Pohewa – Turning Creativity into Commercial Reality
Pohewa – Turning Creativity into Commercial Reality - Masterclasses at Miramar Creative Launched!
Masterclasses specifically tailored for the screen sector launched on Wednesday at the Screen Wellington Education Talk.
The “Pohewa” courses, meaning to imagine or create in Te Reo Māori, have been established in partnership between Miramar Creative and Wrestler. After a successful trial, there will be a two-day masterclass every month starting 6 April.
Course Directors Kristy Grant, Co-Founder of Miramar Creative, and Kat Lintott, Co-Founder of Wrestler, are thrilled with the industry support and connectivity that the course provided for students. “The core purpose of Pohewa is to turn creativity into commercial reality through practical and relevant skills, world class ingredients and a creative learning approach under the guidance of some of the best and brightest industry mentors," says Kristy.
The first of a range of masterclasses is focused on content creation for virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). Students spend two days learning the fundamentals of this ground-breaking medium, leaving with an understanding of storytelling in VR and AR environments and a VR experience that they create themselves.
The Pohewa courses are the next step in the creative education pipeline that has been established over the last four years. Starting with the Roxy5 short film competition for children 10 and over, to tertiary students studying Victoria University’s Fine Art and Digital Technology Masters, to those entering the workforce and then mid-career development through the Pohewa courses. All of our activities are housed at the Miramar Creative Centre, set up as a collaboration between Miramar Creative Limited, Victoria University of Wellington and the local screen sector. The state of the art facility has been custom built to meet the ever expanding needs of the creative industry – providing a destination for learning and industry connectivity that is not available anywhere else in the world.
“Our point of difference at Miramar Creative with Pohewa is that we can move quickly to develop course content based on the needs of the creative industry. When Kat and I met a year ago, it was to talk about where we could learn about Intellectual Property (IP) and Commercialisation for the creative tech and screen sector. Creative Entrepreneurship and Business Strategy skills also evolved from these conversations. After some research we established that these courses didn’t currently exist in a format suitable for post tertiary and mid-career life learners, so we decided to set them up ourselves,” says Kristy.
“With Wrestler being leaders in VR/AR content creation, my knowledge and international networks in this new industry meant we could deliver a meaningful masterclass that would feed practical skills into the new industry, also giving a taster to people dabbling in the idea of pivoting to this as a career change. We have an amazing cross section of tech and creativity in Wellington, it makes sense to keep developing our talent to future-proof our creative industry. We’re excited to be developing a range of classes to foster a sustainable creative industry in Aotearoa,” says Kat.
“We are excited about the multitude of educational options now on offer in the creative sector. This means that over the next few years there will be a lot more students looking for work in a highly competitive industry, so we want to support them by providing courses that allow them to be strategically focused as well as creatively driven – giving them the best opportunities to be successful,” continues Kristy.
“We designed these courses to answer specific gaps and areas of development that are largely unchartered for those wanting to gain some fundamentals during a short two day course. The interactions that our students had with their mentors plus the practical skills gained during the classes have set them up extremely well to go on and develop their own content in VR and AR. We want to empower our students to be creative and this first course has already achieved that and exceeded our expectations – goes to show we are certainly heading in the right direction - we are very excited about the future potential!”
Industry leaders have also echoed the sentiment behind the facility, and what it means for the industry.
Jamie Selkirk, Oscar Winner and Co-Founder/Co-Owner of Weta Workshop has been the supportive mechanism behind this initiative, funding the fit out of the Centre and sharing his significant industry experience and connections with Pohewa students. “I wish that this sort of facility was available when I started out and I’m really excited to be able to support those wanting to learn more about and ideally become future leaders, continuing our pioneering capacity and versatile entrepreneurial track record within the creative sector,” he said.
Gino Acevedo, Artistic Design Director at Weta Digital and seasoned professional in special effects make and prosthetics who spoke about bridging the gap between physical to digital artistry said, “The facility here is amazing, its literally right between Weta Digital and Weta Workshop so students have their choice to study courses at the centre that help them move towards a digital or physical career – or both!”
Carrie Thiel, an innovative leader in motion capture, having worked on several projects since the technologies inception during Lord of The Rings filming, commented, “Pohewa courses provide another level of learning that is accessible not matter what stage you are at in your career… the wonderful thing is that everyone has the opportunity to learn together – it’s very immersive for both students and speakers”