Today was our last day of work in Sataedu. I had expected to feel relieved and excited to go home at this point but when I woke up I was actually quite sad. These three weeks have gone by so quickly that I don't feel like it should be time to go home yet.
We started the day with a meeting as usual but today we exchanged gifts with our teachers Taru and Frej. They very kindly gifted us a bag each with Finnish themed gifts including tar soap and a mug with a Finnish animal on each of them. We gave them our present of a bottle of Irish whiskey and some chocolates. After that they had something fun planned for us. We had to set up a scene for a comedy sketch where we arrived in Finland to a room full of startled students who would not speak to us. This was lots of fun but also great experience. We worked very efficiently and got the scene shot quickly. Daniel was the DOP and got to shoot using the RED camera. This was a great way to end our three weeks. We really got to see how much we have improved and what we've learned in Sataedu.
After lunch we had a quick lesson in how to edit footage for green-screen and how to key the footage in After Effects. I love learning new editing tricks so this was fascinating to learn how to properly work with green-screen. I also helped Steph to record some voiceover with the client for the promo video that we have been working on.
We said our emotional goodbyes and we headed home to the hostel to pack our cases and get ready to leave the next morning. This evening we are going out to a final party with all of the students to say good-bye to them and talk about our experience. I feel strange to be leaving all of these people that i've made such good friends with, but it's a small world and hopefully I might meet some of them again in the future. i've had the most wonderful experience here so I expect it will be tough to leave tomorrow morning.
So today was our second last day and we are all sad that our placement here in Pori is almost over, but we are also missing home so it will be nice to see everyone again. We arrived at the college at around 8am and were told that Mairead and Éamonn would be finishing up editing their individual videos for the school and the hotel. Then Sarah, Stephanie and myself were given the opportunity to learn how to use a green screen with the red camera.
Éamonn and Mairead got more footage of the actual studio today and edited that into the videos along with having a client review the work that they had done. The two also finally got the final music which will accompany the video. Along with editing the video clips they also worked on grading the footage to match one another. In the studio I setup the red camera and the tripod as we were shown before at the end of the first week. While I was doing this Sarah and Stephanie started to get the green screen ready for use and also setting up the lighting which went with that to make it all work. While the two girls setup the lighting me and one of the Finnish students calibrated the camera and got it all setup. Once all of us got the tones to match we were good to go.
After our break we went and filmed an interview with Stephanie using the red as we thought it would be a good time to film with a red and also use a green screen for the documentary we are making for GTI. When we finished up filming Sarah put the footage on her laptop and we were done and dusted with filming. After everyone had up everything away are group and some of the Finnish students watched a movie which was filmed on the grounds of the school which was really interesting and something different for us.
We then went back to the hostel for half an hour to relax for a little before going with some of the Finnish students to an ice hockey match which was something that none of us had ever seen before in person. After watching the match its safe to say that we didn't understand a thing that happened but we loved every second of the match regardless.
Think we are all looking forward to a good nights sleep and looking forward to are last day in the college tomorrow.
It was our third day in a row of getting up at 6am and surprisingly it’s actually getting easier! I’m starting to go to sleep at around 10pm every night now so it’s making it easier for me to get up and concentrate throughout the day also. Arriving in Nakilla we headed straight to the college as the weather is not hitting -22 degrees in the mornings. It’s far too cold for us to be taking our time walking, we just want to get in to the warmth as quick as possible.
When we arrived this morning we had our morning meeting as per usual. Dan and Steph were told to keep going with shooting for the hotel promo and Eamonn, Mairead and myself were brought down to the editing suit to keep going on our individual edits as our final week is coming to an end. While we were editing, Frej was coming in at times to check in on us and give us some tips and tricks when it came to colour correction and editing sound.
Steph and Daniel went down to the stables to record some more footage of the horses and the main activities that Villila has to offer future guests of the hotel. Editing all day was getting quite tiring for us as it requires so much concentration. Our eyes began to hurt which is one of the downsides about editing so we decided we’d make the most of having some of the amazing equipment on offer to record Eamonn’s voiceover for the Finnish Promo. We set up the mic and Eamonn recorded what he had to do. It turned out much better than the first take and that was definitely down to the sound equipment we had.
I have learned a lot when it comes to editing thanks to Frej's input and helping us with colour correcting, and showing us little tips and tricks along the way. As our final week is coming to a close, i'm looking forward to seeing everyone, as i'm starting to miss everyone. However, that being said I also want to take everyone here in the college back with me, because we’ve all gotten on so well and I’m gonna be quite sad to leave them behind. I hope we’ll all keep in touch, that would be nice.
Today began like every other, we were each assigned our roles for the day by Taru. Sarah, Stephanie, Daniel and Mairéad were working on a livestream of an esports event. I did not participate in the esports livestream as I was editing a showreel for the mansion house and hotel that Daniel and Stephanie filmed last week.
I used Premier Pro to edit the showreel, the process was nothing I wasn't familiar with. However, finding the right music to suit the atmosphere and mood we wanted to convey was quite challenging. The music is the backbone of the showreel as it needs to be something with a nice rhythm to make all the footage flow together. I took a number of different approaches, some of my own while i got suggestions from others but none properly captured what the client wanted. Thankfully, Taru was able to get in contact with the client and she will provide us with the music she wants to go with the footage. She is going to promote a Finnish band through the promo as we are going to use their work over the footage.
While I was editing, the others were working in the studio on a multi-cam livestream of a video game match in League of Legends. Stephanie, Sarah and Daniel were operating cameras while Mairead was the studio director. The process was the same as the multi-cam shoot we took part in during the first week.
The studio was converted into two areas. The gaming area, where the two teams played, and the main stage, where Frej interviewed the commentator and then the winning team. I was able to watch brief parts of the stream on YouTube while I was editing, even though I had no idea what was going on as it was in Finnish and I had never played the game. While I heard there were some technical difficulties, the stream itself seemed to run smoothly and from what I saw they achieved what they set out to do. The others were all pleased with their work on the shoot as I asked them about it afterward. While I would have enjoyed to see the E Sports event take place firsthand, I learned a lot about editing specific tasks for clients and how clear communication between all parties involved is key for the editing process to run smoothly.
Hey Everyone, So sadly this will be my last blog for my time in Finland, but you can follow some more info on what we’ve been up to, from the other’s final blogs and also the documentary we’re currently working on recounting our internship here! This blog recounts Monday the 26th of February as well as Saturday 24th when we visited Moomin World.
So today, (Monday) we rose at approx 6am in order to catch a bus at 7:25am. In case this wasn’t mentioned before by anyone, the bus stop in question is located only 100m from the hostel beside Levykouppa (A Record Store) to the left as you exit Hostel Buisto. The bus times are far and few between but having acquired a bus card makes this bus a lot cheaper than the other option which is at the station so we decided to go with the closer one.
Having taken the bus we had about 2 hours before workshops officially started. When everyone arrived we helped the Finnish students build the set for a 'Live Streaming' set they have planned for an E Sports game. This process included moving sofas into position for interviews, setting up 4 cameras on tripods for a multi-camera shoot and checking lighting. Having already completed a multi-cam shoot since our arrival here we were a lot more efficient this time and it was really nice to feel comfortable with the equipment and more confident in our abilities.
After lunch, Frej took us to an editing suite where he wanted to review some of the footage we shot for a promo video the week before. I am directing this promo, Daniel is the cinematographer and Eamonn, Mairead and Sarah are editing. Eamonn is also providing us with an English translation of a voice over of the footage. We actually recorded that on a zoom over the weekend. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by my abilities as a director on this shoot as it’s the first time i’ve directed anything for a ‘client’ as opposed to just a project in a classroom where I’m the only one to disappoint. Our client, Kristian is the owner of a mansion/hotel house that he’s refurbishing with the aim of providing a number of packages such as a sauna experience, horse-riding lessons, and also attempting to furnish a close relationship with the film school. Therefore it’s a promo for Villila Studios as much as it is for his business, so it really has to be good. I was really pleased that I had started early on the footage last week with Daniel as now it gives us the time to re-shoot with Frej for certain scenes. For instance, Frej wants to use gels on the windows to avoid over-exposure which is easy to do with the glare of the snow, and also to use a smoke machine to replicate steam in the sauna which is too expensive to light up just for the video (300 Euro approx). Also the fact that I had made a shot-flow for the girls meant that they could start editing the footage over the weekend. It was something I could also show to the client and gain his confidence and insight on the project as well as taking his suggestions.
Taru also came to review the footage. She seemed pleased as she said that she thinks it should be very stylised as is the nature of much commercial footage. Daniel’s Sony Alpha deals with focussing very well and his 35mm lens and Gimbal meant a good deal of our footage is usable and doesn’t need re-shooting. Taru also recommended creating a shorter showreel as well as the longer video so we can maybe take out some of the Studio’s more professional cameras for that as mixed footage will work well in this instance.
Frej later explained colour correction and sound editing on Premier pro and After Effects to us. He advised that we use the camera’s RAW settings when possible as it allows the editor to manipulate the image much more in Post-production. This was something I had no idea about before so I was glad to learn that.
Finally Juho, who is the director of the E-Sports live stream took us back into the studio to do run through of what we can expect for the real thing tomorrow. This didn’t include an intro or close though so it was more just listing to the commands and practising zooms and pans etc. I actually really enjoy the multi-cam now. I find it really therapeutic. I’m very grateful to have been given a chance to practice it here because I think I would have been too nervous in a professional environment to attempt it for the first time.
On Saturday we visited Moomin World with Siru, Juuso, Maija, Evvie and Riku. For anyone who is interested, Moomin World is a sort of Disney-land-esque park based on a Swedish/Finnish animated series for children. It’s very popular though with all ages, and for some reason the Japanese. Finland is full of Japanese people who come here inspired by the snow. The park is located in a beautiful little town called Naantali. Naantali is what I was expecting from a Finnish town when I came to Finland. It’s located on the coast and its building are wooden clad and beautifully carved. The park is located on tiny island just offshore and at this time of year the sea is completely frozen in between so it’s possible to walk out on the ice though there is also a bridge. I would definitely recommend a visit to the town if in the vicinity...and in Summer time it really comes alive apparently too.
The park however was a bit of a let down. We had a wonderful time but that was because we were with such a great group of people. However the entry cost 22 Euro and many of the exhibits were closed for Winter which was not reflected in the price at all which was a shame. The main attractions were the actors in character costumes and the Moomin House which was a life-size reproduction of the animated house. Still I’m glad we went as Moomin is as much a part of Finnish culture as Barney was to Irish kids of the 90s and so it would have left a gaping hole in our understanding of Finland if we had missed it. However if anyone is looking to visit and strapped for cash I’d say give it a miss and go to a sauna or an ice-hockey match instead.
So this is where I must sign off unfortunately. It’s been an incredible experience for me to study in Finland and not only gain experience with equipment that is not available to students in Ireland, but also to do it in the company of such amazing people as the ones we have has the pleasure of meeting here. We have had the privilege of learning from their instruction, partaking in their culture and have even been welcomed into their homes. I am extremely grateful to the Erasmus programme, The EU Commission, Léargas, GRETB and especially GTI for the opportunities that have been afforded us and have no doubt that they will continue to benefit me long into my career in the Media industry.
So long guys, and good luck to GTI Media 2018/2019!
Today was a more relaxed day. We started the day in Sataedu where I finished off my editing on Photoshop. For the past three days we have been taking 360 photographs of the hotel next to the school and we have learned how to edit the photographs on photoshop. For me, this has been one of the most interesting things that we have done so far. I really enjoy using Photoshop but I haven't had a chance to use it much this year so it was really great to learn something new and to do something which wasn't so far out of my comfort zone. It's nice to be able to develop skills I already have, rather than just learning the basics of new things. As much as I enjoy working with cameras on set, editing is where I am always truly in my element so this week has been good for me to relax a bit and do what I enjoy.
Since I finished my Photoshop work quite quickly, I also started working on editing the promo video which Daniel and Steph have been filming. I spoke to Steph about her plans for the promo since she is the director and I put together a rough cut of all of the footage so far. All in all, today has been a nice day to unwind. They were still filming cutaways and recording voiceovers today so I wasn't able to finish it but the footage is beautiful and it feels exciting to be editing a promo video which will be used for a professional business, even if it is more high stakes than I'm used to.
In general, I feel like I've settled into the routine and I'm enjoying Finland a lot more now than the first week when I was tired and missing home a lot. I find that the Finnish people have a great sense of humour which is similar to the Irish, quite sarcastic and dry, but they are so welcoming. I have always enjoyed travelling, but Finland is one of my favourite places that i've been. Everything feels efficient and refined but there is so much warmth in the people around us that I have felt so comfortable and welcome since I arrived. We have been so lucky to have this experience and I'm so grateful to be learning so much.
Today we had our second day of getting up at 6am and we are slowly finding it more and more easy to get up everyday. When we arrived into the college it was still early but Mairead, Eamonn and Sarah had to go to the Mansion house to retake some 360 degree photos of some of the rooms as the day before the light coming through the windows was very harsh. They managed to get the photos done this morning before the sun was at full strength.
Mairead, Eamonn and Sarah then had to edit the photos in photoshop for the day as it is very time consuming removing lights from the shots and also removing shadows and highlights from where they don't belong. They got a number of the rooms done today but because it is very time consuming and is very tedious work they have a few more edits to do tomorrow.
Stephanie and myself started working on are promo video for the hotel across from the school which is due to open soon. Stephanie directed the promo while I was doing the cinematography. We both gave our input into what shots could look nice and we also worked hard to show the Hotel in the best light possible.
When filming we got a lot done, we filmed the mansion house interior and also it's exterior, along with the sauna which is also part of the complex. We then went to the actual hotel and filmed inside a couple of the rooms to give us a good idea of the view from inside the rooms. Stephanie and myself have to wait to get a voice over from the owner and then we are ready to start editing.
As a group we all got so much done today and we are all looking forward to getting our projects completed very soon.
Today was our first day of getting up at 6am to start catching the bus. Siru was lovely enough to get a bus card for the 5 of us yesterday, the only problem is the bus leaves at 7:25 am and there’s not another one until 12pm. So now is when we have to start getting up at 6am. I didn’t find it that bad getting up this morning because I got a good nights sleep, but 6am is still pretty early. I got up and made myself an egg toastie, something to make me feel a little bit closer to home. Soon after we began our journey to the bus stop to catch our morning bus. -18 degrees again this morning, it was cold! My eyelashes began growing little icicles it was that cold. Thank god the bus was warm.
We arrived in Nakilla and took a quick detour to the shop to pick up some lunch before making our way to the college, where Emmi and Beniin were waiting for us to begin our day. At the moment the students are on their winter holidays for the rest of the week after wrapping up the music video shoot yesterday, so we’re very grateful Emmi and Beniin are making the time to come into the college and help us out with our work projects. First thing this morning when we arrived, Emmi checked to see if the Mansion House was open so we could continue with the 360 degree photos we were taking. However, the doors were still locked. While we were waiting, we sat and drank coffee, ate some chocolate and Steph and Eamonn played the Finnish equivalent of table football... table hockey!
Around 9am the Mansion House doors were finally open and we made our way down to set up for the 360 degree shots we were taking. We all thought that the bright day and the snow would be perfect in regards to the lighting for taking the pictures, but unfortunately in one room in particular the light on the windows was just too over exposed, something that can’t be “fixed in post”. So we’ll have to go down tomorrow and take a picture before that beautiful winter sun comes up. We moved on to the “orange room” and took the 360 photo there. This one was much better and not over exposed at all. Just the right amount of light was being let in which meant we would have very little to do when it came to photoshop later.
As the sun was just too bright in certain rooms and we knew the photos would be over exposed we made our way back to the studio and set up Photoshop to edit the pictures. We didn’t have much work to do with the orange room, we just had to colour correct so that didn’t take too long but the “brown room” proved to be more of a task. Even though we knew we would have to head back down tomorrow and take another picture we still wanted to ply around and get familiar with photoshop and some of its features, so we didn’t mind sitting down and focussing on this task. There were so many shadows everywhere that needed to be fixed up and that’s what was causing the most problems for me and Eamonn, but we laughed it off and didn’t get too stressed about it.
While us editors were working on our photoshop tasks, Steph and Daniel went to talk to the owner of the hotel and Mansion House, Christian, about the promotional video they are making over the next few days. They also spoke with one of the singers from a popular 90s Finnish band- Aikakone. Steph is going to be the director and Daniel will be the cinematographer. They came back and gave us a rough idea of what Christian is looking for and without hesitation they got to work and started shooting clips for the promo. This took them into the Mansion House recording the rooms and down to the stables where they met some horses and Shetland ponies.
All in all today was a more relaxed day to some of our other days, that can be the nature of working in film and editing. Later on we’re meeting up with some of the students to chat to them about our weekend plans. It seems we’re going to be having another jam packed activity filled weekend ahead of us. I can’t wait, well as long as I get to have a lie in ;).
Today we got to view the 360° photographs we took in the mansion yesterday. We also had the task of editing and colour correcting them in Photoshop. Since we have never had the experience of editing 360° photos, and the students guiding us gave us ample time to get used to the software we were using.
We each had a computer to work on so none of us were left watching or without any work to do. Once we were finished with that, we helped the other students clean up their music video shoot and bring the equipment back to the studio. They all seemed pleased with how the music video turned out. We finished the day by setting up various lights and taking more 360° photos around the mansion house.
Today was a less intensive day than we were used to here, but the opportunity to work with a new techniques on the 360° camera is something I enjoyed.
On Saturday, a small group of Finnish students invited us to go sledding with them on the dunes at Yyteri. Yyteri is a seaside location about half an hour from Pori. In the summer it’s ideal for swimming and beach activities as it can reach up to 30'C, however it is equally as beautiful in the winter as the sea actually freezes solid up to about 15 meters out. The area is heavily forested and there is a large hotel there that is being renovated, along with dozens of holiday homes. After our excursions to the dunes we went to Siru’s mum’s house for the Finnish sauna experience. We all felt very privileged to be invited and were assured that in Finland people tend to socialise more in the privacy of each-other’s homes rather than go out, mostly due to the weather. Therefore an invitation to someone’s house is quite a normal thing, even if it includes about 20 people, which it did. I would definitely recommend the sauna to anyone. The Finnish usually go naked just with a towel but we were assured that a swimsuit or a bikini is completely acceptable too. It’s a huge part of Finnish culture and is an experience that shouldn’t be turned down!
On Sunday we were picked up at 9 am in the van for the last time and arrived in college for around 9:30am. After waiting for the production director Marco to arrive we were instructed to help move lots of equipment into the mansion house next door, as it was the location for a music video of a well known Finnish ballad singer. The Irish were not involved in the shooting of this video as such but were requested to document the behind the scenes process for Villila Studio’s own web-page, and also for our own documentary. We helped unload the equipment into the house and then photographed and filmed the location as well as the Finnish students and even each-other. It was a bit of an 'inception-esque' time as we were essentially filming each-other filming them, filming someone else!
It was an exceptionally beautiful house to walk around and the owner Christian made it clear that we could wander wherever we wanted to as long as we respected the furnishings, as the house is in the process of being renovated and everything is brand new. I very much enjoyed photographing the interior of the house which is styled like a Wes Anderson styled set. We took a break at about noon and everyone went to the shop to get food as the kitchen was not open.
On Monday we were accompanied by Siru- a Finnish student, as she showed us how the bus system worked. It’s very very expensive to be a student in Villila if you’re not from Nakkila (the town where the school is located) as the bus costs about 8 euro each way. Though thankfully she is going to try and help us get a bus card tomorrow that is usually reserved for Finnish people that will cut the price down a bit. On Monday, as well as documenting the pre-production process, the Irish students were instructed to help Emmi and Benin, who are involved with a promo for the mansion house itself. The owner Christian is hoping to market it more in the future for media purposes and filming locations as well as a wedding destination. Therefore he would like to update the website with 360° photographs and a promotional video. The role of the Irish was the help the Finnish girls with the set up of the equipment. This involved re-positioning lighting brackets and reviewing photographs mostly as the room has to be equally lit in all corners for the 360° photo to make sense. We got the basement room finished which meant that we were ahead of time. As this was going on I had my camera set-up on a tripod to document the process for our own documentary. The others also interviewed me as I am the main interviewee in the documentary.
Map of Pori