A group of students from Milton Keynes College gained valuable, real-life business experience and skills by providing the videos for last week’s Celebrity Just Dance competition in the city.
The five ambitious students are all members of an exciting new partnership between a local business and the college, called the Movey Academy, which places students in carefully controlled, real world business projects.
The hand-picked students, all aged between 17 and 19, provided all the professional videos shown at the recent Celebrity Just Dance charity event. Tasks included directing, liaising with the dancers plus sound, lighting and video production, including editing, and all with extremely tight deadlines.
Video media agency Movey, based in Kingston, provided the professional support to the students in the co-ordination of the project.
The videos were played on the night before an audience of 450 people.
Zaki Mohamed, 19, controlled the sound; Pelumi Adebiyi, 19, worked the cameras and lights; Louis Williams, 18, handled filming; Kian Kalayeh, 19, was the director while Arthur Hawkes, 17, the youngest of the five, handled interviews with the dancers.
Zaki said: “I am fascinated by animation and I am planning to study this at university. The experience I had at Celebrity Just Dance will provide a strong reference because it shows that I am eager and have used the skills in the real world.”
Kian said: “The work we do here as a part of the Movey Academy will be extremely helpful to my career. It is giving us a chance in the future.
“It provides the professional pressure that we just would not be able to achieve otherwise. It is inspiring to work with professional people and to take jobs seriously.”
Movie fan Arthur, who wants to be a director, is already involved in making short films in Milton Keynes, including one called The Case of the Stevedores, which is being filmed in Oldbrook.
He said: “In film, the recreation of worlds is so beautiful. I feel I gained experience of professional conduct which will help me in the future.”
Dr Julie Mills, MK College’s Principal and Chief Executive, saw her students from the other side of the camera lens as a Celebrity Just Dance contestant. She said: “It was great fun to see our students in action, working on a real life project alongside professionals in a commercial environment. Transforming lives through learning is what we are about and our partnership with Movey through the Movey Academy helps to do just that.”
Digital Media Course Team Leader Jim Nowell added: “This kind of project and the Movey Academy in particular helps to provide our students with the kind of work experience that is really valuable. It is not about making cups of tea in the workplace and learning little, it is the application of skills in a real world setting.
“Our students ‘get it’, they really do, and the Movey Academy experience will help them gain rewarding and fulfilling careers in the industry they love.”
Former MK College teacher, Darren Thomson, the Director of Creative Operations and Co-owner at Milton Keynes-based Movey, said: “As a growing national video media agency, Movey needs to ensure that we have people with the skills we need.
“At the moment, young people looking for careers in video invariably have to head off to London. The Movey Academy partnership with Milton Keynes College is helping us create a centre of excellence here in Milton Keynes, so our young people don’t have to migrate out for work.
“We already have our hopes high that some of the Movey Academy stars will want to work for us.
“If Celebrity Just Dance helps persuade some of these talented and driven young people to step in our direction, we will be all the better for it.”