Queen Margaret University and Papple Steading are partnering for the third year in a row to give QMU students and recent graduates the opportunity to win the £4.5k Papple Steading Media Prize. 

This initiative, started by Scottish tech entrepreneur George Mackintos, gives a small group of content creators the opportunity to come together and create a piece of engaging digital content to be displayed at The Papple Steading Heritage Museum in order to transform Papple Steading into an impressive agricultural heritage centre which celebrates the rich history of the agricultural revolution. 

Graduates of QMU and two-time winners of the Papple Steading Media Prize, Jourie Fraser-Harris and Alex Gilbert, discuss their experience as prize winners and how it has helped them further develop in their freelancing career. See one of their two films below!  

What attracted you to the Papple Steading Digital Media Prize?  

We first heard about it when we received the alumni newsletter a year after graduating, and so we decided to register our interest. We read the briefing for the prize, and we felt it was almost too good to be true.   

We had started working as freelancers and were excited to see the opportunity to work on a film together, especially with it being for such an innovative and unique project.  

You participated two years in a row, what made you want to do it a second time?  

We were so pleased with how our first film turned out, so we knew we would want to make something similar again. We were given the opportunity to experiment with using animation and we loved the results. It allowed us to create a vision for a series of films that was cohesive, and would create a consistent style that would site well within the future museum. Working alongside Papple once again was also something we were keen to do as our previous experience was so wonderful.  

What are some of the things you took into consideration during the application process?  

When applying for the prize we considered every aspect of it thoroughly as it was important to us to be prepared for the project in every way. We knew we would be the core team but finding our animator, voice over actor, and the schools we would work with was extremely important too. Working with schools meant our time frame was very specific due to school holidays, so we needed to plan a clear schedule for the project.  

We also had to roughly predict what kind of spending would go into our expenses such as paying the animator, travel costs, equipment and deciding a fair rate for ourselves too. Having a clear plan for all of this helped us out a lot when we had to pitch the project to the panel.  

Having just graduated, how did this opportunity help your career development? 

It was very helpful for us to have this as one of our first experiences working with a client as a team. We were challenged by working on a topic we weren’t super knowledgeable on, but the team at the Papple Steading was so wonderful to work with and it really helped both of us gain a lot of confidence in our skills, as well as learn a lot about agriculture, which we found incredibly interesting and eye opening.   

What kind of support did you get from your supervisor/from QMU? 

The advice and support we received from our Media Supervisor, Walid Salhab, was crucial to creating a successful film. Having a knowledgeable advisor to go back and forth to, on every stage of our project, helped us keep a wider perspective on the project. Walid reminded us of how important it is to keep clear communication with the client every step of the way, as well as giving us helpful insights and advice from his personal experience as an award-winning filmmaker.  

Was this a good step for a Film graduate? Why?  

Yes, we believe it’s a great opportunity for graduates. It’s such a wonderful way to create industry level content that you can add on to your CV, as well as having the opportunity to do this within a guided environment, where you can get a lot of support from QMU staff. It can be used as a great foundation to build industry level credits when starting out a career after university.  

Any advice for new applicants?   

It’s a wonderful opportunity so we say, “Go for it”! Why not? It’s a great way to start out and to create something completely different, with so much creative freedom and support. 


To find out more about the Papple Steading Media Prize and how to apply, visit Funding Opportunities| Alumni and Friends| Queen Margaret University (qmu.ac.uk)

Jourie Fraser-Harris

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