Students work with industry professionals to create car crash simulation

A group of Media and Theatrical Media Make-up students from Warrington Collegiate have worked alongside industry professionals and emergency services as part of a training exercise aimed at helping firefighters act fast when lives are at risk.

The road traffic collision simulation was carried out by Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service at their Warrington Fire Station on Winwick Road to test their emergency response. It came after students spent two days in production meetings with Victoria Edgerton, MD of For Real Training – which deals in realistic trauma training for emergency services and armed forces.

Media students discussed where they would position themselves during the exercise in order to capture the best footage, while Media Make-up students worked closely with expert Victoria to determine what kind of injuries would be suffered by those involved in the crash.

The exercise itself saw Victoria and For Real Training actress Tara “crash” their car after using a mobile phone behind the wheel – a scenario the emergency services see too often.

As well as using tripod mounted cameras to capture the action – which saw Victoria and Tara rescued from the car by firefighters from White Watch using hydraulic cutting equipment – media students also used a drone which had been built by one of the students himself.

Oliver Bolton, who took part in the project, said: “To work with professionals was really unique. It was a very realistic situation that we were placed in, it was very professional and very enjoyable and a good insight into the industry. Generally, we usually use one or two static cameras on tripods in different locations. We don’t normally have to co-ordinate four, five or six cameras at the same time like we did on this so it’s difficult but it came out well.”

Media Make-up students all used the impressive skills they have learned during their time on the Hair and Media Make-up Diploma Level 3 course e to create realistic injuries on Victoria and Tara.

Student Sacha Hughes, who took charge of the make-up, said: “This has been a really exciting opportunity to work within the industry and work to a deadline, it really does put us under that pressure but it’s a good type of pressure, making us ready for what we will be going out doing.”

The group had to think on their feet during the simulation when the scenario was changed slightly last minute after Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service decided to introduce a second vehicle to the mix to make things more realistic.

Sacha, whose make-up skills have recently landed her a job at Illamasqua, added: “You don’t really see how hard the fire service actually work until you do something like this. They are an amazing team and everybody who does that kind of thing is pretty amazing but it also shows you how bad it can get.”

The unique work experience project was made possible thanks to Dominica Randolfi, Work Placement Co-ordinator at the College, and came just months after Victoria gave an inspirational talk and workshop at Warrington Collegiate in February.

Dominica said: “Our students have totally blown me away and really impressed me with their professionalism from start to finish from the production meetings with Victoria in terms of setting out how they were going to capture this accident on camera, the types of makeup that they were going to use and the injuries the actors were going to sustain from this type of crash. They worked very well with the professionals and I do believe they gained so much experience from it because it looked and felt so real. Because they were working with professionals as well it added to their experience – I’m very proud of them.”