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21 Dec 2018

Ravensbourne completes its two biggest Royal Shakespeare Company broadcasts to schools across the UK

Ravensbourne’s Department of Production students have completed their two biggest broadcasts to date, streaming the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC)’s productions of Macbeth and Romeo and Juliet to 149,000 pupils from schools across the UK.

The RSC first started the broadcast series in 2013 andRomeo and Juliet marked the 15th production that Ravensbourne and the RSC’s Education team have collaborated on.

Both the productions and associated Q&A sessions were facilitated by Ravensbourne BA (Hons) Digital Television Production and BSc (Hons) Digital Television Technology students, in a wide range of roles including graphics operator, producer, technical lead and director. They worked alongside members of the RSC Education team to manage the broadcast, including moderating the hundreds of questions submitted by students for the creative team.

The Macbeth broadcast was watched by 82,540 students across 645 UK schools, including 22 British Sign Language schools. Romeo and Juliet reached 66,514 students across 521 schools, including 24 British Sign Language schools. Actors from both productions attended the Ravensbourne studio to answer questions sent in by school pupils.

Earlier in the year, a new studio set and broadcast systems were developed to increase interactivity with the audience, including a new graphics package provided by Vizrt, feeding live questions from schools into the studio. Skype calls facilitated by Quicklink were also used for the first time in April, bringing the students into the studio.

Ravensbourne students had the opportunity to learn from Amazon Web Services (AWS) Elemental, who supported them in developing a new streaming workflow. Recently, Richard Manning, Acting Course Leader for Digital Television Technology was invited to attend AWS’ Re:Invent conference in Las Vegas, delivering a presentation on Ravensbourne’s use of AWS Elemental Cloud Services in their RSC and degree show broadcasts.

Commenting, Richard said: “As well as the opportunity to collaborate with industry professionals on a large-scale broadcast, our students were also challenged to adapt to using the latest in broadcast technology. The last broadcast was undoubtedly one of our biggest, and I’m incredibly proud of our students for approaching the collaboration with such professionalism and diligence. Following our implementation of AWS Elemental Cloud Services into the project we have improved the viewing experience for the school children watching. It was an honour to present this to specialists in the media and entertainment industries that are looking to use cloud services in their own organisations, at AWS Re:Invent.”

Fiona Ingram, Head of Education Programmes at the Royal Shakespeare Company added: “We work with thousands of young people across the country, but working with Ravensbourne students is really unique. Working alongside us to stream our productions means that they are in a real work situation, where the stakes are high. They have to be proactive problem solvers and over the broadcast series we have developed a real sense of trust. It’s fantastic to work on a project made by students for other students to enjoy. We are grateful to Virgin Media whose invaluable support make these broadcasts possible.”

The RSC Schools’ Broadcasts are generously supported by Virgin Media as part of its commitment to make good things happen through digital.

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