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RADA joint head of video and digital design Nina Dunn: ‘Collaboration and innovation are key’

Nina Dunn. Photo: Rah Petherbridge
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How did you start in theatre?

I translated my skills from broadcast design (TV and film) into the world of spatial video for theatre.

What is the best piece of advice you have for students today?

Always think of yourself as part of a team. Ask for help and collaborate across departments.

What would you change about training in the UK?

I would like to see institutions encourage a more balanced way of theatremaking between all departments, for example making techniques such as devised and physical theatre more accessible as standard.

What is the best part of your job?

Seeing students get the ‘bug’ for video. When they get hands-on and see its potential and break down mental barriers with technology it’s very rewarding.

And your least favourite?

Watching people fall into the classic traps laid out by a show that is badly structured for video, and the effect this has on the team and what they take away from the process.

Who are the practitioners you admire the most/who should students look up to?

Collaboration and innovation are key for anyone who wants to pursue a career in live video. The work of companies such as Complicite, Improbable, Headlong, Frantic Assembly and 1929, which are good at openly interrogating their approaches to storytelling, set a great example.

What is the one skill that every successful theatre professional should have?

Communication. Theatre is all about storytelling, and communication within teams is the backbone of this process.

What does the future of video within theatre look like?

Whatever my students make it.

Nina Dunn was talking to John Byrne

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