Top excursion for media students

Top Designs 1

Almost 40 Year 11 and 12 media students recently attended a full-day excursion to the Melbourne Museum to see Top Designs 2021 and Top Screens at ACMI.

The excursion was a wonderful opportunity for students to talk face-to-face, make some new friends, and see work from the next generation of artists, designers and media makers.

Kelly Jackson, VCE Theatre and Media Teacher at Virtual School Victoria (VSV), said that interesting discussions are always stimulated by the work and this year was no exception.

‘It was fantastic to hear the students’ thoughts and ideas. There were two stand out favourite works among the students – Lachlan Maher’s photographic narrative The necessity of marriage and the print production Seventeen films to watch before you’re Seventeen by Indiana Rickard Smith,’ she said.

Kelly also noted that it was inspiring for students to see the work of three VSV students included in the exhibition.

‘Students excitedly came up to me to point out that there were VSV students represented in the exhibition. This helps students aspire to what is possible and makes this level of work feel attainable’.

Students were asked to take particular note of the production design plans at Top Designs.

‘It is easy to get carried away with the fun of making and creating, but the nitty gritty of planning and development results in the best products and is also fundamental in terms of marks,’ said Kelly.

After Top Designs, students and teachers headed to ACMI to see the 16 films chosen for Top Screens and attend a panel discussion with some of the films’ creators.

The advice that students found most valuable from this session was from panellist Zak Scott, “Keep it simple.”

Given the lockdowns of 2020, it was not surprising to see a number of animations at Top Screen.

‘These animations are an innovative response to social distancing requirements. They are also a brave choice, as they require incredible technical skills and a huge amount of time and patience,’ said Polly Siamatras, a Media teacher at VSV.

The students were impressed with the animations, but were most entertained by a mockumentary short film, Magnum Opus by James Miller. It was the teachers however, who were loudest in their appreciation, with their laughter ringing out across the cinema seating.

Kelly summed up the day well, ‘It was a lovely day, great weather, great company and lots learned. Who could ask for more than that?’

Special thanks to the VSV media teachers who helped make this fantastic day happen: Alex Florance-Curwood, Jared Webster, Kelly Jackson, Melinda Keyte and Polly Siamatras.

Photo of work by VSV Student Emer Rafferty at Top Designs. Emer Rafferty identified a gap in the market for women’s workwear that was well fitting and durable. These workpants were designed to be both comfortable and practical, with the ability to withstand long durations of physical activity.

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