IW23 Final Day Highlights

Tuesday March 14, 2023

Industry Week 2023 wrapped up on day 5 with outstanding talks, jams, workshops and our annual Games Expo!

Since 2006, we’ve brought scores of industry guests from across the creative and entertainment industries to Nottingham. This year saw lots more in-person events with flexibility for students to still tune in online. With the events came tons of student opportunities to Do It For Real, supporting both our tech and marketing teams behind the scenes. We saved the best for last, check out day 5’s highlights below and be sure to tag us in your own highlights along with the hashtag #IW23.

Games Expo

Students could attend our annual Games Expo on day 5, which was spread across our live performance venue, Metronome. Nottingham is often referred to as ‘the lead belt’, due to the number of wargames manufacturers based in and around the city, and we were delighted to welcome a number of developers, designers and manufacturers from many of these tabletop games companies to the Expo. Those exhibiting included Warlord Games, Mantic Games, Modiphius Games, Void Scar Miniatures and Soulmuppet Publishing. The venue was jam packed with a selection of their board games, card games, and fantasy mass battle games featuring hand-painted miniatures.

Titles included Fallout the roleplaying game, Skyrim: The Adventure Game, Judge Dredd miniature game, Kings of War, Hell Boy the board game, and lots more great stuff! Our industry experts networked with students throughout the day, chatting about their projects, demoing games and inviting them to join in. A representative for Games Workshop also came down to tell students about the  creative career opportunities they provide in miniature design, concept art and painting miniatures. Games Workshop make miniatures for Warhammer 40000 and Age of Sigmar and also produce a glossy magazine for hobbyists into collecting, painting and gaming.

In Metronome’s bar area, students were encouraged to bring along their own board and card games to the dedicated ‘Bring & Play’ zone, with chairs and tables set up for playing old favourites and trying something new. That’s not all – for those more interested in video games, particularly retro ones, we had an awesome selection of classic arcade machines set up in the Atrium. Students competed excitedly for the high score in Simpsons, Donkey Kong, Pac-Man, Out Run and Street Fighter 4!

New to this year, we also had our first-ever NTSU society, “Creative Overflow” in attendance running a games jam, where students could pick a classic board game like snakes and ladders and put their own spin on it to make it something new. We caught up with Society founder, second year BA (Hons) Games Art student, Helen “H” Chamberlain, to find out more:

“As part of a regular games jam, you usually need someone with programming experience on your team and it requires a whole day to make the game. For the Expo, we just wanted to make our games jam casual and approachable to more students. Students could just work on the concept for the game and enjoy the creative side without worrying about getting the whole thing finished.”

Finally, students got the chance to enter our miniature painting club competition. The event was run with the support of Level 3 Games Art students, Caitlin Street and Lilly Redgate, who guided unfamiliar students through all of the different types of paint we have, showed them how to paint miniatures and answered any questions they had. We caught up with Caitlin to find out her thoughts on the Expo and Industry Week as a whole:

“I think especially today, it’s been helpful to go around the different exhibitors and the activities have been a nice little treat at the end of Industry Week. I was talking to someone from Games Workshop today about Warhammer and how he works for them, he was telling me about all of these different job opportunities which I wasn’t aware of, and how to get shortlisted for interviews.”

Rob Dickins CBE – Music Industry Legend

Rob Dickins grew up in a musically driven family, in fact, his dad was one of the founders of NME which established Dickins love of music and introduced him to big artists including The Beatles when Rob was only 12. Throughout his career, Rob was responsible for signing countless music icons, including Neil Young, Sex Pistols and Prince, not to mention working with The Smiths,  Madonna and Cher. During his session, Rob discussed the increased reliance of Artificial Intelligence in music production, which he argues doesn’t have the power to create classic songs.

He was keen to emphasise the importance of loving the industry you’re working in, something that Rob still demonstrates to this day at 72 years old as he continues to teach and mentor students for free. Rob took us on a journey through his career, from working his way up getting sandwiches for secretaries, to creating his very own independent music company. Dickins’ extraordinary time-line showcased the many successes he has achieved and his love of guiding others in the industry.

 “A&R should always be a gut talent.

“You’ve got to find a doorway into the industry and then make yourself stand-out.

 “If you believe in something but it doesn’t work out, you should still love it.”

Simone Giampaolo – Director of Animated Films

CGI specialist Simone Giampaolo enlightened Confetti students on the full creative process of directing. The Oscar-shortlisted Animation Director has worked for Aardman, Axis Studios and Jellyfish Pictures, and has had a long list of clients which includes the BBC, Pokémon, Lucasfilm, Netflix, Lego, Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon.

Simone’s most notable work is his animated short film ‘Only a Child’, which gives shape and colour to the original words spoken by Severn Cullis-Suzuki at the UN Summit in Rio in 1992, a child’s desperate call to action for the future of our planet.

During his session with students, Giampaolo played scenes from Only a Child, which uses many different animation styles when depicting Severn Cullis-Suzuki’s famous speech that “silenced the world”.

Later in his session, Simone talked through the different stages of animation, from taking a picture of his own action just as a base, to fully rendering the actions of each character and how they work in the scene.

Giving advice to students just starting out, Giampaulo emphasised the importance of using free tools widely available online. He also advised not to become dependent on one specific programme or software brand, as it is better to understand the methodology of those programs so the skills can be easily transferred.

BSc (Hons) Visual Effects Production Technology student Gracie Fernandez said, “He was a really fun guy to listen to, he had a lot of passion. When you listen to someone talk about the thing they clearly love to do, it’s hard not to feel inspired.”

The Brothers McLeod – Illustrators & Writers

The Bafta-winning McLeod Brothers gave us tips on how to stay afloat in the world of animation. Based in Warwickshire, brothers Greg and Myles McLeod made a name for themselves thanks to their work on children’s animated TV shows, including Pedro and Frankensheep, which began airing on CBBC in 2008 and still runs to this day.

The take-home advice they offered was to stick at it, they spoke about the importance of writing for yourself to maintain your creative voice, and to never turn down work that could get you noticed.

The Brothers creative output has seen more of their projects get picked up by Disney, including multiple short films and a web series. The Brothers have also had commissions from the likes of Adam Buxton, Edgar Wright and Stewart Lee.

Wrapping up the session, Confetti students were shown Marfa, The Brothers short film nominated for Best British Short Animation in 2019. The animated travelogue tells the story of Greg and Myles journey from their home in Stratford Upon Avon (UK) to the remote town of Marfa in West Texas (USA). The Brothers started a successful Kickstarter campaign to get the film made, which was produced entirely through the use of animation, poetry and audio-clips from genuine conversations.

The session clearly had an impact on our students, BSc (Hons) Television Production Technology student, Jamie Whitelaw said, “It was really cool hearing them talk about how they got to where they are now. They told us about their projects and the lessons they’ve learnt along the way – it sounds tough but not out of reach.”

Now that we’ve brought you up to speed on day 5, it’s time to wrap up Industry Week 2023 as a whole. Instead of us telling you how great it was, let’s find out what students have been saying online, remember #IW23

And it’s not only students who have been raving about this week’s events – our guests have really enjoyed the experience too, taking time at the end of their talks – and taking to social media – to let us know what a great event this is:

One of those most vocal has been he critically acclaimed composer, producer and performer, Gazelle Twin:


Missed any events? Don’t worry – you can soon watch IW23 events on our OnDemand service. We will be letting you know just as soon as they are live. In the meantime, you catch-up on a series of talks, workshops and games jams from previous years’ Industry Weeks. Remember to use your Confetti email address to watch these.

Lastly, we want to say a huge thank you to all of the guests that joined us for this exciting week of events – and to all our students for attending and enjoying. We hope you come away from this week feeling inspired and excited for your futures in the creative and entertainment industries!

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.