Mystical creatures grace the Post 16 Centre

17 March 2016

Hair and Media Make-up students from local colleges took part in the sub-regional World Skills competition based on a ‘Fantasy’ theme which was hosted at the Retford Post 16 Centre recently and created mystical creatures from TV, film and their imagination.

North Notts College hosted the new initiative called Prep EM on the 14th March. This is a new initiative that is run in conjunction with emfec, the regional AoC East Midlands and VTCT examining body who have come together to form this project, the first of its kind in this region. The aim is to make the students more work ready for competition and to gain experience when competing, the top candidates achieving the highest marks in the heats will be invited to the UK final.

Students from various colleges will be taking part in the Prep EM initiative to prepare them for the national and regional World Skills Championships later in the year.   Ten students from Chesterfield, Derby and North Notts College were the first to take part and competed in an inter-college challenge to decide the winner of the East Midland sub-regional.

The students were given a brief and the theme for this sub-regional heat was ‘Fantasy’. This was a ‘live’ competition of 3 hours and included half body make-up (50% of body), following compulsory criteria and costume and created mystical creatures during this time.

Two external judges were taken from a panel of judges drawn from industry, colleges and training providers, Derek Fenney, a freelance wig specialist for theatre, film and TV; and Sarah Harrison, a freelance make-up artist.

Competitors were judged on set up/personal appearance, health and safety, creative ideas through mood board (including a face chart), hair styling and face and body application, application/technique/dramatic impact and overall effect of makeup/finished result.

The top candidates achieving the highest marks in the heats will be invited to the UK final.

Sarah Harrison commented: “There is a good standard and quality of work and I can’t see much difference in the levels of students as we have candidates from Level 2 and Level 3 in Theatrical, Special effects and Hair and Media Make-up. The students are working hard and safely in their work areas, a vital factor when working in the media industry.

“This is an excellent experience for the students as they have to think about health and safety and cleanliness whilst working in the real world and this will help them to incorporate it automatically into their training.”

Sarah a previous student at NNC is self-employed and takes master classes for Level 3 students concentrating on improving their techniques. “I have kept in touch with my Retford training routes since qualifying and it is a real pleasure to be invited back as a judge for this competition.”

Derek again has kept close to his routes as he used to work in conjunction with the Retford provision over 11 years ago, as a tutor and then went to work in the industry and progressed into TV and film.

“Education has changed such a lot over the years and I have really enjoyed the interaction and rapour with the students.” said Derek. “It always amazes me the diversity of ideas that come from one brief. This is something students will need to develop more when going into the industry.

“Time constraints are also something that makes this a realistic exercise. In industry you will be given a certain length of time to create an image and it has to be completed in that time frame, nature of the beast so to speak, and good preparation for the students.

Derek added; “it’s always the last five minutes that are the most fascinating as everything they have worked on starts to come together. This sort of competition is vital for students to be able to cope in the real world of work.”

The winner of the East Midlands sub-region was Stacey Hughes from North Notts College with her Mermaid creation.

She commented; “I’ve really enjoyed the competition and didn’t feel too much under pressure with being assessed as have had previous experience with it. I also learnt new skills coming into the competition by making my own latex pieces so am really pleased with the result and to come first was just the icing on the cake.”

Her model was Emma Betts an Art and Design Foundation student at the college and a good friend.

Runner up was Enya James from Chesterfield College with her Woodland Pixie.

Karen Connole, organiser of the event and tutor on the course commented; “ All the students worked so well together today, getting stuck in with determination and grace, I’m really proud of them all. They have been a credit to each college and the quality of the work they have produced has been of an excellent standard. I think they should all be very proud of themselves.”







Students stand by their creations.
A student stands by her mermaid.





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