Skip to content | Accessibility Information

The students used an experimental digital technique in their film announcing new festival Beyond the Music.

The students used an experimental digital technique in their film announcing new festival Beyond the Music.

Filmmaking students’ festival film screened at SXSW New Order gig

14 March 2023

Student film broadcast to international audience at famous US festival to launch new Manchester event

Three talented students were given the kind of global exposure they had only ever dreamed of when their School of Digital Arts (SODA) film project was screened at a New Order gig as part of renowned global music conference SXSW (South By South West) in Texas.

The third-year filmmaking students’ innovative film was broadcast to a combined live and digital audience of thousands, right before music legends New Order took to the stage to exclusively launch new Manchester festival Beyond the Music.

The two-minute film officially announced this October’s new music conference and festival and was chosen by Beyond the Music co-founder Oli Wilson following a competitive creative pitch.

It was given an exclusive screening at the SXSW concert at the Moody Theatre in Austin, Texas, which officially launched the new festival, and at which Manchester rock greats and Beyond the Music event ambassadors New Order played, supported by Manchester band Loose Articles and Yorkshire band The Orielles.

Following the glittering Texas launch an edited five second version of the students’ film will be rolled out across public places in Manchester, including on digital screens at Piccadilly and near to Trafford Bar tram stop, and on the eye-catching digital screen that covers the front of Manchester Met’s new SODA building

Against a remixed musical backdrop of New Order track Confusion, third year BA Filmmaking students Beck Cooley, Lily Bisseker and Natalie Wilson’s video shows a collage sequence of 18 current up-and-coming Manchester musicians.

The budding filmmakers used video footage of the local artists, which they manipulated with an experimental digital technique. BA Filmmaking student Beck Cooley explained: “We wanted to celebrate the current music scene and club culture of Manchester, so we contacted local musicians and DJs.

“They sent us videos of their faces, which we put into a digital scanner to create obscured still images that look quite abstract. We liked the idea of using digital equipment in ways they’re not meant to be used.

“The finished film has a ‘glitching’ quality that fits with the New Order music, and even shows up our smudgy fingerprints, which looks textural and interesting.”

Filmmaking students Lily Bisseker, Beck Cooley and Natalie Wilson

The festival announcement film features cameos from local artists and friends of the students including musician, sound artist and Manchester Met Technical Officer Raz Ullah, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Daisy Cameron and The Orielles, who supported New Order at SXSW.

Dr Kirsty Fairclough, Interim Deputy Head of SODA, said: “The fact our students were selected to make this hugely important film announcing Beyond the Music is testament to their innovation, creativity and talent. I’m extremely proud of their hard work and delighted to see it getting the exposure it deserves on such a prominent platform.”

Beyond the Music, a new global music conference and festival co-founded by Tony Wilson’s son Oli Wilson, will take place across Manchester on 11-13 October 2023, and aims to bring together live music, gaming and technology.

Speaking about her announcement film being screened at the prestigious SXSW, BA Filmmaking student Lily Bisseker said: “When we found out our film had been chosen to announce the festival, we could hardly believe it.

“We worked hard over two weeks to make our creative concept a reality. Knowing our film is being seen by so many people across the world and in our home city, and alongside such music legends as New Order, feels exciting and surreal.”

Both acts supporting New Order at SXSW, The Orielles and Loose Articles, were supported to attend by GMCA (Greater Manchester Combined Authority) and were selected by the Greater Manchester Music Commission and Manchester Music Cities Network.