I’m a little late to post this, but a couple weeks ago I was one of the tutors of a contact course at Massey called Creative Processes.

I don’t think we use the same terminology in the States, but I haven’t been at a university except to get drunk at Homecoming for 15 years. A ‘contact course’ is where you learn from home for most of the semester, and then you come in to school for one week at the end.

And in the case of Creative Processes, that one week was full of 14-hour days. There were two days of seminars and exercises, then three days in which the students had to choose a creative medium (writing, theater, dance, music, or film), break into teams, and create a collaborative piece of art.

For those student who chose film, it was like doing a 48-hour film competition. For the four of us who tutored film, it was like doing a 48-hour film competition and being on 5 different teams.

It was awesome.

I didn’t take many pictures because I was busy not dying, but here are a few I snapped here and there…

Auckland filmmaker Jon Waters (cool name for a filmmaker, huh?) giving a primer on how a camera works.

On location

The students did everything - write, produce, direct, act, edit, etc. ... with a little bit of help from us tutors

When shooting in New Zealand, there's an important piece of safety equipment called an umbrella

Not only did they have to learn the basics of Final Cut, they had to learn the basics of editing in the first place

Then came the final performance. There were 15 teams all told, with the film scattered throughout. They were all surprisingly good for first-time filmmakers, and the students ended the week exhausted but happy. Some of them had never dared to think of themselves as being creative people, and we proved them wrong.

Angie Farrow at Massey does this course every year, and I hope she invites me back for the next one. It’s a great way for cynical and jaded professionals like me to recharge our creative batteries by being around people who haven’t yet learned what’s impossible.

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