After the Collaborative Project – ‘Don’t Drink and Dive’

The team’s exhibition last term in The Lighthouse

The team’s exhibition last term in The Lighthouse

Last term our 3rd years lead a range of collaborative projects

These were part of a new module which gave students the opportunity to develop a wealth of skills and to consider the writer’s role as part of a creative eco-system, and literature’s role in the creative economy through working on a collaborative project.

We talked to many of these teams including The Wandering Heath, Re: Collective, For Book’s Sake, Sleepeeps , Good Things Never Are and The Radio Faces to learn more about their projects.

In this new interview, we catch up with the Don’t Drink and Dive team who created a multimedia project about staying safe when consuming alcohol near large bodies of water. Their project finished with an exhibition where we displayed all of our work. We met up with them to learn more about their experience and their project.

Did the project meet your expectations?

In a lot of ways, yes. We were able to raise awareness about the dangers of drinking near the sea and we were about to provide those who visited our event with information that encouraged our viewers to be more careful.

We set ourselves a number of tasks to complete for our display. We wanted to challenge ourselves and the multimedia form allowed us to try new things. We had never used the Sound House before and this was one of our favourite parts of our project. This part was more difficult than anticipated and we had to have an induction (and even then, we had to use a bit of trial and error) so that we could record and edit our audio pieces.

We knew when we began to plan our project, that it was going to involve a lot of work, but we didn’t realise how much effort would go into the exhibition alone. We had to create a number of things including a mock laptop, fake phones and a child’s art journal and we had to make some last-minute changes to our display plan as the Christmas decorations in The Lighthouse changed the layout of the room.

What was the best thing about your project?

Holding our event was a lot of fun and we enjoyed it a lot. We were immensely happy when our visitors had the emotional response we wanted to our project. We also enjoyed recording our sound files for the telephone conversation and radio interruption. One of the things we enjoyed most was meeting up a couple of times every week to discuss how the project was progressing. We met up to help edit each other’s work and plan the next stages of the project so that we wouldn’t fall behind schedule. Our team was laid-back and we supported each other well, keeping the work environment democratic and friendly (and we tried to stay on topic most of the time).

What did you learn through completing the project?

We were given an insight into the industry and how campaigns can be run. Through contacting the Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS), we were able to become more confident with contacting outside sources. We also learned more about the ethics of running a project such as ours. Neither of us had ever put on an event before and had to do a lot of research to prepare ourselves.

What advice would you give anyone else completing a project like yours?

  • Make sure you get on well with your group. One of the reasons we enjoyed this project so much was because we didn’t feel pressured to work harder than we were comfortable with by each other.

  • Assign roles to team members. This breaks the work up and allows group members to play to their strengths.

  • Create two event days. With our event so close to the end of term deadlines, it wasn’t a surprise that our turnout was quite low. We picked Dec 6th because we were joining forces with the RLSS who were campaigning in town on the same day. However, it would have been good for us to hold a second event after the holidays and during the daytime when more students are on campus and able to spare the time.

What is the future for your project?

We hope to upload our project onto a blog so that it will be available digitally, and are currently looking into which site/platform would be best for this.

We also think that our project model could be used again to deliver other safety messages, or raise awareness of illnesses and disabilities. This is because multimedia is very immersive and engaging, causing audiences to consider ideas more clearly.

Another possible future for our project is for a collaborative team to take our idea and develop it further/in a different direction next year.

We’d like to thank Jamie Andrews, Sal Brown, Ella Campion and Alex Horn for helping us with our recordings, and Jamie again, Danielle Barrios-O’Neill, Laura Betts and Amy Hardman for helping us set up our exhibition.

by the Falwriting Team

FalWriting Team