Workshops and teaching

Workshops and teaching

TanskaAKK_8899-editOne of the reasons I have been quiet in this blog has been my rather serious commitment to teaching, which leaves very little time for anything else. Last semester I taught in Lahti University of Applied Sciences (photo­graphy / video editing / multi­media) and Aalto ARTS University in Helsinki (multi­media).

DocImages32In addition I was doing some one-on-one teaching and attended couple of seminars and confe­rences as a speaker (as the image above, which was Nordic Freelance 2014 in Denmark and the WOW! in Institute of Journalism in Norway (image on the right)

I really enjoy teaching. And during the coming weekend we will be doing a very intensive multi­media workshop for JOKES. I am really happy we have managed to get some top talent with us as guest speakers to talk and share their experiences.

Twelve students and eight of us total in teaching. Should be a great experience. I’m really looking forward to it… but I don’t think the students have understood yet how much work it is going to be and how much we are going to cover. Aim to rock their world… in a positive sense.

But more about that workshop later in a separate post. And I am sure some images and commentary will leak into Facebook and Twitter as well, so stay tuned.The workshop is totally fully booked, but if you are interested in hearing me babble about the future of the media and multi­media production, FIMAGE is arranging an evening session 6th November. Check their website for details.

Motivation for the teacher

As I said: I really, really enjoy teaching. There is something so rewarding to see students going out of their comfort zones, going somewhere where they have not been before and coming out with a smile on their face. Granted: quite often the smile is kind of tired — as was the case with these two examples I’d like to share here.

I met both authors in the morning in the elevator — the last day of the classes — going to the 9th floor in ARTS. Kind of early for the class which was about to start in half an hour — and art students are not known for being the most punctual group, so to speak. Expla­nation was simple: most of the class had spent the night in school, editing… to meet the deadline.

And yet, no complaining and they even managed a forced smile to the teacher with a “good morning“as well.

You cannot but respect that.

It is a coinci­dence that the first piece is about insomnia. This is the first time the author ever works with video. Either in shooting or editing. Rather impressive, in my humble opinion. I show this proudly (kind of fatherly, teacher kind of pride that is…) with the permission of Miia-Mari Virtanen.

The second example is more straight-forward, but it is this kind of small, narrative stories I would like to see so much more in our media. Real, everyday stories.

Quite often the pieces which get shared in the web are visually stunning, but the story­telling aspect tends to be forgotten. Aleks Talve, the author behind this one, keeps it very simple. And it simply works.

And there are countless others among the student work, I just chose two which I perso­nally liked very much. I could have chosen otherwise.

Another source of hidden pride is when I see some people I have had the honor of teaching in the past really making an effort out there and having success. I underline: I am not “glory hunting” — i.e. I have nothing or very little to do with their achie­ve­ments, they have done it on their own. But it is so extremely rewarding to see the kids you taught two years ago to get an internship for the National Geographic or get accepted to study documentary filmmaking in the most presti­gious school of the country.

Screen Shot 2014-09-17 at 17.29.30Maybe as a last example I’d like to showcase is the work of Julius Koivis­toinen, whom I had the pleasure of briefly teaching two years ago in Lahti (LAMK). One of the… if not THE most… technically complex and ambitious approach I have ever seen. The Finnish version is couple of minutes longer than the one presented on the right and it is simply stunning.

I had the chance of seeing it the other week and he promised to post it any day now for public view.

If you are interested in how Julius made this piece, you should check out the award winning “making of” he made. Quite a lot of work for every second of the piece but it shows — and you can hear it, the music is beautiful. Impressed, Julius, great work!

I guess what I am trying to say: honored to have taught you all — both you mentioned here and you whom I did not mention, you know who you are.

Makes me proud.

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