screening

Stop Motion Animation (age 12+) Wednesday 17th August 2011, 10 – 4pm, £30 or Friday 13th April 2012, 10 – 4pm, £30 If you’ve ever wondered how animated films are made, then this workshop will show you how it’s done. Using a range of artist’s materials including plasticine, you will create your own short animated film and edit it together on professional animation software.

Family Photography

Claymation (age 7+) Thursday 18th August 2011, 10 – 3pm, £30 or Monday 13th February 2012, 10 – 3pm, £30 or Thursday 5th April 2012, 10 – 3pm, £30

Comic Book Heroes (age 7+) Tuesday 9th August 2011,10 – 3pm, £25 or Wednesday 11th April 2012, 10 – 3pm, £25 An exciting workshop for any child that loves super heroes and comics. Take photos, draw pictures and create a story. Tutors will then show participants how to upload them into our MacBooks to create their very own comic.


Wednesday 26th October 2011, 10 – 2pm, £25

A fun workshop that will show everyone how to think about images and sound in new ways. Families will take photos of their surroundings and create a photo slideshow and soundtrack.

Release your inner beast. Our Halloween-inspired workshop will show you how to transform a photo of yourself into something truly monstrous using the wonders of Adobe Photoshop.

Make Your Own ‘B Movie’ (age 12+) Monday 24th – Tuesday 25th October 2011, 10 – 4pm, £80

Our most popular workshop. Create your own characters and sets then learn the basics of stop frame animation using modelling clay to create a short animated film.

This two day film workshop is guaranteed to get your pulse racing as we show you all the skills you need to make your own horrifying B Movie! Learn how to script, storyboard, film, edit and soundtrack your masterpiece in time for Halloween. Not for the faint hearted…

Drawn Animation (age 12+) Thursday 25th August 2011, 10– 3pm, £30

Photoshock! (age 12+)

Friday 2nd August 2011, 10 – 2pm, £25 per child

Little Shop of Horrors (age 12+) Thursday 27th October 2011, 10 – 3pm, £30 Bring along your scariest action figures and small toys then animate them in our spooky animation set.

Creepy Claymation (age 7+) Friday 28th October 2011, 10 – 3pm, £30 Our popular Claymation workshop is back, but

This is a fun workshop for young people who love

this time with a creepy Halloween theme. Create

to draw. Our tutors will show the group how to

terrifying characters and sets and learn how to

bring their drawings to life using our professional

bring them to life (or back from the dead!) using

lightboxes and software.

animation techniques.


Christmas Claymation (age 7+) Thursday 22nd December 2011, 10 – 3pm, £30 Claymation with a Christmas theme. We’ve got plasticine, glitter and tinsel, now all we need are some budding animators to make some festive films. We’ll spend the morning working on our storyboards, characters and sets and the afternoon creating short animated films.

Take Two Filmmaking (age 12+) Monday 19th – Tuesday 20th December 2011, 10 – 4pm, £80 or Wednesday 15th – Thursday 16th February 2012, 10 – 4pm, £80 Ever wanted to direct your own short film? This basic filmmaking workshop will teach you all you need to know including: Day 1: Storyboarding, Scripting, Camera Skills Workshop, Filming Day 2: Filming, Editing, Screening

Youth film club Family Easter-Mation Monday 2nd April 2012 10 – 3pm, £30 per child This workshop is aimed at families who want to

Christmas Toy Stories (age 7+) Wednesday 21st December 2011, 10 – 3pm, £30 “Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring not even a mouse…” If you were wondering what happens on the night before Christmas then join Signals for this fun workshop where we’ll be using stop motion techniques to bring a Christmas themed set to life. Bring your favourite small objects, toys and anything Christmas-y along and we’ll help you to create amazing animated sequences.

learn a new skill together. Using a range of Easterthemed art materials, you’ll work together to create characters and sets, then learn to animate them in your own short film.

Take One Filmmaking (age 12+) Tuesday 3rd April 2012 10 – 4pm, £40 This basic filmmaking workshop is for older children and teenagers. The group will work in teams to produce a short live action film. Activities will give participants skills in the following areas: storyboarding, scripting, camera skills, filming and editing.


Are you aged 11 – 16? Are you interested in making films? Are you free on Monday evenings from 6 – 8pm? Signals Media Arts Centre runs a regular Youth Film Club here in Colchester. It’s a chance for you to share your ideas, learn filmmaking and media skills and make new friends. You will work as part of a team to create your own films and meet people working in the industry. For more information about getting involved, visit our website or email

Birthday parties Signals now offer bespoke birthday parties for children, which are fun, affordable and unique. We can work with a group of up to 15 children in our studio in an artistic 2-3 hour workshop where they can create their own short film. Choose from one of three packages: drawn animation, stop motion animation or filmmaking. We’ll work with you to determine a theme for the party in advance and entertain your group with lots of fun games and activities throughout the day, leaving you free to enjoy your child’s party. Prices start from £150. For more information call Lisa on 01206 560255.


Workshop Booking Form If you would like to book a place on a workshop or course, please fill out the form below and post it back to us with your payment. Please make cheques payable to Signals Media Arts Centre. You can also book through our website or call 01206 560255.

Workshop Name: ___________________________________________ Workshop Start Date: ________________ Workshop Cost: _________________ No. of participants:__________Total Payment: ______________________ Participant(s) Name(s): ____________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________ Address: _________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________Postcode: _____________________ Phone Number: ____________________________ Email: _______________________________________________ If participant is under 18, please fill in this section. Does the participant have any medical conditions, allergies or learning disabilities we should know about? This does not affect a child's place on the workshop, but in most cases we will be able to make suitable provision to accommodate them beforehand. Yes No Details __________________________________________________________________________________________ Next of kin details and phone number: ______________________________________________________________ Consent signature of Parent or Guardian: ____________________________________________________________ Please tick if you would like to join our mailing list and receive information on future courses and events.

Equipment hire To help you make your own film, Signals Media Arts Centre has a range of video cameras and equipment to suit your needs. Our cameras include Sony PD150’s, HDZ1’s and the Canon 5D Mk ii – the camera that started the DSLR revolution. We also have a range of Apple Macbooks that can be hired – featured software includes Photoshop, After Effects, Premiere Pro and Final Cut Studio. Call Paul for prices on 01206 560255 or see our website

How would you like to receive this information? Post / Email (please circle) Where did you find this brochure? __________________________________________________________________ Please return this form to Signals Media Arts Centre, Victoria Chambers, St. Runwald Street, Colchester, Essex, CO1 1HF. We advise you to telephone Signals on 01206 560255 to check availability of places before sending your booking form with payment. For multiple bookings, please call the office on the same number to arrange booking forms and payment. Please note that your payment is non-refundable 7 days prior to the workshop. In the unlikely event that we should have to cancel a course you will receive a full refund. Courses are booked on receipt of full payment.



Course Planner

Workshops for age 7 +

Workshops & courses for adults

Course / Workshop Name


Price per person

Course / Workshop Name


Price per person

Comic Book Heroes

August 2011 – 9th April 2012 – 11th


Lunchtime Scriptwriting

May 2011 – 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th and 31st March 2012 – 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd, 30th

£5 per session



Four Week Filmmaking Course

May 2011 – 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th August 2011 – 6th, 13th, 20th, 27th


August 2011 – 18th February 2012 – 13th April 2012 – 5th

Creepy Claymation

October 2011 – 28th


Social Media Workout

May 2011 – 12th September 2011 – 6th January 2012 – 27th

£5 per session

Christmas Toy Stories

December 2011 – 21st


Christmas Claymation

December 2011 – 22nd


Camera Drop-In

June 2011 – 7th September 2011 – 24th January 2012 – 11th

£5 per session

Photography for Beginners

June 2011 – 14th


Course / Workshop Name


Price per person

Digital Photography CPD *

June 2011 – 18th


Creative Camera Workshop

June 2011 – 1st


Photoshop for Beginners

June 2011 – 23rd


Creative Editing Workshop

June 2011 – 2nd


Stop Motion Animation

July 2011 – 2nd March 2012 – 10th


Five Day Film School

August 2011 – 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th


Web Design

July 2011 – 6th, 7th and 8th March 2012 – 21st, 22nd and 23rd


Stop Motion Animation

August 2011 – 17th April 2012 – 13th


Filmmaking for Beginners

August 2011 – 6th, 13th, 20th and 27th


Drawn Animation

August 2011 – 25th


Make Your Own B Movie

October 2011 – 24th and 25th


Filmmaking: Next Steps

September 2011 – 10th, 24th October 2011 – 8th, 22nd November 2011 – 5th, 19th

£50 per session or £300 for all six


October 2011 – 26th


Little Shop of Horrors

October 2011 – 27th


Scriptwriting for Beginners

September 2011 – 10th


Take Two Filmmaking

December 2011 – 19th and 20th February 2012 – 15th and 16th


Teaching Video Production CPD (Basic) *

October 2011 – 13th


Take One Filmmaking

April 2012 – 3rd


Teaching Video Production CPD (Advanced) *

October 2011 – 14th


Workshops for families

Autumn Photography

October 2011 – 18th


Course / Workshop Name


After Effects

November 2011 – 12th and 13th


Price per person

Build Your Own Website CPD *

November 2011 – 26th and 27th


Family Wildlife Photography

June 2011 – 3rd


Family Claymation

July 2011 – 25th

£30 per child

Christmas Card Workshop Using Photoshop

December 2011 – 1st


Family Photography

September 2011 – 2nd


Family Easter-Mation

April 2012 – 2nd


* CPD (Continuing Professional Development) Courses designed for professional development 18

Workshops for age 12 +


Signals Media Arts Centre Victoria Chambers, St. Runwald Street, Colchester, Essex, CO1 1HF Telephone: 01206 560255 Email: Charity No. 802376 Company No. 227759

Signals Media Arts Centre is a base for independant filmmaking and education. We provide opportunities for everyone to participate in creative media production through production, education, exhibition and signposting. Signals works directly with filmmakers, artists, children, young people and disadvantaged groups to produce innovative work that develops knowledge, understanding and skills.

Signals Learning Brochure 2011 - 2012  

Creative workshops and courses for children, young people, families and adults. Signals Media Arts Centre is based in Colchester, Essex, UK.