REMEMBER WATCHING a striking high-quality video on Facebook of celebrities performing at Akaraka*, or searching up the highlights from the Yon-Ko games on YouTube? Chances are, these breathtaking videos are products of the Yonsei Video Arts Center (YVAC), a student-run organization that is responsible for recording the official events of Yonsei University. The production of YVAC, however, goes beyond the recording of school events: it also engages in the creation of a diverse spectrum of videos, ranging from reality shows to movie reviews. In order to gain more insight into the organization’s responsibilities and activities, The Yonsei Annalsmet with two of its members for a casual conversation.
Annals: Could you introduce YVAC and its main responsibilities?
Kim Soo-kyung (Jr., UIC, Economics): We are an organization under the Graduate School of Communications & Arts. Graduate students support and assist us in executing our projects, but our members consist of undergraduate students. As a group, we take charge of video productions on the official events of Yonsei University, such as Akaraka, the Yon-Ko Games, and the graduation ceremony. Our main job is to record these official events so that they can be stored and remembered. But, other than that, we also carry out our own free-style projects.
Annals: How is YVAC structured?
Kim: First of all, YVAC requires its members to stay for a minimum of three semesters. The first semester is a probation period: new members must complete this period to become official members of the organization. Members are then each put into an administrative team. There are three administrative teams: the planning team, production team, and technical team. Each team has its own head, who leads the group, and I am the chief manager of all three teams.
Annals: How does your typical production process look like?
Kang Rae-hyun (Jr., College of Communication): Our production process follows a general procedure. For our recruitment video, for example, our members are first divided into groups, with each group working on a separate video. Then, the groups decide on the topic of their video, and they specify the details of the video’s content and message during our regular meetings. The groups then proceed to filming and editing, during which they go through two to three feedback procedures among the group members. This process usually takes up to a month for one video.
Annals: What are the responsibilities of YVAC when covering school events?
Kang: We make videos on various school events, regardless of their scale. For instance, I recently worked on a video for the graduation ceremony. Our team filmed the event using three cameras to capture the podium, the host, and the overall scenery. During the editing process, we reviewed the footage and chose what footage looked the best out of the three angles. Then, we uploaded the video for storage. We follow a similar process for other school events.
Kim: For popular events like the Yon-Ko Games and Akaraka, we keep the videos not only for storage but also for uploads on our YouTube channel. To produce an eye-catching video, we apply elaborate filming techniques and use a relatively complex editing program called After Effects. We try to upload these videos on YouTube as quickly as possible since many people from inside and outside the school watch them. For example, for the Yon-Ko Games, we make highlight videos of each game, and we try to post these videos before the weekend is over. To make the production schedule more efficient, we divide the workload; for example, someone takes charge of making the scoreboard, another makes the subtitles, so on and so forth.
During the Yonko Games, we are also given the opportunity to screen our videos, for about five minutes, on a large screen in between the games. We show our videos along with those created by the Yonsei Educational Broadcasting Station (YBS) and those by other video broadcasting organizations of Korea University. While we make videos that poke fun at Korea University, we also make ones that display the collaboration between Yonsei University and Korea University.
Annals: What other videos does YVAC produce aside from those of school events?
Kim: The videos our members produce differ from person to person, depending on their experience at YVAC. During the probation period, new members make three types of videos: Membership Training (MT) videos, documentaries, and personal videos. After submitting these three videos, each incoming member is subject to an evaluation, after which he or she becomes an official member. Once an official member, members can choose to create any type of video they wish to make. These are called the “promotion videos.” Members departing YVAC produce “graduation videos,” which are screened during the YVAC Film Festival at the end of each semester.
All of our members produce a series and upload them to the “Channel YVAC” section on our YouTube channel. The series can be in any form, ranging from a reality show to a drama series. For example, both of us have been working for four semesters on a series called “Hello, Movies!**” that reviews various contents related to movies, such as its music, directors, and actors.
Kang: To give other examples, we produce documentaries on topics we want to delve into. Recently, we made a collaborative video on craft beer. Another video that I personally made was a short animation video. As such, our personal videos are not restricted to a certain type; they can be anything that we desire to produce.
Annals: What are some difficulties that you faced at YVAC?
Kang: The incoming members are rarely adept at filming and editing. Rather, they are often in a position of a learner who is interested in film production. This creates a difficult situation because we, as a group, don’t receive special training to improve our technical skills. So, it often becomes stressful to meet the high expectations that people have on the level of professionalism in our videos.
Kim: Not only that, but any video we make goes through at least two rounds of the feedback procedure. This process can be especially challenging when we have to go back and make all the necessary changes, which is very time-consuming. Moreover, since the production does not end with our first draft, the workload tends to pile up.
Annals: When do you feel most proud as a member of YVAC?
Kang: I feel very proud when I realize that the quality of my videos now is much higher than that of the videos that I produced at the beginning of my stay at YVAC. From helping each other out to experimenting with novel forms of videos, each member grows considerably as he or she serves in YVAC.
Kim: We operate in teams and have to constantly make compromises with each other throughout the whole process. This can be very challenging at times, but I feel proud to see it come together in one piece.
Annals: What is the ultimate goal and vision of YVAC?
Kim: Our ultimate goal is to support the creation of our members’ videos with the resources that we have. In order to reach our ultimate goal, we work hard to promote our organization and production. Although our videos may seem familiar to many Yonseians, they often don’t realize that these videos are the outcome of YVAC’s productions. We try hard to produce diverse contents, so I hope we can get more recognition from the school community.
Annals: Are there any last words you want to deliver to the readers of the Annals?
Kim: YouTube is the most popular social media platform, but the majority of the contents uploaded in this media is similar in their topic and focus. On our own YouTube channel, we try to diversify our materials as much as possible, so if you ever get tired of watching the same types of videos, please come and take a look at the Yonsei YVAC channel!
*Akaraka: Yonsei’s annual performance festival
**Korean original title: “안영화십니까”