December 3rd, 2015 by Joonas Rokka

Endorsed by the Lifestyle Cluster, Transforming Markets & Changing Lifestyles Research Center, and Department of Markets & Innovation at EMLYON Business School, the first Lyon Videography Workshop took place at the Ecully campus as a two-day intensive research workshop that welcomed a group of researchers, Phd students and practitioners inspired of doing research on video media.

This was already the fifth Videography Workshop event I’ve had the chance to be part of organising. This time I invited Hannu Uotila as a co-organizer. He is a top European film producer and CEO of an audio-visually focused market research company (Sailer Ltd.) based in Finland. Combining our prior experience in academic and professional, commercial film production allowed an interesting setup for discussions and perspectives into what is currently emerging as a novel research practice.

We were a total of 13 participants, a highly international group representing 8 nationalities (France, Finland, Scotland, USA, Peru, Turkey, Morocco, Germany) and varying professional backgrounds. Notably, we had EMLYON marketing faculty (4), Phd students (3), external marketing professors (3), and external professionals (3). Only few participants had prior filmmaking experience.

The 2-day program was, as one could imagine, action-packed. We begun with important theoretical and ontological considerations about what doing research on video means and entails, drawing on assigned pre-readings and films. We then covered important videographic research streams, as well as modes and approaches to filmmaking (notably visual ethnography and documentary film). Thereafter, reflected on insights from prior videography projects and illuminated the process of filmmaking – including pre-production, production and post-production.

After the theory part we engaged into hands-on videography projects that were completed from inception to finish within 24h. Each participant had brought an idea about research-inspired short film that could be filmed and edited within the limits of time/space of the workshop. We collectively chose two topics that were then pursued in two teams, under supervision. We assigned appropriate roles for each team-member: director, producer, director of photography, script supervisor, and photographer/editor. Enacting these roles made it not only possible for us to complete our highly challenging filmmaking tasks but also taught various tasks and points of view necessary for building compelling filmic experiences. Both resulting films, 3 min each, were completed and finalised in time, and then screened at the workshop concluding “Film festival” where films and filmmaking experiences were further exchanged.

The learnings of the workshop were many. Here is a list of some of the evident ones:

  1. Doing films is a practice that requires careful planning and focus. Poor planning, on the other hand, results in unusable or missing footage and thus unfinished or poor films. This is why we spent time working on scripts and storyboarding (we really could have used even more time doing so!) before touching the cameras.
  2. Doing films is necessarily teamwork and thus the best result comes when the team functions seamlessly, flexibly yet according to the plan (script + storyboard).
  3. Filming is all about being ready for the unexpected, facilitation of the potential for something interesting to emerge.
  4. Filmmaking is all about access. Therefore negotiating access to the studied phenomenon needs to be considered and planned as well.
  5. Justification of all choices. Be it your story, camera angle, argument, talking heads, mood, background music, voiceover, transitions, b-reel footage – always ask: “why do I need this element for my film?”

After the official program we visited the Institut Lumière for an intriguing history lesson on filmmaking. This was important as the moving image has indeed been invented in Lyon!

Next up: the 2nd Lyon Videography Workshop will be organized as a 2,5 day event on 16-18 May 2016, just before the French Marketing Association conference (AFM). There are still some places available, so be quick to reserve. Apply by sending email to joonas.rokka(at)gmail.com

Some pics from the workshop:

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January 24th, 2014 by Joonas Rokka

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.

TUDelft

TUDelft

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!!

Storyboard

Storyboarding…

Group_1

Editing…

Group_2

… more editing …

Screen_project

One film was about the way we increasingly live our lives through the screen

Motorola

The other was about memories of obsolete objects that live on

Polaroid

Including cameras

Video_cam_VHS

Wonder how fast our videography gear is getting old…