Researcher brings movies to university lectures

INDIAN-born Vijay Bhutada hopes that his University of Huddersfield studies will help propel him into a career in the dazzling world of Bollywood.  But, in the meantime, he is carrying out research which could help teachers inject some movie-like pizzazz into their lectures and classes.

Vijay, aged 25, is from Mumbai, where the world’s largest film industry is based.  Competition to gain a foothold in Bollywood is intense, he admits, but when he returns to India after completing two University of Huddersfield degrees, he aims to find work in film editing and effects, which has become his passion.  He has raised his profile by entering international competitions and earning commendations from judges.

He gained his technical knowledge from a three-year BA degree in Digital Film and Visual Effects Production.  After graduation he then embarked on research for an MSc degree at the University of Huddersfield, supervised by its Head of Informatics, Dr Rupert Ward.

Vijay has devised a project, mixing pedagogy and informatics, in which he examines ways in which lecturers could add variety and interest to their sessions by incorporating specially-created ‘motion graphic’ video film segments, based on the course material.

“Instead of tutors speaking continuously, they will play an animated video to break up the lecture,” said Vijay.  “It would be interactive, entertaining and colourful, with sound.  I like movies, so I thought, why not use them to help with teaching?”

As part of his research, Vijay is working on an animated video based on a lecture material by Dr Ward on the topic of software project management.  But he has also been developing his credentials as a film editor, and enjoyed success in the Mountain Film Festival, which takes place annually in Wanaka, New Zealand.

Entrants to the festival’s film editing competition are supplied with 45 minutes of action-packed footage, featuring outdoor sporting activities such as climbing, water-skiing, biking and kayaking.  They must then produce their own three-minute trailer.

Vijay’s mini-movie was one of the shortlisted ten – from 43 entrants from around the world – which were selected to be screened at the 2013 Wanaka Mountain Film Festival.

He has entered a sequence of competitions, as a way of boosting his CV.  As a keen music fan, who incorporates styles such as hip hop, RnB, blues, pop, rock, rap into his soundtracks, he has composed a number of songs.  He entered six of them in the 2013 edition of the UK Songwriting Contest and three of them received commendations.

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