Innovative screen degree for new generation

Wednesday 19 December 2018

A paradigm shift is happening in screen and creative technology education.

In a cluster of buildings on the Wellington creative campus of Massey University, a paradigm shift is happening. A new, internationally and commercially focused screen degree is revolutionising the next generation of screen practitioners.

New Zealand has always been at the forefront of innovation in the screen and creative industries and Te Rewa O Puanga, the Bachelor of Creative Media Production (CMP), has been established to respond to New Zealand’s internationally recognised reputation for innovation, creativity and growth in the areas of screen and creative technologies. 

Birgit Bachler, CMP senior creative technologies lecturer, PhD researcher and technology artist has spent five years in NZ. Originally, from Austria, she teaches intermedia, the intersection of art and technology.

Students work with different disciplines - building and programming hardware and software, filmmaking, sound design, game and animation in order to approach technology from an artistic direction, combining and experimenting with different media.

“At the moment, technology is used commercially, often to extract money or information from people, but there is so much beauty in it through media, the arts and critical thinking about the technology itself.

Teaching people how things work in different ways greatly demystifies technology. It humanises the people who make technology and the reasons behind why they create it in the first place.  We’re still stuck with Facebook - there’s a reason for that.  Tech is rarely neutral, there is always an agenda or ROI associated with it, so to give our students access and the ability to understand and create their own technology to tell their own stories, makes it less mainstream and sinister.

Our students have such diverse voices, ideas and backgrounds and having the opportunity to tell their stories and reach people in these ways is fantastic.  They are the next generation of social technologists”, says Birgit.

Massey’s CMP degree covers Film & TV, Producing & Directing, Game development, Animation & VFX and Creative Technologies.  The programme is designed to equip students in the practical, critical and commercial aspects of media production essential for entering into a future focused sustainable career in NZ’s renowned screen industry.

Programme lead Lucas Haley says, “Our grads have already found jobs at Weta Digital, Mechanic Animation, Flying Saucer Films, Pik Pok, Pukeko Pictures and GFC Films.  Others are building their own companies.”

Birgit says, “My students inspire me, watching them collaborate between and across their different disciplines, learning about how their roles intersect and learning to play to their strengths.  The generation they are coming from need different forms and modes of storytelling. There are lots of jobs out there at the moment working commercially, but maybe students might be more interested in creating their own jobs, finding their own ways, founding their own media companies.”  

For more information about the Bachelor of Creative Media Production at Massey University, visit https://creative.massey.ac.nz/study/bachelor-of-creative-media-production/