On Tuesday, April 21 the fourth year media studies graduating students hosted the third annual EMERGE conference. ‘Becoming Agents of Change’, the theme for this years 2015 EMERGE Conference is something that students can take away for the rest of their lives.
EMERGE is a multi-platform, multi-disciplinary conference with workshops addressing sports media, entrepreneurs, radio production, public relations, blogging, television broadcasting and more. The conference was an all day event with lunch and breakfast sponsored by SanRemo Bakery, Photobooth provided by Picture X and even a candy bar!
The Xtra Mile sat down and spoke with the conference panel moderator and keynote speaker Daryn Jones about the ever changing media platforms.
Who’s the most interesting person you’ve interviewed?
Okay, we had Tom Cruise right around the time he was jumping on couches. But he’s actually a very nice guy, he came in and he was lovely to everybody but then I just saw the Scientology documentary, so I don’t know what to believe. Quentin Tarantino was pretty cool too, he came on when he was promoting Django Unchained I think. Really interesting open guy. There are a lot of film makers in the crowd and he took the time during commercials to talk to these young filmmakers who wanted just to ask him questions. So that was pretty cool, so those are the two people who stand out. I mean we’ve had Adele on and sing the first time in North America on the show, which was great. We had Amy Winehouse on months before she died, so it was interesting looking back on that and she was in a lot of trouble you could tell that was very sad actually. A lot of really interesting people came on the show.
We’re at a media conference, what would find is the biggest mistake people make in the media?
There are no mistakes. You can’t look at it like that, it’s a mistake. You say something wrong, you get the wrong shot, you ask the wrong questions…. there’s no mistakes. You just continue and go. The thing that I’ve learned is that honesty will cut through everything. Poor production values, if you don’t have the money for a big set, as long as you’re being honest and don’t put on this big facade or this phoney baloney act, generally speaking people will respond to that and be interested in what you’re saying. As long as you’re being honest and you lay it down and say ‘look here’s what we’re doing here, we’re not trying to trick anybody, this is it.’ As long as you’re honest and being truthful to whatever material you’re doing, that’s the smartest thing to do. As far as mistakes, it’s media. We’re not saving lives here.
Do you find the media has changed a lot from back then to now?
Yeah, I started doing stand up in 1996. That’s a long time ago, when I was in high school . Back then there was no cable channels, Comedy Network came out a couple years after that and my first show Buzz. We would shoot it and to edit it we would literally take the tape out of the camera and you had to imprint the tape onto this other piece of tape. So anytime you made an edit, you lost the generation of quality which sounds like a million years ago, but it’s not. If you made five or six edits on a piece, the physical quality of the image would be comprimised and there’s a fine line between cutting your piece properly and looking at it like a weird thing. Now I cut so much stuff on my computer, it’s just amazing. The tools that are available for everybody for cheap, it’s amazing. So that’s the best part, everything is accessible but what you do with that is key. Are you going to say something interesting? Are you going to do something that people want to see or hear? How are you going to stand out because now everybody has a phone, so anyone can do an interview. What do you have that makes you so important?
How do you go the Xtra Mile?
I try to be wide open. Try to meet as many people as I can. You don’t know when the next job is going to be , the next opportunity to create something with somebody. You don’t know when the next thing will be, so I do my best to be open to opportunities should they arise. It’s not easy all the time because we’re humans and we close up, and we don’t want to do things. But you try, because now you don’t know what the next thing is going to be and you just got to be open to any opportunity, even if you think it’s a dumb idea, just do it. Deal with it after.
[Photography by Mursal Bahri]