Vision seemed to have almost appeared out of thin air this year. With only whispers of a media conference coming to Ryerson this winter, back in September 2016, many students weren’t sure what to expect from the RTA production. However, after attending this 1-day event this past weekend, I can tell you what an amazing success it was.
Having been involved in the planning and execution of multiple conferences myself, I feel like I can appreciate how the day rolled out a little bit more than the average delegate.
To start, the marketing for the conference was so well executed. The graphics were well thought out, but their main selling point was that this is the only conference of it’s kind. There are many “creative” conferences around campus, however, Vision offered students what other student groups could not: interactive learning. With the sole focus on media production and media story telling, Vision allowed students to not only hear from creative professionals, but practice the skills they were talking about with them.
As a communication student, I was able to sign up for hands-on workshops for skill sets outside my comfort zone. The workshops I chose to take part in were: Cinematography: The New Age, Edit Like A (Premier) Pro and Intro to Colour Grading. Bonus points for the puns, but these workshops were actually so fun and helpful. With little to no previous experience with many of the platforms used I was able to create my own video montage as well as learn the basics of colour grading in no time.
Ryerson staff as well as student alumni and working professionals lead the workshops while we had the opportunity to get creative in the lab. If you’re like me, hands-on experience is essential to learning, which is what I think a lot of conferences are missing while trying to keep their students engaged for the day.
Now, not only were the workshops great but so were the speakers! With a heavy focus on Canadian creators as well as diversity in media, the panels were eye opening to many challenges that you could face while trying to enter the industry.
The speakers were award-winning directors, producers and more within the entertainment industry. Being able to offer advice and insight from a huge spectrum was helpful for all students in the room. One speaker was particularly relatable as he is a current student enrolled in the film program at Ryerson. 21 year-old Luke Villemaire has already written, directed and produced his first feature film, Goliath. It was particularly interesting to hear his personal process compared to other speakers, showing us really how much technology has influenced the incoming generation of creators.
And finally, the most important aspect of any conference- the food. The day started with Tim Hortons coffee (roll up the rim cups!), and only got better as the day went on. Lunch may have been in my top 3 moments of the day, especially because we were able to pre-order. Finally, we ended off the day with a fantastic meal, courtesy of the Grand Hotel. Who says you can’t have your cake and eat it too?