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Lights, Camera, Computer - Action! How Digital Technology is Transforming Film, TV, and Gaming

Discover the emerging technologies shaping the future of storytelling and how you can start a career in the screen industry.

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Lights, Camera, Computer - Action! How Digital Technology is Transforming Film, TV, and Gaming
  • Duration

    3 weeks
  • Weekly study

    4 hours
  • 100% online

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Investigate the impact of technology on digital storytelling

On this three-week course from Screen Industries Growth Network (SIGN), you’ll explore the impact technology has already had on storytelling in the screen industry, the new opportunities it presents, and how your own skills match up with different roles in the industry.

Led by the University of York, SIGN provides comprehensive training and development schemes, supported by contemporary research, designed to create a more diverse, more creative, and more entrepreneurial screen industry workforce.

Uncover your route into the film, tv, or gaming industries

This course will delve into the people involved in creating film, tv, and games, before assessing what skills are needed to work in the industry and how to map your existing skills to different roles.

To start you on the right track, you’ll also look at developing your own portfolio and what the next steps might be to further your career in this exciting and creative field.

Dive into the cutting-edge technologies transforming entertainment media

Technology is constantly evolving and many emerging technologies are transforming the screen industry through film, gaming, and streaming.

You’ll explore some of the technologies currently used in the industry, as well as those being developed by researchers, with hands-on activities using freely available software.

Explore the future of storytelling in the screen industries

From interactive media and AI to streaming and gaming, technology has allowed endless possibilities when it comes to engaging storytelling.

Drawing on insights from researchers currently involved in areas of rapid development, you’ll imagine the future of the screen industries and speculate on how emerging technologies might be used to deliver engaging content and tell new stories in the years to come.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 4 seconds Hello and welcome to this course about digital technologies and the screen industries, developed by the University of York and the Screen Industries Growth Network, also known as SIGN. I’m Anna Bramwell-Dicks, Lecturer in Web Development and Interactive Media in the Department of Theatre, Film, Television and Interactive Media at the University of York. During this course, I’ll be joined by academic colleagues and research students, to investigate together the wonderful, varied and ever-changing creative screen industries. We hope by the end of the course you might feel inspired to begin a journey to work within this amazing industry. My first question to you - is ‘what do we mean when we refer to the screen industries?’

Skip to 0 minutes and 49 seconds Don’t worry if you’re not sure, that’s part of what you’re here to find out! For us, the term ‘screen industries’ loosely encompasses different forms of screen-based entertainment that all tend to revolve around storytelling. This includes tv, film, games, extended reality (otherwise known as XR) - by which I mean things like virtual and augmented reality - and we’ll also discover other types of digital media entertainment experiences along the way. I expect that all of you are familiar with film, tv and games but the term XR in particular might be new to you, but that’s okay as we’ll explore what these things are through the course with lots of examples.

Skip to 1 minute and 30 seconds During this course we’ll look at where the screen industries are right now and how they have evolved over the years. We’ll also imagine the future and think about where technological advances might take this sector in the next 5, 10 and 50 years by asking ‘How will people be enjoying stories in the next century?’ and ‘What will the screen industries look like in 10 years’ time?’ We’ll also hear from one of SIGN’s industry trainers, so you’ll get the opportunity to consider the varied job roles and career opportunities within this sector and how you might be able to start a career in the screen industries working to your own strengths and areas of interest.

Skip to 2 minutes and 9 seconds You’ll get a sneak preview of some of the cutting-edge technologies that researchers are currently developing here at the University And of course, we’ll include a number of practical activities for you to try out as we go along. So, let’s get started. In this first week of the course, we’re going to look at what the screen industries are and how advances in technology have changed the way that we engage with screen-based entertainment. And, the flip side of this - how those creating content are adapting their work to encompass and take advantage of these technological changes.

Skip to 2 minutes and 42 seconds We’ll also consider the important issues of diversity and representation in the sector as we must acknowledge some of these challenges, as we think about the different roles involved in making tv, film, games or digital media. Ultimately, we want to encourage you to think about your own skillset, what you might be interested in and where your place could be within the exciting world of screen-based storytelling.


  • Week 1

    What are the Screen Industries?

    • Introductions

      Some basic housekeeping (apologies!) and saying hello

    • Convergence: construction and consumption

      What are the Screen Industries? We’ll explore what this term means, how technology has enabled film, tv and gaming to converge, and what that means for how we consume today.

    • From celluloid to streaming

      To envisage the future of the screen industries, we need to understand their history. We'll take a whistle stop tour of the history of the Internet and the World Wide Web to understand more about the ways we access content.

    • Whose voices are heard in the media?

      Representation matters, since the media shapes all our lives. Drawing on your own viewing preferences, we'll also explore the inclusivity of the media you consume and the teams who create it.

    • Careers in the Screen Industries

      Let's take a look at the range of careers available in the screen industries. We'll explore what roles are out there, and how you can capitalise on your own transferable skills to find them.

    • Week 1 roundup

      A chance to sum up everything we’ve learnt this week.

  • Week 2

    How is technology transforming storytelling?

    • It's about telling stories

      In this activity we’ll start by investigating the beating heart of film, tv and games: telling stories. How and why do human beings tell stories? We’ll also challenge you to write your own short story.

    • It's about telling INTERACTIVE stories

      We’ve considered traditional storytelling we know and love in films and tv dramas. But in this activity we’ll learn about how we can make stories interactive, and the technology that enables us to make our own interactive stories.

    • Interaction and immersion

      Digital technology allows us to produce interactive and immersive stories. We’ll show you how to make an interactive story (game) of your own.

    • Opportunities in the Screen Industries

      Let's explore entry-level positions in film, TV, TV drama, VFX, animation and games - and give you the tools to help you get into the industry.

    • Week 2 roundup

      Test your learning with our quiz and summary of the week.

  • Week 3

    The future of the Screen Industries

    • Week 3: Introduction

      This week we’ll think about the future of the screen industries. What do you think film, tv and games will be like in 5, 10 or 50 years time?

    • What will we be consuming next, and how?

      We go back to 1900 to learn about the first immersive cinema experience. We’ll discover how virtual reality is making entertainment and education more engaging, with some online experiences for you to try out.

    • What's next - what follows?

      In this activity we’ll ask you to let your imagination run wild - what do you think future screen media will be like in the future? What stories will we be telling and what will future technology allow us to do?

    • How can I be part of the future industry?

      Our final activity on careers in the industry: We’ll ask you to think about how you can future-proof your career in this fast-paced industry. What skills can you develop now to find your place in the future of film, tv and games?

    • Week 3 roundup

      Test your knowledge with our quiz and a summary of everything we’ve learnt this week.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and learn at your own pace. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

If you'd like to take part while our educators are leading the course, they'll be joining the discussions, in the comments, between these dates:

  • 24 Jan 2022 - 11 Feb 2022

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Reflect on emerging technologies in the industry and identify future opportunities
  • Demonstrate knowledge of different sectors within the industry (such as sound, film making, tech)
  • Describe the variety of roles and careers in the screen industries
  • Explore your own skillsets, how these map onto industry roles, and how they can develop these further

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for anyone interested in working in the screen industries, whether in film, tv, gaming, or interactive media.

It may also be useful to those currently working in screen industries wanting to upskill or diversify skills in technology.

Who will you learn with?

Jude is a Senior Lecturer in Audio and Music Technology at the University of York. In the Department of Electronic Engineering she teaches audio and acoustic analysis and often bakes cakes.

I'm a lecturer in Interactive Media (specialising in web development), currently on a research fellowship focused on representation within different storytelling formats (inc. film, TV, games etc.)

I lecture in documentary, TV studio production and the politics and peformance of the creative industries. I am a former C4 programme commissioner, network filmmaker and programme editor.

I am the Managing Director of Creative Train. With over ten years experience working in television production, I now deliver training to diverse newcomers hoping to work within media.

Interactive Media research student and self taught indie video game developer.

Who developed the course?

University of York

The University of York combines the pursuit of academic excellence with a culture of inclusion, which encourages everyone – from a variety of backgrounds – to achieve their best.

Screen Industries Growth Network

The Screen Industries Growth Network (SIGN) is a unique, business-facing initiative supporting the TV, film and games industries in Yorkshire and the Humber.

SIGN aims to make this region the UK’s centre for digital creativity, and a model of diverse and inclusive activity.


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