Centre for Digital Humanities workshop series hopes to teach practical and theoretical skills

This week, the Centre for Digital Humanities is hosting a workshop on independent filmmaking. This workshop is part of a broader series meant to provide students with a well rounded perspective on both the educational and professional side of interactive arts and sciences.

The workshop, titled Adventures in Independent Media: Filmmaking, will be led by David Nordquist, local independent filmmaker and co-owner of MiniWarGaming Inc. The workshop will be held on Wednesday, October 9 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in TH 253. Nordquist will look at all aspects of filmmaking, both practical and theoretical.

“David’s workshops are very grounded in the practical experience of being a media creator,” said Justin Howe, the project coordinator for the Centre for Digital Humanities. “So the focus of the content is not just the movie they made, but the process. It’s about understanding the way that those skills manifest outside a training situation.”

Howe is responsible for connecting with community partners and organizing these types of workshops. While this will be the first time Nordquist is delivering this workshop on independent filmmaking, Howe has been coordinating similar workshops for the Centre for Digital Humanities for a few years now.

“We opened this year with a workshop run by Nathan Miller, a Brock graduate who runs Pop-Up VR. They have been very successful VR experience deployment company and he does a seminar on user experience design and understanding the realities of what virtual reality is as a business space, something that is hard to come by in an academic environment.”

The workshops are all part of two courses, IASC 2P08 and 3Q90, Competencies in Interactive Arts and Science and Competencies in Game Design, respectively. The courses, according to Howe, were designed by Dr. David Hutchison around the necessity for students to be able to engage in self-teaching in the field. The half credit courses require that students partake in 30 hours of developmental experiences over eight months. However, the purpose behind it goes far beyond passing or failing.

“The old axiom that getting ahead is all about who you know is not technically accurate. It’s really about why they know you. A student who goes to one of these workshops, is engaged and asks questions, can leave an impact and even create an immediate relationship with future employers,” said Howe.

While the courses are designed to provide students an on-campus developmental experience, the workshop is open to anyone who would like to attend, so long as they RSVP a spot before it fills up.

“These are not solely for students of the Centre for Digital Humanities. These are open to everyone and I am happy to see more students from other departments start to trickle in to these workshops,” said Howe.

Howe specifically recommended any interested film students try and make it out to this workshop.

These workshops and the courses IASC 2P08 and 3Q90 more broadly, are meant to act as a stepping stone for students for future internships, potential employment and a host of other opportunities.

While employment and internship opportunities are certainly important, Howe emphasized the true universal value of this course and the workshops that they offer are to round out a student’s knowledge and expertise in the field of Interactive Arts and Sciences.

“We’re not trying to teach you to be an expert in one tool, we are trying to teach you competencies. So part of it is the theory, part of it is also the practice,” said Howe.

He feels that this workshop format is something that should be translated into other disciplines at Brock and throughout Canada.

“This has been successful beyond anything we anticipated. If this is a proof case, then I would like to see this replicated in other domains because it really works,” said Howe.

Adventures in Independent Media: Filmmaking will be held on Wednesday, October 9 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in TH 253 on campus at Brock. Those interested in this or other similar workshops are asked to check out the Centre for Digital Humanities on ExperienceBU.

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