Students complete Old Town Jail project during lockdown

FVC Old Town Jail Project team and David Kinnaird (right)

Students complete Old Town Jail project during lockdown

Sound Production students from Forth Valley College have completed a project during lockdown, to help a popular Stirling tourist attraction with its background sound and tour narration in time for its reopening on Wednesday 15 July.

The Old Town Jail’s David Kinnaird contacted FVC Sound Production Barry Frame back in January 2020 – as the pair had worked together before – and asked if any College students would like to get involved in a project recording actors’ interactive voice-over and sound effects for the attraction at the Top of the Town in Stirling near the castle.

Four first year HND students – Keir Hall (18) and Fraser Reid (22) both from Larbert, Erin Marshall (18) and Claire McFarlane (27) both from Falkirk - based at the FVC Stirling Campus jumped at the chance to get involved in the project and were invited to tour the Jail on Monday 3 February, to get a feel for the atmospheric tours and performances that bring the attraction to life for visitors and tourists.

Two days later they were in the recording studios at the Stirling Campus working with David to record the new tracks and script.

Now five months on and the students – supervised by their lecturer Barry – have completed the project while working from home and using it to contribute to their coursework while on lockdown.

In that time the students have produced all 43 audio tracks needed by the Old Town Jail, despite the software limitations, and making use of online Zoom meetings, file transfers, and working as a team.

The Old Town Jail – which opens to the public on Wednesday 15 July - will only use audio recordings to begin with then the interactive audio will be introduced when social distancing is relaxed. 

David Kinnaird, Creative Director of the Stirling Old Town Jail, said: “Having worked with Barry on a number of projects, I know he'd bring a fresh set of ears to the project. The FVC students share his energy and invention and have been excited - to see - and hear - what they made of my scripts. I am really pleased with the result and can’t wait for the time when the Old Town Jail will be open to gauge the reaction of the public.”

Geoff Morrison, Head Governor, of the Old Town Jail, said: “This is an exciting time for Stirling Old Town Jail as we can finally unveil our refurbishment and bring visitors back to experience the ultimate in both security and escape!  We have been immensely proud of the team’s achievements over the last few years in putting the Jail back on the map and the input from the team at Forth Valley College has been instrumental in enabling us to build upon the continued success of the attraction.”

Student Fraser Reid, said: “I was really excited to be a part of the project. It helped us as students to take part in a professional recording with real actors. The project also contributed to our portfolios to help us once we leave the course. We are all very thankful that our lecturer Barry allowed us to have this opportunity.” 

Fellow student Erin Marshall, said: “The group and I were really excited to be working on the project with Barry and David. It was a really great opportunity to expand our knowledge of sound in a realistic space and to then see how it’s received by an audience. It’s something very different and it’ll be a great piece of work to go towards extra credit at college!”

FVC Sound Production lecturer, Barry Frame, said: “I have known David for many years and am so grateful to him for offering our students the chance to work with the Old Town Jail. This has been a great opportunity for the students to showcase their skills working on an exciting live industry project.

“It has also opened their minds to new avenues of work available to sound engineers in a Multi-Media driven economy that is constantly expanding. The students have demonstrated to themselves and their client that they can work to a high level in a professional environment. They have all done very well and I am sure it will benefit them enormously and am very proud of them for taking on this project.”

Colin McGeoch, Curriculum Manager in FVC’s Department of Creative Industries, said: “I am delighted that our students were given the opportunity to become involved in such an interesting and exciting project. Through participating in this work, they have broadened their knowledge and skills and gained valuable experience in emerging sectors of the industry. I’d like to thank the Old Town Jail for inviting our students to be involved in this project.”

To find out more about FVC’s Sound Production courses please call 01324 403000 or visit www.forthvalley.ac.uk

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