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Creative Industries Days

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Monday 14 May 2018, as part of the Creative Industry Day, the Institute of Communication welcomed Andrius Lekavičius, an independent filmmaker and creative entrepreneur working in visual media making field. His creative focus now is virtual reality and non traditional documentaries and he came to MRU to give a lecture on “Virtual reality and creative industry reality”.

Andrius Lekavičius is known for “Mes uz… Lietuva!”, a feature documentary about the national Lithuanian basketball team. The idea of the film was to follow the national team during the whole preparation period before the European championship in 2011. He also produced a documentary on Arvydas Sabonis, a legendary basketball player.

He is currently working on two films. One portraits the Curonian Spit, looking to both Russian and Lithuanian parts. This will be an interactive documentary with stories told by portraits. It will focus on duality of four different professions on the two different sides of the border. The other film is related to special fight force unit who was active during the fight for independence in 1991. They were a group of guys who had no special training but they learnt how to fight watching Stallone and Schwarzenegger VHS movies. This project will be half animated.

Besides, he is working on interactive VR project, linked to January 13th 1991 and is called “Freedom code 1991”’. FC13 is based on real and tragic event. On January 13th 1991, there was confrontation between Soviet paratroopers and Lithuanian people guarding strategic building around the country. Fourteen Lithuanians were killed at the TV Tower in Vilnius. In the project “gamification” is added to retelling the story of this real event in virtual reality. In this project, you become a journalist thanks to VR headset and controllers. You have a camera in your right hand and your left hand is your helping hand. And you as a player have to make a moral and ethical decision of professional journalist and choose whether you want to help people around you or do your job – record what is going on to have evidences. Andrius was 6 years old at that time and now as a creator, he wants to understand why patriotism was then more important than life. He made consultations with historians and prosecutors working on that case to make it as real as possible. VR allows people to take part to the story by creating the illusion of really being there.

During his lecture, Mr Lekavičius also gave us nine tips for successful communication.

1) Hack use the context: basketball championship, Sabonis’ 50th birthday, Lithuania’s 100th anniversary are perfect topics for a project.
2) Persistence is the key: making a project takes time (approximately 3 years for a film for instance)
3) Do homework : before going to any shooting place you have to know everything possible on your topic
4) Adapt to reality: in any situation, you have to be able to your change vision. You may have too little money or the technology will change but you always have to adapt
5) Know your audience
6) Look at other outgoing projects
7) Use every opportunity: financial grants, residencies, scholarships and workshops opportunities…
8) Believe in your vision : if a film takes 3 years to be done it is easy to loose one’s idea during this time
9) Give a shit: in any creative projects a lot of things are done just to be done, no one wants to take additional steps to have better quality. The key is to do what you believe and to believe what you do till the end.

We would like to thank him very much for the time he spent among us, sharing his experience and valuable advice with the students.