Creative kids get new start at Capital E studios

ANDREA O'NEIL
Last updated 05:00 14/03/2014
Capital E studio
KEVIN STENT/FAIRFAX NZ

TALKING HEADS: Kelsey Wilkinson, 11 and Tyler Florance, 11, of St Benedict's School, present a Capital E news show.

Capital E
KEVIN STENT/Fairfax NZ
Grace Tulloch, 11 and Veronica Elsis, 11, of St Benedict's School, appear on OnTV at Capital E.

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The next generation of Kiwi film-makers, game designers and television stars is once again getting a start at Capital E.

The Wellington children's institution opened its new $500,000 digital studios yesterday, 18 months after leaving its earthquake-prone Civic Square home.

"It's just really exciting for us, it's huge," creative technology manager Melissa Conway said.

A suite of computers line the walls in the MediaLab, where students can create computer games, 3-D and 2-D animated films, movie soundtracks and games. A cinema screen displays their efforts after a morning's work.

Across the hallway is a brand-new OnTV studio complete with green screens, a computer-filled production suite and a wacky wardrobe corner. Students create their own news show, Wake up New Zealand, which is streamed live online.

"They're able to get a taste of some cutting edge creative industries," Capital E director Stuart Grant said. "It's the part of Wellington that goes on behind closed doors, and they get to experience that."

Capital E's software is open-source, so children can continue to create games and films at home after honing their skills at the studio, Mr Grant said. Computer modelling was becoming essential in careers from plumbing to film design.

Intermediate-age students from Khandallah's St Benedict's School were the first to visit the new Queens Wharf studios yesterday.

"It was good, I liked everything," said Grace Tulloch, 11.

Grace was interviewed by her classmates for Wake Up New Zealand, playing a woman who built her house upside down.

"It was really weird looking at yourself on screen," she said.

Kelsey Wilkinson, 11, was a newsreader for the broadcast, which included items on an invisibility cloak and missing people. She was nervous beforehand but not when the cameras started rolling.

Not every student was so collected though, Kelsey said. "It was funny when people messed up. You couldn't stop and take bits out."

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- The Dominion Post

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