Industry Week 2023 reached new heights on day four, with famed Beatles engineer, Ken Scott, the world’s best podcast-about-songwriting hosts, Sodajerker, one half of the legendary Sleaford Mods and lots more influential guest speakers. Take a look at some of the highlights below!
Rhianne Murphy – Narrative Designer
We journeyed into the role of a Narrative Designer with Confetti alumna, Rhianne Murphy. Rhianne has been working in the games industry for over 6 years, having progressed from Level Designer to Narrative Designer at Sumo Digital and now with Square Enix, developing stories for high-budget, high-profile (AAA) games.
As part of her session, Rhianne delved into the different aspects of her role – which combines story telling (writing) and graphic design – she outlined her responsibilities, the software she uses, and the steps you can take to pursue a career in the games industry. Rhianne emphasised the importance of building a portfolio and keeping it up-to-date, crafting a good CV, and assured students:
“If you don’t have much work experience in the industry focus on outlining projects that you’ve worked on as part of university, as opposed to your part-time job at Tesco. It’s lovely that you are holding down jobs I was doing the same thing, however, try to keep what’s on your CV directly relevant to the job you’re applying for.
“Employers are not expecting you to have done internships over the summer. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself.
“Don’t be picky with the jobs you’re applying for and above all, don’t stop applying!”
Ken Scott – Music Producer and Engineer
Ken Scott has lived through some of music’s greatest moments, from co-producing four of David Bowie’s albums to working alongside The Beatles for years. At only 16, he began working at Abbey Road Studios where he perfected his craft. He gained experience as a button boy and was later promoted as a recording engineer. His lifelong devotion to music allowed him a career spanning 60 years in an industry he had dreamt of since the age of 12.
The veteran producer looked back fondly on the musical freedom he had when working with The Beatles, an experience that provided him lots of opportunities to experiment. Ken also shared audio snippets demonstrating the significance of each instrument for the creation of classic tunes like ‘Life on Mars’. Ken weighed in on the current trends in music production, believing the use of auto-tune and AI to be detrimental. As his session came to an end, he passionately called on the future industry members to ensure true, natural talent is recognised and encouraged everyone to pursue their passions, wherever they lie. Here’s some choice words from the man himself:
“You need 100% faith in your talent.
“Listen to your heart and do what you think you should be doing.
“Play to your own strengths and do not let people move you away from what is right.” – Ken Scott
BA (Hons) Music Production student, Nico Gray, was one of the lucky ones who attended the masterclass, he said:
“He was very inciteful. One of the things he said that stayed with me is when he told us: even if it doesn’t feel right, if it sounds right, it’s still good – when a person of Ken’s calibre says it, I believe it.”
Jason Williamson – Musician
Famed Nottingham artist, Jason Williamson, provided students with an eye-opening discussion on the music industry and his experience as one half of Sleaford Mods. The post-punk singer has devoted his time to creating original music incorporating rap and punk. Alongside his partner in crime, musician Andrew Fearn, Sleaford Mods have recorded a number of well-respected albums and had incredible success with striking songs like ‘Mork n Mindy’ and ‘Nudge It’, with over 370,000 monthly listeners on streaming platforms.
BBC Radio Nottingham’s own Dean Jackson – a legend in his own right – explored key themes within the band’s music, from politics and jealousy to fear, from their earliest recordings in 2012 to their latest album, ‘UK GRIM’. Jason openly discussed the disadvantageous nature of major record labels who reduce the authenticity of artists. He also reflected on how their independent music had reached an audience far beyond Nottingham and how it’s led to opportunities like collaborating with The Prodigy and performing at Glastonbury not once but four times!
“It’s tempting to write about subjects you don’t know. But lyrics are best when they come from your own experience because they’re full of your own emotion. It ensures its authentic and real.”
“You’ve got to do it for yourself, otherwise it’ll become very laborious.”
“Don’t give into fear, fear will cause all sorts, and so try to resist it” – Jason Williamson
Level 3 Film and TV student, Daniel Porter said: “I really liked his music video for ‘Dirty Rats’ (shown on screen) with Orbital, Jason seems like such a cool guy.
“I’m pretty impressed Confetti managed to get him down for Industry Week. He’s an interesting character and it was nice to hear his perspectives on music, the industry and signing to a label vs. going independent.”
Daniele Caruso – Illustrator
We were delighted to welcome freelance illustrator, Daniele Caruso to Industry Week, who has commissioned designs for the likes of Jadon Sancho, AJ Tracey and Simon Pegg.
Caruso got his first big break when he designed a spoof Nike sponsorship of the 2020 Olympics, which went viral on Behance. He now works on retainer for various graphic design organisations including Project XIV and most recently for Ruroc, where he has licensed art for DC, Slipknot and Pink Floyd.
As part of the session, Danielle told students how he’d initially struggled to master the free vector graphics editor software, Vectr, which he had to invest a lot of time in to feel confident using it. Whilst acknowledging the level of difficulty for beginners, he considers the skills he learnt from it to be invaluable and he recommends it to anyone looking wanting to enter the industry.
Offering advice to the first-year Graphics and Digital Design students in attendance, Daniele emphasised the importance of licensing your own personal work and trying to get as much use out of each design as possible.
Course Leader of Level 3 Graphics and Digital Design at Confetti, Matt Gallagher said, ‘It’s great of Daniele to come and speak to our first years and show them the type of careers their course can bring them.’
Sarmad Masud – Writer & Director
Award-winning filmmaker, Sarmad, treated us to not one but three directing workshops featuring a pair of terrific actors, Tim Bryn Smith and Melissa May Smith. Sarmad Masud’s first feature film ‘My Pure Land’ premiered at the Edinburgh International Film Festival and was the UK submission to the Oscars in the Foreign Language category. The film is set and filmed in Pakistan and based on the extraordinary true story of one woman and her family who defended their home and land from 200 bandits. Most recently, Sarmad directed all four episodes of You Don’t know Me, a brand-new drama series written by Tom Edge for BBC and Netflix. Tim is the founder and director of The Actors Workshop, an adult acting group based in Nottingham, and his wife Melissa, is a freelance creative and performer who works with the Actors Workshop and also leads two performing arts groups at Nottingham Playhouse called Rootz.
The sessions delved into the multi-faceted role of a Director, from directing the performance, to sticking to time, maintaining a dialogue with your producer, picking the brains of the actors and working collaboratively with the Assistant Director. Sarmad had students take the reins, directing Tim and Melissa as they ran through different scenes. He also pulled up his Netflix show on screen, dissected the different camera angles and talked us through his process.
We spoke to first year BSc (Hons) Film Production Technology, Cameron Witkowska about the session, he said:
“It was a great interactive workshop. Sarmad and the actors really engaged us and provided some useful insights into how a scene’s written, the direction, the performance, and how they inform one another.”
Are you interested in attending events like Industry Week as part of your studies? Book onto an Open Day to find out more about our offer at Confetti.