Training XpoNorth 2016

XpoNorth offers all-comers a raft of hands-on free training to anyone serious about pursuing a career in television, film, music, design, writing, games development, social media and more.

This bumper package of FREE creative career development includes the opportunity for 17 trainees to play a starring role with XpoNorth Live! the Inverness-based festival's brand new live online television station.

XpoNorth is a unique happening in the Scottish creative industries calendar and this year this year it takes place Wednesday 8th and Thursday 9th June. The conference element of XpoNorth and the training opportunities will all be held at the Highland capital's Eden Court Theatre.

This year, festival organisers have placed an added emphasis on practical hands-on training and support for anyone who wants to get ahead in their chosen field within the creative industries no matter their level. 

Festival organisers are aiming at people of all ages at all stages of their creative careers.

In collaboration with The Highland Youth Arts Hub, there is even the opportunity for groups of young people from five secondary schools from across the Highlands and Islands to attend XpoNorth on either day, with bursaries of up to £300 on offer to cover travel and/or accommodation. Email Stacey Toner for application information. Deadline for submissions is Friday 20th May.

There is a total of 11 free-to-access training masterclasses on offer at XpoNorth. The workshops have limited numbers so would-be participants are being encouraged to sign up promptly to take advantage of being up close and personal with industry insiders.

In addition to the masterclasses listed below, there are three hands-on (not to mention full-on) training opportunities.

XpoNorth's two-day long Hit The Ground Running Course is designed for people based in the Highlands and Islands at the start of their career who have been trying to get a foot in the television or film door to secure the all-important first job. Link to book here:

Brand new TV channel, XpoNorth Live! will broadcast for the duration of the festival. XpoNorth is seeking eight trainees who will be schooled production coordinators and researchers the week before XpoNorth with a further nine placements for the production week in the fields of craft and design: camera operators, sound assistant, shadow director/vision mixer, editor/data wrangler and floor manager. Link to register interest and receive an application pack here:


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XpoNorth 2016 training workshops (held at Eden Court on both days of the festival):


Crowdfunding? It's About More Than Getting The Money

Patricia van den Akker, Director of The Design Trust on the dos and don'ts of crowdfunding, which can be a powerful marketing tool as well as money-making venture.

Link to book here:


Introduction to Film Producing

Richard Warden, film producer and director of The Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival gives the inside track on the people who make things happen in the film and television world…

Link to book here:


The Secret of Good Documentary Storytelling

With director Robbie Fraser and editor Clyde Wallbanks. Their feature documentary, Hamish, about the life of Hamish Henderson will be screened as part of the curated film showcase at XpoNorth.

Link to book here:


An Introduction to Game Narrative

Video game writer and designer, Tom Knights gives the lowdown on the basics of Twine, the popular interactive fiction software.

Link to book here:


Short Films: Script to Screen

Damien O'Connor of Brown Bag Films takes an informal look at the steps needed to hone that inkling of an idea into a fully-fledged film.

Link to book here:


BBC The Social

Goes behind the scenes of BBC Scotland's new digital content stream aimed at 18-34 year olds with Anthony Browne, Executive Producer, Social Media, BBC Scotland.

Link to book here:


BAFTA Scotland and Skills Development Scotland present Career Close Up

With Bill Gill, Head of Editing at 422, who most recently brought his pin-sharp editing skills to bear on BBC Scotland's nature documentary series Highlands: Scotland’s Wild Heart.

Link to book here:


Applying 3D Printing to Local Businesses

Dr Paul Smith, Institute of Design Innovation, The Glasgow School of Art, introduces digital fabrication technologies, including 3D printing.

Link to book here:


Lyric Writing: Freedom in Rules and Restrictions!

Songwriting without tears. Calum Wood, Vocal Tutor, Academy of Music and Sound on ways to use lyrical and structural techniques to enhance compositions.

Link to book here:


How to Shoot 360 Content

With filmmakers Niall Macdonald and Calum Macdonald of California-based CryWorks on creating engaging and state-of-the-art 360 video content.

Link to book here:


The No/Low Budget Filmmaking Event

Martyn Robertson and Ian Bustard of Urbancroft Films lead participants on an exploration into filmmaking without finance. Their feature documentary, Marty Goes to Hollywood, took three years to make and involved filming in Scotland and LA.

Link to book here:


Many of the creative industry insiders taking part in the masterclasses will appear on the festival's own TV station, XpoNorth Live! 

The festival aims to showcase the best of XpoNorth's chat, craic, music and talent, tracking every session, panel and showcase for the wider world to enjoy. Its trainees will learn a host of vital skills, including how to write a TV script, preparing a brief and briefing a presenter, managing talent, digital editing, compliance, copyright and legal reporting.

Eight of the television station trainees will spend the week before the festival honing their research and production skills, while a further nine placements are on offer for the XpoNorth Live! production week building up to broadcasting live for the duration of XpoNorth

Applicants for ALL XpoNorth training opportunities are being asked to register as delegates as well as clicking the links above to sign up for the specific training opportunity.  

The deadline for HIT THE GROUND RUNNING, which is facilitated by media and entertainment trade union, BECTU, in partnership with XpoNorth, is Monday 23rd May.

The deadline for applying to be part of XPONORTH LIVE! is Sunday 15th May.