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New! Academic offer for 2022/23 – Explore Interactive Filmmaking with Stornaway.io

By September 6, 2021October 10th, 2022No Comments

Is your department giving students key skills for the future?

Adobe’s recent Creative Skills report said that by far the most in-demand skills at creative companies are digital (66%) and film/video (62%), but that nearly half of all creatives didn’t feel ready to work with any emerging technologies.

Stornaway.io is bridging this gap between film/tv/video and interactive production at universities around the world with our no-code interactive storytelling tools – and we’re offering a discount on our academic pricing for the next academic year. 

Stornaway is teaching game-changing skills for students

Students and lecturers around the world are using Stornaway.io to teach and learn interactive narratives and filmmaking, using our delightful production tools. 

Stornaway lets them make their own interactive films and games without coding, and gives students key skills they need for the future.  

As well as writing interactive scripts and editing with professional workflows alongside tools like Adobe, Final Cut Pro, Resolve and Avid, students can publish their work in our web player or export to multiple apps without coding via our Unity plugin.

“Students are getting the opportunity to work in a new and emerging area of media production practice and it will really give them an edge when they graduate.” – Dr Roy Hanney on using Stornaway.io in his interactive narrative course at leading media technology University Southampton Solent,

“I am most looking forward to having the creative freedom to come up with a story that can take a variety of twists and turns down different avenues… getting a ‘hands on’ experience with a fresh bit of kit is always exciting.” – 2nd year Media student. 

Students are adding this future-proofing skill of making interactive video projects to their CVs and resumes and presenting their work at short film festivals.

We’ve had thousands of students use the platform over the last year. The projects they make are some of the most innovative we see! 

OUR OFFER 

Students can continue to use our free Personal plan to plan and write their interactive stories. Then, as a teacher, you can buy :

Academic upgrade – $348 for one teacher license and one class upgrade (of up to 30 students) for one year.

(Multiple teachers and classes from one institution using? Use our Super Academic upgrade – $1044 for up to 5 teacher licenses and 5 class upgrades)

This unlocks: 

  • Collaboration – so you can review their work and they can share projects with each other
  • Resources – shared knowledge on course structures and interactive storytelling
  • Support – from Stornaway.io’s expert team for students 
  • Publishing – share your student’s projects on the web & social (optional)
  • Integrate – make the most of our publishing capabilities with Unity
  • New features – dive into new features as they go live. 360 is now available to all students
  • Community – connect with the pioneering group of academics using Stornaway.io

This affordable offer makes it easy for universities to sign up. We can send you a simple agreement to review and sign with your department.

In September 2021, a number of students had their films screened at Encounters Film Festival. This was followed up with a round table where some of the students spoke about their projects and the experience of making them in Stornaway.io.

Stornaway.io founder Ru Howe – “I was so impressed with what these first-year, first-semester film students were able to create despite all the constraints of the pandemic and it was really exciting to see them using Stornaway’s concept of Story Islands as a way of working together”.

“Working with Stornaway.io is a great example of the way in which collaboration between industry and academic can not only enhance the student experience but can also be of real benefit to a business.

Not only are students getting the opportunity to work in a new and emerging area of media production practice they are also working with a start-up company and their feedback will help further develop and refine the platform. This is real research and development which everyone is benefiting from” – Dr Roy Hanney, Southampton Solent University

See examples and testimonials below, visit our website – Stornaway.io – and watch the 3-minute getting started video to see why people love using it.

Here are just a few ways that Stornaway.io is being used in film and media courses across the world

Drama

Behind Closed Doors

Horror short (Josefine Midtgaard, Hanna Szwebs and Laura Bonde Pedersen, University of Copenhagen) – the gripping and disturbing story of a young woman in Copenhagen who’s just moved into a new apartment far away from family and friends.

“When creating the interactive experience, our goal was to find the best balance between the interactivity and narration, so the interactive elements seemed as a natural component of the fictional world without disrupting the film viewing. We wanted the viewer to first and foremost feel like they were engaged in the character and the storyline and didn’t want the interactive elements to make the film feel like a game.

We are currently writing our thesis on the concept of interactive horror films, which we deem an interesting case of study, as It can be argued that the interactive elements form a more complex way of watching and understanding the story, and offer storytelling through different senses than that of traditional storytelling. Our main interest is the cognitive aspect on the interrelation between narration and interactivity, and which consequence these two relations has on the viewer’s identification with the main character and whether the interactivity hinder or reinforce their cognitive process” – Laura Bonde Pedersen, Student Filmmaker.

 3am

Drama (Archie Everett, Megan Vedmore, Southampton Solent University) – A young woman in an abusive relationship feels today is the day she could escape and claim her freedom, but for what price? Warning – contains some upsetting scenes.

Dr Roy Hanney, Course leader in media production at Southampton Solent University Worked with Level 5 Media students to make 6 interactive films in one semester (in lockdown). 3AM (above) is one of them. 

Watch his presentation about this experience – presented at the Interactive Film and Media Conference 2021 

And read his blog posts :

Stories for Change/Experimental

Circle of Hell

A ‘handover’ project by a class of 1st-year film students at American University in Washington DC. 14 students each wrote and directed a short in lockdown, handing a prop or line of dialogue over to each other. One group of 7 designed a story world they called the ‘circle of hell’, with 7 interconnecting films – at the end of each, you get a choice to view one of 2 related shorts to watch next.

“I was so impressed with what these first-year, first-semester film students were able to create despite all the constraints of the pandemic and it was really exciting to see them using Stornaway’s concept of Story Islands as a way of working together,”  Stornaway.io’s founder Ru Howe said.

The Faculty at American University’s School of Communication were particularly interested in using Stornaway.io’s storytelling tools for interactive films for change. Read more in our blog: 

American University’s School of Communication Teaches Interactive filmmaking with Stornaway.io

Digital Media/Research

The New Normal

Documentary/research scenario (Federica Lombardi and Denise Nicolau, Masters in Graphic Design, University of Florence) – The pandemic changed the way we work and live.  But is this the New Normal? 

“I can Highly Recommend the Stornaway Platform.  Perfectly designed for the job!”Mitch Turnbull, Lecturer in Digital Media and Director, Bramble Media

Documentary

LOST AND FOUND 

Experimental (UK, UWE, 2021). Kate Moody, Felix Hodgson and Louis Barron-Forde, all film students at the University of the West of England, used Stornaway.io in their experimental film course to make ‘Lost and Found’ a beautiful experimental exploration of memory.

Dr Judith Aston, Associate Professor of Interactive and Immersive Media at UWE contacted Stornaway.io when she was looking for new ways to work remotely with her first year students during lockdown. 

As founding director of i-Docs (the leading centre in Europe for research into evolving documentary practices), Dr Aston has been a pioneer in the field of film and creative technology for decades and was excited to introduce the platform to her students as part of her Experimental Filmmaking Module in the Spring.

“It worked like a dream and we were all really impressed with what they came up with, so well worth fixing in time. Let’s catch up soon and see how we can progress this with the students. They’ll have plenty of opportunities in their second year, and of course over the summer, to do some more experimenting and playing!” Judith Aston, UWE 

“The software was very simple and effective to use. Such a good way of storyboarding out what you want to do as well” Kate Moody, Filmmaking Student

Animation

Course leader Rachel Mills at the University of West of England introduced Stornaway.io to her 3rd-year animation students as part of their “Live Brief” project.

“The final year students working on this project really rose to the challenge, produced some great ideas, and got to grips with branching narrative. I’m very proud of the way they communicated during the project and the input they gave on the software. There is so much potential within interactive storytelling to use animation. I suspect many of the students will go on to work further in this area. I am looking forward to students exploring further interactive storytelling within Stornaway.io in the next academic year.”

Games/FMV/Branching Narrative

FIND ME A GIRLFRIEND

Interactive film game (UK, London 2021) Somriddho Gupta, Digital Media Student, Royal Holloway Uni, London

An interactive story game.  You decide how Alexa/Sam gets ready for their date. But it does it make a difference?

Netflix and other major platforms are now investing heavily in interactive films like Bandersnatch and FMV Games are growing in popularity on Steam and consoles.

 

Stornaway.io offers a solution for these previously very difficult to make formats – a collaborative, no code authoring tool. Like Twine, but with real-time video playback. 

Some of the world’s most experienced FMV game creators are using Stornaway.io to make games for Steam, Xbox, PS5, Switch, mobile & theaters.

We have seen how Stornaway.io provides a bridge across film and game departments to enable multi-disciplinary teams to get the storytelling in place before any expensive graphics or coding.

We will be releasing our Unity integration this Autumn and we are keen to hear from any Immersive/Game departments seeking to beta-test and innovate in this area.

Looking to captivate your students with more engaging videos created for online learning?

Read more about why people are using interactive videos to create more engaging videos for students. We focus on the technology, leaving you free to focus on the learning outcomes.