employee spotlight andrew brooking senior producer

Employee Spotlight Blog: Andrew Brooking, Senior Producer

Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes when we create our videos? This month, we spoke to Senior Producer, Andrew Brooking. Since joining Makematic during the height of COVID-19 last year, Andrew has made a huge impact on the team. He spoke to us about how he joined the team and his responsibilities as a Senior Producer.Read More

Three Online Tools To Collaborate More Effectively as a Team

Three Online Tools To Collaborate More Effectively as a Team

Internet and Software Creation has continued to evolve during the past decade. Right now, it can be used as an effective medium for your Team or Company’s project creation & management, while aiding your time and organisation skills to new heights. Here are some of our top tools you can implement into your new project!Read More

21st Century Skills text with illustration of a group of young people

21st Century Skills In ‘21, Where Are We At?

Almost 40 years since the discussion about 21st-century skills (21CS) started, where are we now and what exactly is the general consensus in 2021? Whilst there are so many frameworks and definitions out there, how do we define 21st-century skills?Read More

Illustration of Senior Animator Daniel McGarrigle

Employee Spotlight: Daniel McGarrigle, Senior Animator

This month’s employee spotlight features one of our talented animators who has been working at Makematic since the very beginning! We caught up with Senior Animator, Daniel McGarrigle this month to talk about his role at Makematic!Read More

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.

Animated drawing of Ryan Lee, Assistant Producer at Makematic

Employee Spotlight: Ryan Lee, Assistant Producer

This the first Makematic Employee Spotlight where each month a member of the team will be featured. This month we caught up with Assistant Producer, Ryan Lee who has been working at Makematic for two years. We chatted to him to find out more about his role in the company.

How did you get your job at Makematic?

I have a background in photography and video, after finishing my degree I took part in a six-month Post-Graduate Certificate in Professional Practice. Alongside the theory, at Ulster University it involved working full-time and luckily Makematic was one of the companies that took part in the programme. After my six months of internship as a production assistant ended, I stayed on and moved to the role of an Assistant Producer.

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

My job involves being a jack of all trades which I really enjoy, it ranges from conducting interviews on set, video editing (lots of editing!), visual development meetings, liaising with our clients, sourcing material such as footage or music, budgeting, creating captions. I’m involved in every stage of the production process from scripting up to delivery, trying to keep all aspects of the process running smoothly.

How do producers collaborate with other teams within the company?

That is the primary role of a producer, ensuring the smooth collaboration between the different facets of production. This is mainly achieved through video calls and emails, even more so in the era of Covid. The producer also keeps track of production schedules and roles through spreadsheets and using the application Asana. Frame.io is another awesome tool which enables us to have clients feed into the production process at each stage with targeted feedback. Giving all teams involved the information that helps us deliver the best product for our client.

Are you working on any big projects?

I’m just about to embark on the third phase of a major project with Adobe, as part of their Education Exchange for both lower and higher education.  Primarily focusing on how to integrate creativity into all aspects and subjects within education. To change the misconception that creativity is just something that you utilise in Art subjects, we need creative mindsets and ways of working moving forward in all our endeavours.

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

I think the most important thing I’ve realised in the last few years is how vital networking in business is, the old adage ‘it’s not what you know, it’s who you know’ is still so true. Having a network of contacts you can reach out to really helps if you are starting on a project and need a certain skillset or film crew in a far off location you can trust, those things are what takes a production to the next level. 

You may be the best at what you do, but if no one knows you exist then you’ll never get the call. You always have to have your hat in the ring, get yourself out there, Linkedin might not be as riveting as Instagram but it’s great for meeting people in the industry. For myself working at Makematic for the past few years, producing work for some of the biggest companies in the world, I have had the opportunity to travel and meet the most amazing people and that has been invaluable.

Recently, Ryan has produced a new Adobe Creative Course for teachers. On this project, he worked alongside Claire Bethell, Dan McGarrigle, Kevin Gillen and Joe Allen.

These videos were created to support the free ‘Creativity for All’ course on the Adobe Education Exchange. It aims to help educators foster creativity in every student across every subject and grade level. Sign up here.

Image of different forms of media that Makematic videos can be viewed on

New Educational Videos Released On The Makematic VOD

We’ve got some new educational videos that have been released on the Makematic VOD! 

The Basic Principles of Design course focuses on, unsurprisingly, the basics of design. You’ll understand and learn colour, contrast, proportion, balance and more – complete with punchy explainer videos, practitioner interviews and creative ideas for teachers.

Make Impactful Video for Social Media will help you learn and understand the tools you need to produce effective and engaging video content for social media using Adobe Premier Pro. 

17DaystoLearn series:  These are self-directed challenges that can at primary or secondary level. Students will learn about the SDGs and take on challenges to help further each of the goals.

The students at Kings Hospital School, located in Dublin, completed the #17DaystoLearn challenge as part of their “Get Up and Goals” project. Read here to find out how they approached this challenge and the impact it had on the students.

Skillsumo: we’ve got new professional development and future proof videos that will help students and educators navigate and prepare for the world of work.

Check out the new videos today!

Untold: Stories You Won’t Learn About In A Textbook

Untold is a free collection of short, compelling, history videos and animations designed to engage new audiences in a new conversation and

  • shine a light on the stories that don’t always make it into the classroom
  • and question what we think we know about those that do.

Watch the first two Untold episodes here

Female Icon surrounded by Technology Icons

Adobe Design Principles Launches

We are pleased to announce that Makematic and Adobe have once again partnered to create a new series of videos in relation to Design Principles.

The video series consists of 25 videos that will provide in-depth knowledge of fundamental design tools and strategies suitable for both students and educators. Industry experts are utilised within the series including:

  • Anita-Mai Goulding – Adobe XD Strategic Development, EMEA
  • Karishma Kusurka – Founder & Designer at Karishma’s World
  • Bob Price – Art & Animator Director
  • Stephen Shaw – Director at Big Motive
  • Tyrone Williams – Visual Artist

Brian Johnsrud, Education Curriculum Strategy Lead of Adobe stated that….

“We’re thrilled to partner with Makematic on this course. A key component to creativity and digital literacy is having a basic set of visual design principles in your back pocket: whether you’re creating a presentation slide, a handout, a flier, or an image for social media. Just as we learn the basics of spelling and grammar to be effective writers and written communicators, this course provides the basic “grammar” of visual communication for all students. And it’s short, fun, and engaging! And for teachers, there are great examples of how visual principles can be taught and incorporated into student work in the classroom.”

Brian Shaw, Senior Producer of Makematic said that….

Adobe Design Principles was a fantastic project to produce.  It’s an awesome introduction to the core design principles that any creative, in any industry, need to have an understanding of.  Bite-sized and beautifully crafted animated explainer videos, along with contributions from real-world creatives and their take on these crucial principles, complete this series nicely and comprehensively.  I always enjoy working with Adobe and I really hope the viewers enjoy this series as much as I did producing it.

You can access Adobe Design Principles:

  • Via Adobe’s Education Page on YouTube
  • Through the Makematic app, which is available to download from the App Store, Google Play, Fire Stick and Roku. You can also access our content anytime online through our website

Sign up to watch the videos for FREE right now.

Teaching Key 21st Century Skills In Every Classroom

Research by The Sutton Trust found that 94% of employers, 97% of teachers and 88% of young people regarded ‘life skills’ as being at least as important as academic grades to future success.  These life skills include what we commonly refer to as the 4Cs – communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity.

Developing these key 21st-century skills is an ongoing process and mastery takes many years to achieve. Research has shown that two things can really help these skills – explicit teaching of these skills and extra-curricular activities. Whilst we can’t help with extra-curricular, we can help educators develop these skills to be explicitly teaching them in the classes.

That is why we worked with Participate to develop the series – The 4Cs. Part professional development part classroom resource, the series will help educators:

  1. Understand how to teach these skills in their classes on a daily basis, 
  2. Understand how these skills are used in the workplace
  3. Better prepare lessons to develop these skills with those they teach.

What’s Included?

Educator Professional Development

Series 1 – What are the 4Cs?

8 live-action videos with educators explaining what the 4Cs are and how to teach them in every classroom.

4 educator podcasts case studies where educators talk about how they have implemented the 4Cs into their everyday teaching practice.

Series 2 – In the workplace

4 live-action videos with people talking about what the 4Cs look like in the workplace.

Student Facing Resources

Series 3 and 4 can be used in so many ways. They can be used as whole class activities or as part of a blended or flipped learning experience. Whilst series 3 and 4 have been created as standalone resources, they can be used as a sequence.

Here’s an example:

You’ve decided that you want to develop your student’s creative thinking skills by introducing them to lateral thinking

You can engage your students with the skill by watching How To Be More Creative With Lateral Thinking from series 3. Following watching and discussing the contents of the video, as a class or on their own, students could develop this skill by completing any of the following activities from series 4:

Series 3 – How can …?

12 animated explainer videos that give the audience an understanding of how and why each of the skills can be developed by focusing on different sub-skills of each of the Cs.

Communication and CollaborationCritical Thinking and Creativity
Giving and Receiving Feedback
Understanding Body Language
Social Skills
Listening Skills
Creating clear messages
Email etiquette
Multiple Perspectives
Being Opening minded
Analysing arguments
Divergent Thinking
Lateral Thinking
Series 4 – Activities

12 animations designed for individuals to develop skills on their own. These can be used in a classroom as a whole class, as part of a blended or flipped classroom methodology.

Communication and CollaborationCritical Thinking and Creativity
Improving concentration
Mic expressions
Are you a good listener?
Funnelling questings technique
Relaxation for public speaking
The subject line pitch
Questioning basic assumptions
Rebus puzzles
Recognising patterns
Brainstorming on your own
The alternative uses test
The elevator problem

Access the entire series here.

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