The most marketable skills for a post-pandemic workforce include the ability to live-stream conferences, meetings, training sessions and even concerts as corporate employers and the live-performance sector bounce back from the Covid-19 crisis, according to Pulse College.
The college, which is surrounded by the offices of some of the world’s biggest technology companies in the Dublin Docklands, is marking its 30th anniversary by offering students with a passion for creative media technologies the opportunity to future-proof their careers by gaining skills in in-demand fields such as live-streaming, virtual and augmented reality, animation, and game development.
Courses start next month at Pulse College, which delivers industry training in games development, animation, film, music production and technology. Its music and film campus is based at the historic Windmill Lane Recording Studios, enabling students to practice their skills in a real-world music production and recording facility. Film alumni have gone on to work for MTV, RTE, BBC, Channel 4, while music production graduates have worked for Gavin James, U2, Adele and Kyle Minogue.
Indeed, it was U2 who put the studios on the map back in 1978, when it became the first rock band to record at Windmill Lane. The studios relocated in 1990 to a larger space on Ringsend Road and are now housed in the art deco building that was once the power station for the old tramline depot on Ringsend Road. Some of the world’s most iconic songs and albums have been recorded at Windmill Lane by artists such as Kate Bush, The Rolling Stones, David Bowie, The Cranberries, The Spice Girls and more recently Lady Gaga, Ed Sheeran, The Script and Hozier.
“For 30 years, Pulse College has been training, educating and developing talent in the field of creative media technologies. Our graduates are leaders in their fields, equipped with the knowledge and skills to succeed in this quickly evolving landscape. From Oscar-winning films to Grammy-nominated albums, breath-taking visuals in video games to major animation releases, our students are constantly engaged in exciting and challenging projects on the domestic and international stage.” – Tony Perrey, founding director and president of Pulse College.
The college’s games and animation campus is located at The Market Studios on Halston Street. A key part of these courses involves producing a portfolio of work that will help students move into these industries, and animation graduates have progressed to working for Brown Bag Films and Boulder Media. The ability to work remotely has seen animation thrive after Covid-19 shut down live action productions, and IDA Ireland has been encouraging animation companies to invest in setting up in Ireland’s expanding animation hub.
”There has never been a better time to get into the animation industry than right now. The animation industry is seeing an unprecedented boom across the world due to a huge demand for content. Ireland has positioned itself as one of the best places in the world to produce this content. Studios are in dire need for fresh new talent, so to have a sustainable workforce, it’s very important that we grow the next generation of artists and technicians to fulfil their needs. There is no end to the opportunities for someone coming into the industry today as it’s not just animation but visual effects, games and the VR/AR immersive sectors that are growing substantially.” – Brian Gilmore, an animation technology consultant who has worked with Brown Bag Films and Cartoon Saloon.
The global gaming market, which was valued at $173.7 billion in 2020, is poised to rocket to $314.4 billion by 2026, with growth in the industry accelerated by Covid-19 restrictions, which prompted more people to turn to gaming platforms to pass the time, according to Mordor Intelligence.
As well as courses in game development and creative technologies, Pulse also offers a masters of arts in scoring for film, TV and interactive media, as well as degrees in audio and music technology and music production. Some students have worked at Windmill Lane with Eimear Noone, arguably the world’s leading conductor of video game scores. The Galway composer and conductor is responsible for some of the most enduring soundscapes on World of Warcraft and other best-selling games. In 2020, Eimear made history by becoming the first women ever to conduct at the Oscars ceremony, and she was nominated this year for an Ivor Novello award for the best original film score for the animated film Two By Two: Overboard, which was co-produced by Galway-based Irish animation company Moetion Films. Some Pulse students worked on setting up the studio for Eimear when she created the film score, and also helped her run a video game music conference.
Orchestras regularly record their music at Windmill Lane Recording Studios, as Studio One is the only recording room in Ireland that can record an 80-piece orchestra apart from RTE. The scores to many films have been recorded there, from Mission: Impossible and My Left Foot to Sing Street, The Commitments and the upcoming live-action/animated Disney feature Disenchanted.