Studying at the heart of the industry in Media City Bergen
Six new study programs aim to provide media students with the theoretical and practical competence to master the media landscape of the future.
“Lights off, on – quickly. Where is the backlight? What do you think? A little flat? Should we adjust? There you go, well done, you got it!”
Students at the new bachelor program in TV-production are attending a course in light setting in one of the studios in Media City Bergen with teacher Zulfikar Fahmy.
In the middle of the room a student is sitting in front of a large TV screen, fellow students gather around her, controlling the camera, headlight, backlight. Fahmy is giving instructions, asking the students to use filters and back plates. Every small adjustment creates a different expression in the student projected on the large screen.
“Now, try an orange filter, do you have a smaller one? Pinch there – bravo! Open the lens, blender down – now we´re talking.”
Students in TV-production are learning how to set the lights to different atmospheres and situations.
A practical approach
From the new facilities in Media City Bergen, the University of Bergen now offers six new studies – three bachelor’s programs and three master’s programs – in journalism, television production and media and interaction design. Here, about 200 students are studying alongside industry companies like NRK, BA, TV2, BT and Vizrt.
The co-location of media companies, technology companies, research and education makes the media cluster unique.
Students get access to the latest technical equipment, and learn to use the tools the industry is using. They will also help develop new tools and solutions for the media industry. All study programs are practically oriented and includes collaboration with, and practice at, the cluster companies.
Marie Therese Norekvål Hayes studies TV-production at UiB in Media City Bergen
“This approach characterizes the entire study program”, says Marie Therese Norekvål Hayes, student at the light course.
“It is a very technically focused study, where we use the latest equipment used by the industry. From day one we’ve had it in our hands and learned how to use it.”
This movie was made by the students shortly after the start of the semester:
STUDENT-PRODUCTION: Marie Norekvål Hayes (director), Cathrine Olsen (photo), Henning Good (producer) og Ole Helge Førde Tvedt (sound).
The students should have their hands on the camera, touch the light, perhaps get a small burn, get a feel for it by using the equipment. They all get experience with the different roles of a TV-production: working the camera, controlling the light, the sound, directing and producing.
“This is one of the reasons why I chose UiB. The study program provides us with flexibility, and prepares us for professional life. You should be able to work on a movie set, with documentaries, news stories. You should be versatile, no matter where you end up”, says Hayes.
In the studio, a blue filter is placed on one of the lights, and the student on the screen looks like she is bathed in moonlight. The others whistle Rue’s whistle from The Hunger Games and laugh. Teacher Zulfikar Fahmy steers on steadily.
“Blender up, please, thank you – a bit more. There you have it. Lovely! Some would say this doesn’t look completely realistic, but who in Hollywood could make this setting completely natural? Let’s dim the lights a bit. There, what do you think?”
The students get practical experience with all the roles of a TV-production.
Studying close to work
Another student who benefit from six of UiB’s media education programs being located in the media cluster, is Ole Martin Eide Røssland. He studies last year at the bachelor’s program in journalism, and works as a temporary employee in the newspaper BA.
While the students editing room, computer lab and audio studio are located on the second floor, BA is located on the third floor – just one staircase up.
“It makes it easy to move from studies to job, and to combine them”, says Røssland.
Ole Martin Eide Røssland works in the newspaper BA alongside journalism studies at UiB
Røssland points at the ethics part of the education, as one of the things he benefits most from in his job as a reporter.
"Everyone expects you to know the basics when you enter a newsroom. Take for instance a simple thing like the right to simultaneous reply. At school, we talk a lot about these things: when do ethical dilemmas arise, when should the warning lights flash? These discussions have made me more aware of what I am doing at work".
"It is also a very practical education with a lot of assignments, workshops and practice. For instance, during the ethics course, we followed a PFU-meeting and had parallel discussions. The lectures are held in small groups, so that it becomes more of a dialogue, and the threshold for asking questions and discussing things in lectures is low", says Røssland.
This documentary is a cooperation between students from different media studies:
DOCUMENTARY: The documentary about the helicopter crash near Turøy in 2016 is made by UiB-students Ole Martin Eide Røssland, Lisa Turøy Christiansen og Christer Steffensen.
Close to the media industry
The new study programs in Media City Bergen will provide students with the skills needed to master a radically changed media landscape.
The rapid changes and the labor market is obviously something you think about as a media student, says Ellen Eriksen who is studying her first year on the bachelor’s program in journalism in MCB.
“We talk a lot about this, since the labor market is a difficult one. But I believe the education provides us with a very good starting point, and that we have an advantage with the education being placed here in the media cluster. At the same time, I think it’s decisive to take responsibility, be curious and get involved, for instance in the student radio or newspaper, to get even more practical experience”.
Ellen Eriksen is studying the first year of the bachelor program in journalism at UiB.
Students in Media City Bergen benefit from the co-location in several ways. During the course of study, they will get practical experience from the cluster partners, and people working in the industry are on a regular basis hired for workshops and seminars.
Having the study programs located in the same building as editorial media and technology industry, has made project collaboration easier. One important part of UiB’s commitment to Media City Bergen is to create digital tools and solutions for the media industry. For instance, the media and interaction design students will develop proposals for solutions to technology challenges they experience during their practice in the cluster businesses.
The informal meeting venues also provide good opportunities for students to get in contact with media and technology companies.
“The location in Media City Bergen was important when I applied for UiB. I am surrounded by journalists, and that is very motivating. I can walk past and look at NRKs radio studios, and that is in itself very inspiring”, says Eriksen.
“The organization of the study programs in MCB provides us with an expertise no media students have had before us. It will be very exciting to see how it’s received in the working life”.