November 18, 2014 / 0 Comments

Industry Guest: Nicky Slimting

Our level three Media students were lucky enough to have an intimate discussion about film making with director and producer Nicky Slimting. Nicky co-wrote and produced the British urban film “It’s A lot” which was released nationwide on the 25th of October 2013 and distributed by Kaleidoscope films. He is a writer, actor and producer who’s creating a platform for black entertainment in the UK. During the session with our students Nicky stressed the importance of networking and how it can massively help get a foot in the door. As Nicky first started off dabbling in the music industry, he was able to feature a lot of his musical contacts in his films such as Scorcher and Krept & Konan. The use of internet greatly helped Nicky in learning how to script write as well as edit and the most valuable piece of advice he felt he could give was to encourage young, budding film makers to produce, direct and shoot a short film and upload it to a personal youtube channel in order to create a portfolio which is very beneficial to individuals seeking work in the media industry.

November 17, 2014 / 0 Comments

Equity deliver advice to our Dance students

On Monday 17th November Charlotte Bence from Equity visited our campus to deliver advice and guidance to our dance students. Equity is a trade union based in the UK (with a branch in Los Angeles called “equity west coast network”) set up to represent individuals from the arts and entertainment industries. Equity currently support 40,000 members nationwide and also offer support, advice and guidance regarding contracts to members who are working abroad. Charlotte raised questions of interest when becoming a professional dancer such as how long should you work for free to gain experience and what you should do if dancers feel they are not being treated as an equal. Equity offer a student membership to artists who are currently in education, this costs £17.50 per year and in return, equity will support artists in their career and offer advice on jobs and pay.

“Our main role is to negotiate minimum terms and conditions of employment throughout the industry and to try to ensure these take account of social and economic changes.”



Twitter: @EquityUK

November 17, 2014 / 0 Comments

Open Evening 12th November

On Wednesday 12th November we welcomed a number of students from schools in and around Waltham Forest to attend our open evening. It was a great opportunity to get a feel for what we do at DV8 and what we can offer our students. The evening began with a talk from our principal at DV8 Academy Sacha Corcoran MBE who introduced the college and explained how and when it was started and our aim and mission to help young people gain the qualifications they need in order to start a career in the creative industries. Students were then taken to workshops according to the area of study that they are interested in.

Our course manager for digital media Sherine George explained what is involved in our courses and what learners will be covering during the course as well as what equipment is available. Students were handed SLR cameras to experiment with different settings and angles.

Paul Allimadi our support tutor for fashion set his group of students a task to design a selection of outfits based around the theme “love” for a celebrity of their choice.

Students with interest in our music practice and performance courses took part in an hour-long master class session with our tutor Alan Richardson who gave learners a task to write lyrics based around our motivational Monday quote “the only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary”. Once lyrics were written and rehearsed as well as composition and chords, the session was ended with a jam including our current students in our music courses.

Book your place at our next open evening on 4th December 16:30-19:00:

Call: 020 8498 3300


November 5, 2014 / 0 Comments

Ricardo da Silva choreography master class


Dance artist and choreographer Ricardo da Silva paid our level 2 Dance students a visit for a hip-hop/contemporary dance master class on Tuesday afternoon.  He has extensive performance experience ranging from national to international and incorporates spoken word poetry into some of his performances at Dance Aid and Theatre Royal, Stratford. The session lasted two hours in this time our learners were taught a quick and intricate choreography to “stay with me” by Sam Smith. Ricardo spoke about and explained the difference between sharp movements, placement and soft movements elaborating on the importance of stature and how to use body weight for a smoother transition between each move.  Our students managed to learn the routine within two hours with choreography that displayed their technical ability and rhythm.

October 24, 2014 / 0 Comments

Akala visits our SoundSkool students

MOBO award winner and total music man Akala visited SoundSkool in the London Borough of Barnet yesterday. The massively inspiring guest came over to deliver a history of black music talk, Q&A and a rap workshop yesterday the 24th October 2014. Level 2 Music Production & Business & Artist Development students were treated to an informative talk through the history and roots of black music and following that spent the afternoon writing and rapping with Akala’



October 23, 2014 / 0 Comments

Doc Brown- staring in the fridge video shoot

We were lucky enough to have the opportunity to create and film a music video with comedian Doc Brown. The shoot was co-ordinated by our media tutor Mikis Michaelides with the helping hand from students in our Level 2 FusionTV class. The students helped to plan and build the set of the music video beforehand which included sawing sheets of MDF to create a make shift bedroom as well as arrange which props would be needed for the different shots.  The common room was used throughout the whole day as a set for the video, props were brought in and walls set up in order to recreate a set similar to a living room fully equipped with an old looking sofa, television, lamp and posters. Lyrics to the song were written by Doc Brown himself but handed Mikis the job of composing and producing the soundtrack.

In regards to planning the video shoot, ex student Nathan Good prepared a detailed storyboard using adobe photoshop, depicting each scene with vivid sketches in order to have a solid plan to work with when filming.  A schedule and shot list was devised to provide a tight schedule stating times and actions which was used as an agenda for the day. The shoot had to be completed quickly yet sufficiently as Doc had to make a prompt exit at around 16:00 to prepare for a show later that evening which left no room for mistakes. The shoot was a fantastic opportunity for learners to gain first hand experience with creating and planning a music video as well as working with an established industry professional.

There were around four varying visual effects that were used when producing the music video, each effect was listed and stated at which point in the song the effect would take place. For example: “The camera will be locked and we shoot doc in the different locations in the room. The centre shot will also be filmed against a partial green screen which allows us to overlap our shots; this is a multiple exposure typed technique.”

October 21, 2014 / 0 Comments

Meet the team: Bhumeet Kala-Lee (Cold Fever)

Cold Fever, commonly known to colleagues and friends as Boom is a tutor for Music Production at DV8 Training. He grew up with a musical diet of reggae and jazz, also influenced by traditional Indian music which featured in old fashioned bollywood movies that he would watch alongside his grandmother. Growing up he was influenced by hip-hop artists such as J-Dilla and Jay-Z as well as electro-rock band Enter Shikari and heavy metal ensemble Slipknot.

With such diverse influences, he was bound to create a genre that was unique and paid homage to his cultural background, and so Desi-Reggae was born. He is currently spreading his time between teaching classes at DV8 and working on an album with Grammy award winning reggae singer Mykal Rose recreating songs from the Black Uhuru album.

Cold Fever links:





October 17, 2014 / 0 Comments

Shawn Mayer’s Masterclass

Nashville Star contestant Shawn Mayer paid us a visit on Thursday 16th October to give an intimate performance to our level 2 and 3 Music Production and Performance students. Shawn performed a few of her own songs, and spoke about her inspiration when writing the lyrics; mainly inspired from a break up. Her song “The View” was written to describe a derelict house with a post box rusted shut; like her heart with descriptions about the old swing on the front porch in relation to how she felt her relationship was at the time. As well as a few of her own songs, she sang a cover of “Go Your Own Way” by Fleetwood Mac, a band she had grown up listening to on an old cassette, or “8-track” as they are doted in the United States. Her performance was followed by a Q&A session with the students where Shawn stressed the importance of networking as an artist who wants to break into the industry. In the early stages of her career she would offer to play shows for free in small bars and friend’s living rooms so that she could slowly distinguish herself as an artist until one day her friend tricked her into auditioning for a place on the singing show “Nashville Star”.

 “I love being able to see people get into music and be inspired by music, it re-inspires me all over again.”

“It’s very inspiring for myself to see people want to learn, it makes me want to go back and learn some more. I think that music is constantly evolving and is a way to talk to people without using words; it’s a universal language.”


October 10, 2014 / 0 Comments

DV8 Academy Grand Opening

DV8 Academy Principal Sacha Corcoran and staff were proud to officially launch the new DV8 Campus on Wednesday 8th October at Silver Birch House.

The evening was organised by our Event Management students who just two weeks into their first term, were responsible for making sure the evening was one to remember, for all of the right reasons.

After many hours of planning, assigning roles and ensuring the guest list was watertight, the Events team sprang into action to welcome guests from our governing body, Waltham Forest Council, our sponsors and Cllr Terry Wheeler (Mayor of Waltham Forest). Upon arrival, guests were split into small groups and taken on a grand tour around the building which was the perfect opportunity to show off the new training rooms and equipment.

Student host Joel McEwan kept the crowd entertained in between speeches from Governor Barnaby Collier, Sacha Corcoran MBE, Cllr Terry Wheeler (Mayor of Waltham Forest) and the three founding members of DV8 Training; Alexis Michaelides, Ben Jolly and Ian Morton. To celebrate, Mayor Terry Wheeler did the honours of cutting the DV8 cake followed by a toast and brisk round of applause. Once the speeches were over and everyone raised their glasses to our new building, guests filed downstairs where a buffet was served provided by My Big Fat Greek Caterers.

“DV8 has a great set of staff and an amazing set of students to really begin to make an impact on transforming lives.” – Barnaby Collier

The atmosphere was electric; DV8 Campus was illuminated in our signature colours with the BBQ provided on full heat outside by reception. It was a fantastic night and great opportunity to showcase our new home and the talented students that we house. Thank you very much to all the guests who attended, there will be many more events to come from us in the future; watch this space!

October 10, 2014 / 0 Comments

Group Forming Challenge – Tallest Tower

Students in our enterprise class were put into groups and given a task to build the tallest tower using the limited resources they were given. The idea of the activity was to better their knowledge on Tuckman’s stages of group development. The stages are as follows; Forming, Storming, Norming and Performing. Tuckman proposed that each of these phases are all necessary in order for a team to grow, tackle problems, find solutions and plan work delivering exceptional results. Each group of students worked together, following the guidelines of this theory of group development in order to sufficiently work together and build a tower using spaghetti and marshmallows. The winners of the challenge was the Enterprise; Fashion, Dance and Music group, well done to Cresselle Jules, Miriam Karamoko, Rochette Valencia, Rakesha Booth and Priscilla Ibanichuka with a tower at 110cm. Each winner was presented with a £5.00 gift voucher presented by Sacha Corcoran, principle at DV8 Academy.


The Winning Tower