The Story Behind the Student Scenarios at the Visual Futures Conference

In February 2020, ten bachelor students in TV production at Media City Bergen worked intensively on a new project. They were challenged to develop three video scenarios and SoMe content for the fifth and last ViSmedia conference, which was going to be held in the Bergen University Aula in March.

Hedvig Idås,  Ronja Schrøder, Christina Prestegård and Fredrikke Urholt
Zulfikar Fahmy

Main content

Use your imagination, don ́t think about realities or probabilities, the teacher Hedvig Idås said to the students. They were asked to create scenarios from their own perspective, with special attention to visual technology. Idås gave each group only a few keywords to start out with: news surveillance from above; alternative truths; and experimental learning in immersive environments. From there they started creating ideas. One of the groups came up with a story on an issue that all of sudden struck globally and put the whole world on hold. Two weeks later, on March 12, the world was more or less in lockdown. The conference was postponed, and the videos were kept in the folder, waiting for better times.

Incredible story

It ́s actually an incredible story, Hedvig Idås says. The topic appeared to emerge from nowhere, and the very idea of a pandemic and a closedown was still unthinkable. The scenario video the students came up with was just amazing! For the TV production students, the spring of 2020 was the most special ever. Due to societal restrictions, much of the planned activities such as filming were reorganized, and the students had to spend most of their time going to digital lectures from home. Hedvig was sorry, too, as she had invested much time in this very experimental project. In addition to the short intensive video teaching period, she was in charge of the event in the Aula. And suddenly all that she and the students had been working on fell apart.

Thinking back on this extraordinary period, Hedvig is nevertheless very happy that the videos were actually made.

Fredrikke Urholt, Hedvig Idås, Christina Prestegård and Lisa Sørebø
Zulfikar Fahmy

FTL: Fredrikke Urholt, Hedvig Idås, Christina Prestegård and Lisa Sørebø

The project was run within a bachelor course in TV production at the University of Bergen.

Fascinating future

-The scenario videos served the purpose of being short infomercial films for a target audience, Idås explains. Also, it was really fascinating to work with future related topics. It requires a different way of planning a film.

- Professors Astrid Gynnild and Øyvind Vågnes came up with the idea, and together with Paolo Chavarría we created the layout for the project, Hedvig Idås explains. - The students were free to interpret the assignments, but had to consider duration, publishing platform, and target audience, Hedvig says. 

- This was the actually the first time we had to adapt for a client, says student Christina Prestegård. It was also a new experience to work creatively with a specific target assignment. The creative freedom was both challenging and exciting, the student Ronja Schrøder adds. - We were free to indulge ourselves creatively, and we had to find the right solutions under pressure, Christina is certain that the strict frames and deadlines helped the creative workflow.- We had a lot of creative freedom, and we got constructive feedback that was really good. For every new deadline we got some particular pressure which was followed up by Idås. That helped the workflow a lot.

Feedback training

Several times during the project the students gathered to evaluate each other’s productions.- This way of working creates stronger bonds between the students. They learn to give and receive feedback, which is very important in creative work, Hedvig Idås says.- It is often difficult to provide your fellow students with constructive critique. But after a while we got used to it, Ronja adds. According to Hedvig idås, who graduated with a Mastery in documentary production a few years ago, many students are afraid of giving their classmates any negative or constructive feedback, due to loyalty or to avoid conflict.- I chose to challenge them and gave them different roles for every screening.

One student was only allowed to give negative remarks, while another one should only provide constructive guidelines based on the negative comments. The last feedbacker was only allowed to say positive things.- We had many long days, late nights and weekends, Christina says. She liked the preproduction best; to process ideas and work creatively with the ideas.- We learned that the hard way. One lesson learned is to invest time and effort in pre-production, Ronja adds.

All the students was shown on the fifth and last Vismedia conference online the 19 of January.

Watch all of the students scenarios videos here

Kopi av Målgruppe 45sek_ journalister

Ubiqutitous News Surveillance from Above