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Saint Walker

When you’re designing a new course you need to project ahead and think what kind of work environment students will encounter when they leave the University, in 2018. The most exciting aspect is that industry itself sees VFX skills diversifying into other areas such as architectural and medical visualisation, and new hybrid forms of film and tv. My current research is around ensuring NUA’s course captures these visions, and enables our students to contribute to that future, leading new innovative developments. Visual Effects is a relatively new area of study in Higher Education, and so there isn’t a huge amount of critical analysis or experimentation. We want to change that.

I’ve always engaged with debates about how digital pedagogies are changing the way we teach and learn. I was recently an expert witness in the House of Lords select committee on Digital Skills, and am working on a MOOCs project (Massive Open Online Courses), prototyping new creative courses that push the boundaries of how you teach iterative practice online, working with the likes of D+AD, Tate Britain and the Khan Academy. I also try to engage in conferences and debates- chairing discussions annually at the London International Animation Festival.

Research and Practice

  • Nov 2014 Expert Witness, Select Committee on Digital Skills, House of Lords
  • Nov 2014 Evaluator, Tate Gallery/Khan academy partnership. Advising Tate Britain on new teaching website
  • Oct 2014 Set up national MOOCs Steering Advisory board for Creative Skillset
  • Sept 2014 Sat on BTEC National Strategic Advisory Group for Creative Media Production. Advised on industry aspects of proposed new BTEC development by Pearson
  • Aug 2014 Assessor for Technology Strategy Board/Innovate UK on funding competitions in digital sector
  • Feb 2014 Abstract accepted for the academic conference on The Digital University: MOOCs and the Humanities (15 May, Edge Hill University).”Painting by MOOCs: Can MOOCs ever work for the creative industries?” www.moocsconference.wordpress.com
  • March 2014 International Journal of Advertising
  • Review of Mayer-Schonberger and Cukler’s “Big Data: A Revolution that will transform how we live, work and think” (2013, Pub; John Murray books).”
  • Dec 2013 Convenor and Curator of “TransFusion” HE Conference, Royal Society of the Arts, London. Responsible for organising seminars and speakers including negotiating keynote speaker Aleks Krotoski (BBC) http://courses.creativeskillset.org/pick_the_tick_degree_courses/transfusion_conference
  • 2009 – Current Various essays/articles about ‘the new digital creativity’ at www.halogenic.me and http://blog.skillset.org/index.php/about/saint-john-walker/
  • Sept 2010 Worked on a pan-European education programme called Rising Stars at the 2010 International Broadcasters Convention (IBC) in Amsterdam http://www.ibc.org/page.cfm/link=702
  • March 2009 Project Manager and Chair for “The C Word: Convergence or Collision? New Workflows in Games and Film” (BAFTA Conference) http://www.anglia.ac.uk/ruskin/en/home/news/archive/fdmx_chair_discussions.html Organised and chaired a day of seminars on current media issues at BAFTA
  • Nov 2008 Modes of Spectating (Intellect books) chapter author: “A quick walk through Uncanny Valley” http://www.intellectbooks.co.uk/books/view-Book,id=4632/ ISBN 9781841502397
  • Oct 2007 Project Manager and Chair for “MEGAPIXEL: A Conference on the impact of High Definition technologies on the screen arts and education” Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge. The first national multidisciplinary conference in HD. Guest academics from NSAD, University of Herts, UWE, Anglia Ruskin www.cambridgenetwork.co.uk/news/east-of-england-academics-take-part-in-megapixel/
  • June 2004 Graphics Animator, “Look Around You” TV series for Talkback Thames (Producer Karen Beevor)

Other Activities

  • Positions on HE advisory panels for:
  • Bournemouth University MA in VFX (2012-present)
  • National Film and Television School MA in Games Design and Development (2013-present)
  • University of Abertay’s Centre of Games Excellence, Dundee (2011-2013)
  • Member of the BAFTA Careers Pathways Group (2013) https://www.bafta.org/about/supporting- talent/career-pathways-summit,3514,BA.html
  • Founding Member Games Eden Games Business Network (Cambridge)
  • Associate Member of BKSTS since 1998
  • Owner of the LinkedIn “Fused Skills: Creativity, Tech and Entrepreneurship” Group

External Examiner and Approval/Review Panel Membership

  • 2005 to 2009 Kingston University BA(Hons) Media and Cultural Studies
  • 2003 to 2007 Swansea University BA(Hons) 3D Animation
  • 2003 to 2008 Newport (University of Wales) MA Animation
  • 2007 to 2010 University of Hertfordshire MA in Film and Media programme
  • 2001 to 2005 London Metropolitan University MA Digital Moving Image
  • 2005 Wrote proposed MA Motion Graphics framework (in consultation with Anglia TV) Norwich University of the Arts
  • 2011 to 2014 Chair, London International Animation Festival Skills panels (Annual, 2011-2014) http://www.liaf.org.uk/2013/09/liaf-animation-industry-event-animation-breaks-out-tax-breaks-and-the-new-future-of-animation/
Saint Walker

– Saint Walker