Creativity Works: Digital Content Week #1 round-up

Pamella gives us a glimpse into her thought process during the first week of the Digital Content course

1 September 2023

Written by Pamella Coife

Day 1

I walked into the room and sat at a random table, ready to start my first week of this 6-week Digital Content programme. I remember sensing a very calm and safe energy when I walked in. I wasn’t nervous or anxious, just excited. After I sat down, I turned to the girls sitting at my table and we started introducing ourselves and getting comfortable. It was nice that they gave us that space to do so before the session began.

After some icebreakers and lunch, we met Anna, Sara and Greta - alumni who have also been through the programme. They spoke about how their careers have evolved since then, and share advice that varied from how to get the most out of our experience here, to accepting how beneficial taking risks can be. We then watched the short films they created during their course, which were all so different and beautiful in their own ways. I loved that Anna’s and Sara’s were both a cinematic style, whereas Greta’s was more casual and interview-based.

After hearing everything they shared with us, I felt like I couldn’t contain myself as I was forming all these ideas in my head. Not actual topical ideas, since we didn’t have our brief yet, but rather I could see how I wanted my short film to look in my head. I had no idea of how I would execute any of it, but I wanted to allow myself to just dream big. I also felt reassured for whatever path would unravel itself ahead of me, because they’re all doing things that make them happy, with the help of courses like this that show them what they’re truly capable of.

Later that afternoon, we had speakers from Digital Fairy, a 360 creative marketing agency, who helped us understand the different aspects of creating engaging content for their clients such as Adidas and Nike. There was a heavy emphasis on TikTok and the different content types, from funny and irreverent content; to the ones that teach you certain topics. They then provided us with questions to assist us in our planning. It was funny though, I never made any sort of connection that since they were showing us so much about TikToks, of course our brief would relate to TikTok. I learned a lot of new terminology during their presentation, as well as the different roles available at marketing agencies like Digital Fairy’s.

Day 2

The second day was online, so we all connected on Zoom through the MacBooks we were provided with the day before. We started off by meeting our accountability partners, who are there to help us stay focused through our personal projects, which I knew would really help me keep on top of everything. We then learned about V&A East from their representative, Robyn Kasozi. Robyn finally revealed our brief: “Create a video for TikTok about creativity in East London” and went through a summary of the process of creating content, from research to editing, which gave us an outline of how to approach our projects.

After lunch, we had a lovely talk with Almass Badat. Starting with embracing one’s multifaceted nature and believing in yourself. She spoke to us about understanding who you are at your core, and what you believe in, which I didn’t think about before as being such an important foundation. Everything you create starts with you, and if you are sure in yourself about what motivates you and keeps you going, you won’t fall into situations where you find yourself participating in projects that don’t even represent you. It sounds like common sense honestly, but I’ve never given myself a moment to really think about the fact that my values and morals will be mirrored in the work I create. And we were given that space to reflect during our session with Almass.

We had this cute activity where we drew pictures of ourselves, encapsulating everything that makes us who we are as individuals; whether that be our hobbies, careers or even our thoughts. It was important that we all took the time to pour into ourselves and just discover and appreciate everything we are. It made me feel grateful for where I am right now in my journey, and that even though I know I’m not yet where I want to be in every aspect of my life, that’s okay. After, we went through the different creative strategies of ideation, then into the brief and planning in more extensive detail.

Day 3

On the last day of the week, Bianca Manu gave a talk on storytelling. She began by reading a moving piece she wrote for Metropolis M, based on Steve McQueen’s film, Grenfell. She told a story based on her experience having watched the film at the Serpentine Gallery and was able to portray how a well-written article can play a powerful role in swaying the feelings of the reader; how an engaging piece can make the audience feel whatever the writer desires.

Through this demonstration, she (Bianca) was able to emphasise why understanding how to tell a story is so important. Which starts with recognising what your direct message is, among many other elements such as structure and research. We went through a series of nerve-wracking exercises and had some vulnerable conversations in which we were able to continue to connect and evolve as a group.

Then after, we continued with independent work for the rest of the afternoon. But I feel like that day with Bianca reaffirmed the safety in the space that we’ve all effortlessly created for each other. A space that encourages our personal growth throughout the programme, that will allow us to push ourselves and test our limits. I can’t wait to see what each of us creates in the end.