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Visual Storytelling Conference: Meet Maxim Jago

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Leading up to the Visual Storytelling Conference, we’re putting the spotlight on some of the instructors! Meet them and find out what you can learn from them at the conference, plus some pre-conference insights.

Don’t have your free ticket yet? Register today and join us for free, March 10-13, 2022!

Maxim Jago

Maxim is an award-winning Film Director, Consultant Futurist, best-selling Author, and the Founder and Director of The Creativity Conference, held in Iceland.  He has consulted as a Futurist for a number of organizations, and is writing a series of new books exploring futurism for IEEE-USA. As an Adobe Master Trainer, Avid Certified Instructor, EDIUS Master Trainer, and the author of multiple books and over 2,000 tutorials, he is well-known as an International Trainer and Public Speaker.

In addition to consulting for Adobe on the development of learning content, Maxim is the author of the official “Adobe Premiere Pro Classroom in a Book,” and has spoken at many colleges and universities on the development of creative skills. He is well-known as an international media technology trainer, and is the author of multiple books and training series on the subject. As a filmmaker, he has directed over thirty short films, the feature-length documentary “Trust Me: Working with Richard Foreman,” and the forthcoming supernatural-thriller feature film “It’s Haunted.” A regular speaker at film festivals and conferences around the world, Maxim mentors newcomers to the film industry and may drink too much coffee.

Can you tell us a little about what you’ll be teaching for the Visual Storytelling Conference?

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“I’m presenting two sessions. First, the Adobe Premiere Pro Bootcamp. In two hours you’ll learn everything you need to know to import, review, edit, color correct, mix, title, caption, and output a project.

“I’ll also have a special presentation titled, “What really is creativity?” In this broad-reaching presentation, I will explore approaches to inspiration and the manifestation of that inspiration as original work.”

How did you get started in photography and videography?

“When I was 13 years old, I started working with celluloid film using an old Fujifilm 35mm camera. I processed films at home, and had a mini darkroom to wet print black and white images. At 15, I started making videos with a basic video camera, and was quick hooked! I studied photography and media at school before going on to film school. Much of my education was hands-on – with iterative improvements, I was able to learn my craft as a filmmaker.”

What makes you push the envelope in terms of your creativity?

“I believe creativity is a fundamental component of being alive – to create is to cause change and leave “footprints in the snow.” I think what sets great Art apart is the way it changes the person who experiences it. If you can find a way to convey Truth, with a capital “T,” in such a way that it changes the frame through which a person perceives the world, then you are on to something.”

What’s one piece of advice you can give related to your courses?

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“As far as using technology to convey meaning is concerned, always be fearless. It’s hard to break technology – you can always undo, to work on a backup copy (always make backup copies!). It’s great to learn how to use technology by trying new things – so when learning Premiere Pro, for example, just get some clips into a project and start putting them on the timeline. Before you know it, you’ll be editing.

“My key message for the question of what Creativity is, is probably to relax. If anything, we have to learn NOT to be creative, and so allowing your mind to freewheel a little is a good thing. Let go of rigid thinking to see what new ideas may come. This can be hard to do when you fear being judged or if the creative work you’re producing is in exchange for payment. Always find time to be in a safe space where failure is not only impossible, its irrelevant. Creativity is an iterative process of experimentation, adjustment, and new experimentation.

“As Leonardo da Vinci wrote, ‘Art is never finished, only abandoned.’ I think what he meant by this is that there comes a point where you feel you have no more changes left to make for this particular work. It’s time to start a new one. This doesn’t mean there was anything wrong with the original work – just that it’s time for something new.”

What’s one challenge you’ve had in your career, and how have you overcome it?

“I have always struggled with teamwork because it seems so often that team members fail to fulfill their commitments. It took me years to realize I was the issue: I wasn’t communicating what was needed, when, and how, and I wasn’t providing the support team members needed to ensure they stayed on track, connected, engaged, and in control. Learning this lesson made me a better team member too.”

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

“Say yes first and find out how later!”

Don’t have your free ticket yet? Register today and join us for free, March 10-13, 2022!

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