Production was dèja vu for students and the professional production team filming on campus.
For the 13 students completing their diploma studies, it was an opportunity to apply what they had learnt over the last two years to a real-life filming situation.
And for several of the Engage Video Creation team, it was a return to the school where they developed their filming skills.
As producer and Screen Production graduate John Norris said: “Coming back to EIT to do this ad was quite cool. I would have been the target market when I was a student at Karamu High School so I know what other people who might be attracted to this programme would want to see.”
After graduating in 2012, John established the locally-based Top Blokes Productions. Now, with the name change to Engage Video Creation and Ben Firman as his new business partner, he is run off his feet with work.
Another Screen Production graduate, Harvey Godwin recently joined the company and he mainly worked in the editor’s role in making the commercial.
The students signed up to help produce and star and John, who has previously employed them on jobs such as Te Matatini, live sports fixtures and corporate events, found it most interesting using them as actors.
“Their knowledge of what goes on behind the scenes helped them understand where we were coming from,” says John, who was on site at EIT, co-directing with Ben. “While Screen Production is a film school and not an acting school, there were definitely some good actors in there.”
Programme coordinator Tessa Tylee says the experience was invaluable for the students.
“They learn the skills they need in the first year of their studies and then put them into practice in the second year of the diploma programme. There’s nothing like working on real jobs, learning the ropes when things don’t go according to plan and seeing how professionals do it.”
John is keen to ensure that the commercial for the diploma programme is outstanding. For the students, the experience was a taste of what they can expect in their future careers.
The commercial is now in post-production, with work underway on editing and sound. It will screen in local movie theatres from around Christmas and also feature on websites and other digital media.
Top image: John Norris films as Ashik Chahwala makes ‘rain’, using a watering can to drench fellow student Kepa Heta for a commercial to promote EIT’s Screen Production diploma.