Child at the centre of education?

Is Your Child At The Centre of Their Education – Part Four

My previous blogs in this series have examined the impact child-centred education has had in education since its beginning with John Dewey in the 19th Century.  Since then, it has rapidly progressed as a central pillar in any good education system.  Moves in the UK and USA in the mid-late 20th century ensured that children were treated as individuals in schools.  The introduction and then widespread adoption of educational technology in the latter 20th and early 21st century meant that child-centred education has now been fully enabled and we’ve reached a point where sophisticated AI-enabled platforms, such as Squirrel, plan learning pathways exactly suited for every student as an individual. Check out part 1, part 2, and part 3 of this series. Read More

Image of person taking notes and fact checking

Factual Accuracy in Videos: What We Do

At Makematic, we always strive to create engaging, fun, educational content, but we also wish to educate and inform the viewer. Ultimately, it’s all about finding the right balance, and for our factual productions, this means we need to make sure everything said and shown on-screen is correct. Here are some ways we ensure our videos are factually accurate.Read More

Illustration image of Motion Graphics Designer Caoimhe Sweeney

Employee Spotlight: Caoimhe Sweeney, Motion Graphics Designer

Another month, another time to shine a light on one of our brilliant Motion Graphics Designer, Caoimhe Sweeney! Caoimhe has been working for Makematic for over 2 years and has been involved in multiple projects. We caught up with her this month to talk about her role at Makematic.

How did you get your job at Makematic?

A director I work with recommended a freelance position within Makematic on a project they were finalising. I really enjoyed working with the team and was happy to accept a full-time position with the company within a couple of months.

On a day to day basis, what are your responsibilities and priorities?

My day-to-day really varies depending on the type of project, which keeps things exciting and challenging. My average day consists of creating artworks and visuals, then animating and tweaking them in After Effects. Some projects need assets to be created that are ready to be dropped into an editors timeline, others involve creating entire videos. 

How do motion graphic designers collaborate with other teams within the company?

Translating a script into visual form is definitely a collaborative effort that involves working with producers/writers/researchers to outline visual goals. Understandably, it can take multiple iterations to find the most suitable visuals, and having a strong collaborative team ethos throughout the journey is essential. 

Are you working on any big projects?

At this moment I am working on the ‘Untold’ series, which is the biggest project with the most team members I have worked on so far. This project is so illuminating, each video is a spotlight into lesser-known, or untold, American histories. The team are creating beautiful works, which are not only really interesting but visually inspiring as well.

What’s an important lesson you’ve learned while working at Makematic?

Coming from an artistic background, the main lesson for me is how much you can learn and elevate your practise by working with others to achieve a common creative goal. If you are interested in making films or digital content, no matter what stage you are at, try to find people with similar interest and collaborate on some work together.


Caoimhe has worked on TOM: Teaching Online Masterclass, Unity, BrandEd and Adobe: Digital Literacy, which is available now on Adobe Education Exchange. You can also watch the trailer below.

In case you missed it, read our two previous Employee Spotlight blogs featuring Conor McKelvey (Motion Graphics Designer) and Ryan Lee (now Producer!).

Animated drawing of Hedy Lamarr

What’s More Important; Brains Or Beauty?

That’s one of the questions asked in the Untold series produced by Makematic, Driving Force Institute and USC Center for Engagement-Driven Global Education. This particular video is about Hedy Lamarr, once dubbed the most beautiful woman on earth and made famous by acting in old Hollywood classic films such as ‘Boomtown’ and ‘Samson and Delilah’. 

Contrary to what her Wikipedia entry may want you to believe, these days young children are more likely to learn about her as the inventor of the frequency-hopping spread spectrum, which is at the basis of mobile phone and Bluetooth technology. She was also one of the first female film producers and a wartime fundraiser. 

It got me thinking whether there were other female film stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood with seemingly hidden talents, real trailblazers of their time, exhibiting skills and traits of creativity and entrepreneurship. Exactly the skills we want to actively develop in young children in this day and age. We use words like ‘empowerment’ and ‘engagement’ all the time, especially in educational settings, but back in the first half of the 20th Century, this was a different story. Perhaps at the time beauty was preferred over brains.

Ester Williams invented waterproof make-up. Marlene Dietrich was awarded the highest US civilian medal, the Medal of Freedom for all of her efforts for the troops during WWII. She was also politically active, regularly speaking with Reagan and Gorbachev. Julie Newman, who played Catwoman in the 1960s, invented ‘bum lifting’ tights and an ‘invisible’ bra. Audrey Hepburn became one of the first UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors and was completely dedicated to her humanitarian work later in life. Bette Davis was the first woman to start a lawsuit against Warner Brothers about her salary, autonomy and quality of roles. Singer and actress Josephine Baker was also a spy during WWII. 

Of course, there were and are many more amazing innovative, entrepreneurial, engaged and pioneering women. The paper bag, dishwasher, windshield wipers, coffee filters and Kevlar are just a few examples of items invented by women. There are lots of great examples of women dedicated to science, politics, the environment and other causes. Young children are becoming more familiar with the names and achievements of these hidden figures. I hope we’re on our way to a society where we value brains over beauty as we teach our children about these wonderful women and their talents are no longer hidden anymore. 

Watch the fascinating story of Hedy Lamarr as part of Untold’s Hidden Histories.

Find out more about Untold by visiting untoldhistory.org.

Follow the Untold social media pages on InstagramFacebook and Twitter @UntoldEdu, for video updates and additional resources.

Animate drawing of Motion Graphics Designer Conor McKelvey. Employee Spotlight text included

Employee Spotlight: Conor McKelvey, Motion Graphics Designer

In this month’s employee spotlight, we chatted to one of our Motion Graphics Designer Conor McKelvey. Conor has been working at Makematic for nearly 3 years! We chatted with him to find out more about his role in the company.

How did you get your job at Makematic?

I first started working with Makematic as a freelancer. I had just finished my BA (Hons) in Visual Communication and was looking for work, which was unfortunately scarce in Donegal. However, Dan, the lead animator here (who I knew prior) let me onto some freelance illustration work for BBC Bitesize. After finishing that, I was then brought back to do some animation work for their Minecraft series. Eventually, a full-time job offer opened up and I got it.

On a day to day basis, what are your responsibilities and priorities?

My day-to-day usually involves either developing ideas, illustrating, or animating. While I’m doing these I also have to keep an eye on my time management to ensure that my end of the projects is delivered on time.

How do motion graphic designers collaborate with other teams within the company? 

Most of our content has some kind of motion graphics or animation in it, so collaboration comes with the territory. Motion designers often collaborate with producers to help develop concepts, then realise those concepts for projects. However, other things can pop up such as helping to create content for marketing. 

Are you working on any big projects?

At the minute I’m working on Macmillan (publishing) and getting assets together for a new project called Beehive by Oxford University Press.

What’s an important lesson you’ve learned while working at Makematic?

No matter how good you think something is, there will always be changes!


Conor’s talent for animation is not only shown in our videos at Makematic, but you can also watch it on BBC iPlayer! He was recently commissioned for the BBC Two Minute Masterpiece for his short film “The Draught”. Watch it here

Conor has worked on our Skillsumo series, Think Like A Global Citizen series and many more! You can find this by visiting our VOD site.

Make sure to check out our other Employee Spotlight blog with Assistant Producer, Ryan Lee! Read it here

New Adobe Education Video Courses by Makematic

Our friends over at Adobe recently launched their brand new Youtube channel – Adobe for Education – featuring TWO courses that we’ve produced for them.

Make Impactful Video for Social Media

Make Impactful Video for Social Media

This course is for social media creators hoping to improve their video game using Adobe Premier Pro. It focuses on practical tips and strategies, brought to life by compelling graphics and interviews with exciting creators.

Design Principles

Basic Principles of Design

Unsurprisingly this collection of videos focuses in on the basics of design – complete with punchy explainer videos, practitioner interviews and creative ideas for teachers.

These are just the first two courses the team have been working on for Adobe – so expect loads more over the Summer!.

Emile Cohl: The Father of the Animated Cartoon

A little bit of animation history from our graphics intern, Rosie!


 
Émile Cohl was a French cartoonist and animator and is often referred to as “the father of the animated cartoon.” It is said that in 1907 the 50 year old Cohl was walking down the street and spotted a poster for a movie that had clearly been stolen from one of his comic strips. He confronted the manager of the offending studio (Gaumont) and Cohl was hired on the spot as a scenarist, (a person who produces one page story ideas for a movie). It was here Cohl created “Fantasmagorie” between February and May of 1907. Fantasmagoie is considered to be the first fully animated film ever made.
To create the animation, Cohl placed each drawing on an illuminated glass plate and traced the next drawing, reflecting the variations necessary to show movement. Once he had completed this process he had roughly 700 drawings. As chalkboard caricaturists were a common vaudeville attraction during this time, Cohl created the illusion that the characters were drawn on chalkboard. Cohl achieved this by filming black lines on paper and printing them in negative.
Video Linkhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qa7TC8QhIMY

Privacy Settings
We use cookies to enhance your experience while using our website. If you are using our Services via a browser you can restrict, block or remove cookies through your web browser settings. We also use content and scripts from third parties that may use tracking technologies. You can selectively provide your consent below to allow such third party embeds. For complete information about the cookies we use, data we collect and how we process them, please check our Privacy Policy
Youtube
Consent to display content from Youtube
Vimeo
Consent to display content from Vimeo
Google Maps
Consent to display content from Google