Can’t stop this! I had the pleasure of facilitating a two-day Videography Workshop a couple of weeks ago (something similar we organized at Rouen Business School last year). This time we gathered at the Delft University of Technology in Holland that proved to be a fantastic site for the event: the entire facility was well-versed for creative work with massive open working spaces, several “real” workshops with tools and machines, and everywhere around us students working on their product design sketches and projects – in fact, many of them were doing films right on the spot.
We had work planned for two days with a brilliant group of 15 aspiring videographers. The main objective was to consider how to embrace video media in our academic work. The program was loaded, as one might expect: we started off by analyzing various streams filmmaking – including documentary, ethnographic, experimental, artistic filmmaking – from their theoretical, stylistic and practical underpinnings and approaches, followed by a more hands-on part where we set out to test our filmmaking skills by producing short films, and by going through the different details in production phases of pre-production, shoot, and edit. As a result, we produced two short films (2-3 minutes each) in a matter of hours of highly effective and creative teamwork. The highlight was the screening of the films at the “film festival”.
Two stunning quality films from first-timers, I must say! To reflect a bit on what we did, our main filming task was to come up with a compelling audio-visual story that would address one of the key strategic areas of TUDelft – namely sustainability, health, behavioral change, or technological innovation. This proved a pretty challenging task taken that we did not have much time to go into these topics before starting. Yet, time and energy was won by applying state-of-the-art storyboarding methods in crafting the filmic stories, and appropriate division of responsibilities in terms of film production – in directing, scripting, shooting, sound recording, editing etc. As we progressed the action-packed two-day schedule, the groups proved that doing films is all about: TEAMWORK, PLANNING, CREATIVITY, and FOCUS. I believe these are the big secrets in getting some serious filming done.
Overall the workshop can be considered bon succès thanks to all participants, and especially to Prof Maria Sääksjärvi who made the workshop possible in the first place. Find enclosed some snaps from the action. Can’t wait for the next one!!
Just popping in to inform all who might be interested that a commentary by John Schouten and us was recently published in Journal of Business Research.
You’ll find the article here.
I hope the discussion on the underpinnings of video as a research approach will continue in lively fashion..!
This week I had the pleasure of participating and giving a talk at the 2013 EFMD conference on higher education challenges and solutions. The conference offered insightful talks by experts in the field and it was held at the Otto Beisheim School of Management, WHU Campus in Düsseldorf, Germany.
As one of the key themes of the conference was “Blended Learning” (i.e. using new online technologies, MOOCs etc.), video media was given a particular spotlight. I had the chance to present alongside with Jen Ross, MOOC specialist and Program Director from the University of Edinburgh, UK. Her presentation gave an interesting overview of what it takes to run massive open online courses, and she also pointed out toward the importance of using film. Find below my presentation.
Basically, my intention was to introduce new ways to think about the video medium in teaching. Thought it might be worthwhile to share.
This year’s Association for Consumer Research Conference Film Festival track is buzzing with interesting films. The trailers for thirteen consumer research films that were accepted will be screened Friday through Sunday (October 4 – 6, 2013), find details HERE.
Insidevideography.com blog has a particularly strong presence in ACR Chicago with three new film entries – two by Joel & collaborators from Aalto University and one by me with colleagues Baptiste and Alice from University of Rouen, France. However, the best news is that there are many new filmmakers – including some familiar faces from our Videography Workshop (something we held last March) – with really promising work. We’ll be attending most of the sessions and certainly write some notes. Can’t wait to see all of the films!
Find here our film trailers (and we’ll post the full films here soon too):
Consuming the contradiction (17 min) / Joel Hietanen, John Scouten & Iiro Vaniala
Entre-deux-mondes: The shaping of artistic projects in a local music scene (31 min) / Joonas Rokka, Baptiste Cléret & Alice Sohier
Entertained to excess: The contemporary practices of boredom (21 min) / Henri Myöhänen & Joel Hietanen
Just a little happy happenstance – contains amour-propre in all its silliness. Gear was neat, though.
(Hannu Uotila’s Invited Guest Contribution to Insidevideography Blog)
First when Joonas Rokka contacted me and explained that he’s planning a videography workshop in France and he wanted me to be in charge of the hands-on execution part of the workshop, I was extremely excited. When the workshop started to get its final form and length of 3 days, I realized that I might be totally screwed. The problem was following: How to go through and explain video production process and guide four groups in their productions just in 3 days? The area we needed to cover in such a short time was so extensive that people usually spend several years to get their degree from filmmaking and then their lives to rehearse. To tackle this problem, I decided to divide our mountain-size workload in three daily-based topics: 1) pre-production, 2) shoot, and 3) post-production.
DAY 1 (Pre-production) – Our super eager team of participants gathered in historically vivid Château of Rouen Business School. Participants were divided into four groups. Task for the day one was to define “research questions” and to create a production plan, including particles such as time table, script, call sheet, role division etc. Pre-production is commonly the most overlooked phase of the productions, but if done properly, it will save money, time and patience. At this time my biggest concern was, if the teams would understand the importance of this phase. However, if they wouldn’t, ‘the learning curve’ might be even steeper than expected. Why? Well, in video productions all the failures or ‘do nots’ in previous stages of the production will cause problems in following phases. After the day one, however, I was getting more and more confident that we might actually be able to reach the goal of the workshop in terms of team video productions.
DAY 2 (Shoot) – The next day was kicked off at the Château by explaining the technical side of film shooting. We also gave the teams two important rules that we wanted them to follow: 1) Do not shoot over 30 minutes of footage, and 2) Have fun! The teams were sent out to the field to shoot their videos according to their plans. There were two reasons to restrict the amount of the footage. Firstly, we wanted to underline the importance of the planning in the procedure, and secondly we wanted to make sure that the post-production phase would not be overloaded. In this workshop at least the second rule was respected :) At the end of the day we collected all filmed materials and made preparations for the final day.
DAY 3 (Post-production) – We started the day three by going through key features and functionalities of Final Cut Pro editing software – the program groups were going to use for crafting their 2-3 minute films. At this point all previous tasks and stages started to make sense; if the group noticed that they had exceeded the maximum amount of the footage, if they had focused on wrong issues, if they did not have enough b-roll, or if their production plan was too vague. For some of the groups this reality hit harder than others. After the last minute desperation and rush in editing – which is the standard in video production business – the whole workshop culminated in the viewing of the films. I can honestly say that it was a moment of pride. The quality of films exceeded what I was waiting for! When the official program was over and I was sipping Champagne in the historically surroundings at the Château after the screening of films, I was thinking, “We made history, indeed. The concept worked. Our first videography workshop was a success. Mission Impossible in the Château: Completed”.
If the core teachings of the workshop could be compressed in five, they would be:
1) Make a plan,
2) Work according to your plan
3) Don’t try to film everything (and don’t go crazy!)
4) There is never too much B-roll footage
5) Every once in a while, ask yourself: Why?
Two weeks ago 15 enthusiastic participants and three workshop co-organizers set out to explore, discuss and discover how video media could be employed by researchers. Our set up was a three-day intensive Videography Workshop featuring introductory lectures on key topics and approaches, fruitful discussions and, importantly, hands-on videography work covering the entire process of filmmaking (pre-production, production and post-production). We were lucky enough to occupy the Rouen Business School campus Château making the experience special in many ways. Find in the following some thoughts and insights from the workshop that – at least according to feedback from the participants – can be considered a good success.
First of all, the idea of this workshop was, on the one hand, to continue the series of inspiring and pioneering Video Ethnography workshops organized by Professors Russ Belk and Rob Kozinets some years back in connection to Consumer Culture Theory (CCT) conferences. On the other hand, the principal idea behind this event – perhaps distinguishing it from the previous ones – was to invite researchers together who already had at least some prior experience in video production or analysis, had questions about it, or had tried to shoot and edit film before, or who were looking for further advice in advancing their ongoing video projects. We wanted to cater for this group in particular by offering not only practical information about “how to do it” but also raise important questions about the practice of academic videography productions: Why should academics consider videographies as a means to produce, express and disseminate research? What is it good for? What does it mean to employ video media? What requirements, opportunities, limitations and approaches should be considered?
I wanted to invite two co-chairs for the event for a number of reasons. Joel Hietanen, my dear friend and co-author/filmmaker (not to mention co-writer of this blog), finished his Doctoral dissertation last summer on a fundamental topic to our workshop: “Videography in Consumer Culture Theory” – in short, a philosophical account on academic film productions (see link here). Joel’s task was thus to inspire, provoke, and stimulate discussion on a journey to philosophical trajectories in audiovisual research. His presentation excelled in that it introduced fundamental notions from Gilles Deleuze’s theorizing of cinema (see Joel’s posting on our workshop in this blog any day soon). The second co-chair I invited was Hannu Uotila, CEO of Rocketgang productions – a Helsinki-based video production company. Hannu’s role was to provide and facilitate a comprehensive account on the video production process from professional’s viewpoint (Hannu’s posting forthcoming in this blog soon too). Hannu’s experience in commercial video productinons – including ads, television programs, company films etc. – was essential in setting up the workshop learning experience. It is also worth mentioning that, just last week, Hannu was nominated to the list of “New Producers to Watch” by MIPTV event organized in Cannes, France (Hannu: We salute you! Congratulations!)
I tried to add my personal input somewhere between Joel and Hannu – between Deleuzian ephemera and hands-on concrete video productions – in attempting to position videography as a particular research approach and a useful tool for researchers and also to point our opportunities and challenges that videography may bring about. Among other things, I attempted to open up how traditions in documentary film theory, visual anthropology, experimental ethnography, and also artistic video projects may help us in charting and finding promising directions for videographers.
Finally, and most importantly, we left room for emergence and improvisation in that all the participants of the workshop engaged in filmmaking activity (in four teams). We planned, filmed, edited, produced and finalized four short films over the course of just two and half days! This videography challenge seemed impossible at first (see Hannu’s posting in this blog) but we were confident of success. All four groups finished their films in time and the screening of the films was certainly the climax of our workshop. Four amazing films of stunning quality! Great work from all the groups.
My own experience of organizing and pulling together the workshop was of course very special. Notably, it was absolutely great to receive such a perfect group of guests to my home school and city. In addition, I am astonished how many new ideas I/we got concerning both future videography productions and also the role of videography in the academia altogether. I am convinced we’re still taking some of the early steps in this regard! So let us continue… :)
Thanks everyone one more time! (and check out some photos from the action below..) We also wish to thank Rouen Business School research group Markets, Brands & Experiences for generous sponsorship.
Attention aspiring videographers! The best way to kick off the new year is to work on your filmmaking skills by attending the Videography Workshop organized and chaired by the authors of this blog – me and Joel – plus our video industry professional and crew member Hannu Uotila, CEO of RocketGang Productions Ltd (some showreel from here). The event is based in Rouen, France, at the Rouen Business School campus situated conveniently within 1h train trip away from Paris. Time: 20-22 March, 2013.
The workshop is designed for doctoral students and more established researchers interested in doing research on video format and aiming to publish in academic conferences and publications – or simply willing to make their research more accessible to wider audiences through video.
The workshop consists of two and a half action-packed days featuring: theoretical and practical insights on academic videography production as well as hands-on videography planning, video shooting and editing under professional supervision. After completing the workshop participants have an in-depth understanding of and an experience of videography production in practice. The objective is to provide participants with necessary skills, essential theoretical insights and practical tools needed for producing high-quality academic research on video.
Doctoral students EUR 350, faculty and industry EUR 650. The fees cover equipment (HD cameras, editing laptops), materials (readings and slides), one dinner, breakfast, and refreshments.
Due to the nature of workshop only a limited number of applicants can be accepted. Candidates with prior videography experience or who can bring their own video camera equipment will have a priority. To apply, send your CV together with one-page motivation letter to me by January 31, 2013. Follow updates and further info from this blog.
Contact person: Joonas Rokka / jrk(at)rouenbs.fr
The event is sponsored by the Rouen Business School research group Markets, Brands & Experiences.
Join us in pushing the scene!
This year we attended the ACR2012 North American conference hosted by the University of British Columbia in Vancouver Canada – and brought with us not one but two videos exploring the relationship of the moving image and ‘neomaterial’ philosophies (practice theory and non-representational theory).
We’re happy to announce that the more extensive project, an adapted verison of Karolus Viitala’s Master’s thesis on the video medium received the People’s Choice award!
Overall the quality of videographic work in consumer research is certainly on the rise. Not only in terms of technicality and aesthetics, but also regarding the thoretical orientation of the works shown.
So here’s to the Film Festival track! And thanks again, especially to Jeff Murray, Randy Rose, Alex Rose, Marcus Giesler and many others for making the event another thrill ride…
And, before I forget, here’s the film by Karolus and myself.
See us also on the MediaMark initiative’s web site (in Finnish). We’d like to thank MediaMark and especially Pekka Mattila for all his generous support!
Now that I finally received my paperwork from the long (and typical) University process I thought I’d share with you guys the following little tidbit of a news item.
My PhD student days seem over now, as I successfully defended my dissertation ‘Videography in Consumer Research: An Account of Essence(s) and Production’ against my honorable opponents professor Russell Belk (York University) and professor Jeff Murray (University of Arkansas). Russ, in addition of being the most published qualitative consumer researcher of our (and any) time in consumer research, is also the originator of the videographic approach in this context. Jeff is most known in this field for his seminal works applying critical theory. The head of the Aalto School of Economics Department of Marketing professor Henrikki Tikkanen acted as my supervisor throughout the process and as custos in the defense proceedings.
In a nutshell my dissertation is about applying a Deleuzian perspective to visual ethnography in the field of consumer culture theory (CCT). I apply a Deleuzian ontology and a typology of the effectivity of the moving image to throes of embodiment to contrast expression on the audiovisual moving image with more the more conventional textual and photographic expressions. The outcome is a radical critique of representation and an invitation to infuse art and research so as to construct evocative and empathic visual ethnographies. It is a work of hope.
You can find an electronic copy here.
I am greatly indebted to my opponents, my supervisor and professor Pekka Mattila from the MediaMark initiative for supporting video work at our department. Also thanks all for showing up to my party at the Sofia Cultural Convention Center. We were over a 100, and the party went on to the early hours. It was a bit apocalyptic. Good.
Here’s some photos for (de)illumation.