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Staging and Design Professionals Deliver Training at Backstage Academy

Staging and design professionals working in the entertainment industry have been passing on their knowledge to students on Backstage Academy’s Foundation Degree in Live Events Production.

The 52 students currently taking the second annual degree course (validated by The University of Bolton) at the Wakefield training centre enjoyed training sessions, masterclasses and hands-on product demonstrations by leading companies and personnel during their month-long Staging Module.

General manager of Brilliant Stages, Tony Bowern, did his first ever educational talk. He explained: “I discussed the processes that we use to convert designers’ dreams into reality involving project management, engineering, design, procurement and manufacturing. I feel it is important to pass on my knowledge of stage set building so it can give the Academy students a clear insight into what is required in the industry as I feel the future lies with them.”

Star Events Group Ltd’s Roger Barrett gave an alternative view on the staging industry with his presentation on temporary demountable structures, introducing the students to the considerations and risks associated with building large outdoor staging structures.

Kinesys, which specialises in the design, build and installation of motion control systems, also gave input into the course for the first time. Director Martin Honeywill held a session on automation systems, including the theory of how different component parts work and how they differ from standard components like chain hoists. He also touched on safety systems, like load cells, and gave them demonstrations of some simple Kinesys automation controllers.

Said Martin: “Kinesys is always keen to support educational initiatives that help to spread knowledge of a difficult topic like safety systems and automation in the live entertainment industry.

Backstage Academy is not only a training centre of excellence, but it’s also the result of a much bigger vision conceived by its founder, Adrian Brooks. We believe that by supporting Backstage Academy, we actively contribute to the development and consolidation of the rigging community.”

A.C. Rigging’s senior sales executive Matt Millward spent a day introducing the students to their CM range of Loadstar motors, showing them the basics of how they work and what they are used for on a production. The students also had some hands-on experimentation time with LoadGuard motors, which Lift Turn Move loaned to the Academy.

Rosco returned to hold their day’s scenic paints workshop where the students were taught about theory and techniques behind scenic painting, then put their skills into practice using vinyl acrylic paints and Rosco’s range of coatings and textures.

Backstage Academy is based at the LS-Live production rehearsal arena complex in South Kirkby, so the students also learnt how to lift, use and put together the range of LS-Live’s staging equipment, including the scissor lifts, courtesy of general manager Mark Blount.

Said Backstage Academy technical director Gareth Welbourn: “We aim to expose the students to a wide variety of practices and products so that they get a good overall understanding of the staging industry.

“We were pleased to be approached by other companies and professionals this year who were keen to get involved.

“It means we can keep course content fresh and ensure that graduates going into the industry have been equipped with current information on technology and working practices.

“I’d like to thank Brilliant Stages, Kinesys, Lift Turn Move, A.C. Rigging, Star Events, Rosco and LS-Live.”

Following the month-long Staging Module, the students continued to gain hands-on experience with staging equipment and other technology as they progressed with work experience opportunities on production builds and film sets in the LS-Live Studio.

The Foundation Degree in Live Events Production will be entering its third year in November and Backstage Academy is currently accepting applications for the course.

For more information visit the website.

26th July 2013

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