Unigrafia and Haaga-Helia cooperation strengthens – from IT support to AV productions

5.6.2019 Essi Horkka

Unigrafia offers its clients a wide variety of IT and AV services. These are usually associated with software, applications or device support in situations where the wires cannot find their place, the computer is acting up or the software feels like a nuisance. We also provide solutions for more challenging scenarios. Haaga-Helia and Unigrafia Creative began collaborating in the spring and soon decided to further their cooperation. This next level is about bringing in an AV specialist to provide technical instruction for students, train teachers and plan editing facilities and AV productions.

“Based on the needs that had arisen in Haaga-Helia, we began to develop our cooperation further, says Esko Hatunen, journalism teacher and head of the TV production course in the Pasila campus.

Teaching the optional courses of the journalism programme requires comprehensive skills in technology, TV production and control room work. When we heard we have a specialist from Unigrafia in the building, we seized the opportunity and asked him to participate in organising the practical side of the course arrangements.”

Ilkka Peltola, AV Specialist at Unigrafia, was excited and happy to take on the new challenge. He has previously worked as a team leader and a studio master at the Think Corner (event venue and meeting place of the University of Helsinki). The consummate professional has also worked in numerous streaming and multi-camera productions for Veikkaus (a Finnish government-owned betting company) and RAY (a Finnish government-owned non-profit gaming association). Peltola began working in the Haaga-Helia project in mid-March.

Hatunen is responsible for studio work and overall coordination of training and production days. At the same time, Peltola’s task is to make sure the control room technology is working.

“Our collaboration has been excellent and we have received great feedback from day one. The best thing about this cooperation project is having a motivated and experienced specialist who is passionate about his work. He is eager to plan and develop things that are important to us, says Hatunen joyfully.

A TV production course is quite an undertaking as it aims to teach the entire process from planning to writing a script, to directing and filming. Video is an up-and-coming format which makes this a popular course. That’s why it’s great to have a buddy to tackle this head-on with and who can help with things students are still learning. It enables us to concentrate on what matters the most in the course – journalism and creating content.”

Peltola is also pleased. Students have showed appreciation and people leave the course with a smile on their face. It’s not just working with students that has proven to be rewarding.

“The TV production course with its control room work is a small but definitely most visible part of working as an AV specialist, says Peltola.

I provide support to teachers with shooting of educational videos, editing and using applications. I am creating an editing facility where all the technology and software needed for editing will be placed. At the moment most of my time goes into planning educational videos which will be aimed at students, teachers and the staff and will be used for internal communication in the future. You really get to do a little bit of everything here – there is no typical working day now nor will there be in the future.”

The first concrete outcome has now seen the light of day as the 360journalismia.fi -site was launched in May. Five 15-minute studio discussions, produced entirely by the students, were shot in two production days.

We don’t exactly know what the future holds for this collaboration but we already have more ideas than we have time to realise. All sorts of projects are happening right now but we can’t reveal any of them until autumn, say Hatunen and Peltola laughing and winking.