By Allyyssa Sousa-Kirpaul
“It was the last day of shooting and we’re shooting in the forest. It was our lunch break it was an hour, but two hours after that before the sun goes down and we had to shoot the climax of the film which we had 20 to 25 shots scheduled. At that point I realized it was near impossible,” Ivan Ramin Radnik, a passionate filmmaker recalls his most challenging experience of filming The Land of Nod, that won runner-up in the live action category at TIFF.
“So I didn’t eat that day. I pulled my cinematographer Julian and camera operator Dave and our key grip Josh aside and explained the situation and the four of us figured out a way to cut shots and light it to get the whole scene.”
Radnik graduated from Humber college in the film and television production program in 2016 and originally created the film for his final project.
His film screened at Bell TIFF lightbox earlier this year .He never planned on getting into TIFF, but he says it was one of the best experiences of his life.
“Just being there and seeing all the filmmakers, producers, writers, coordinators just people in the industry I wasn’t exposed to before, was a fantastic experience.”
The film is inspired by true events that happened in Russia where the writer, Natalia Medvedeva, is from. The Land of Nod is about a boy named Nicholas who comes to terms with being the son of a murderer while searching for one of the dead bodies in the forest with the victim’s sister.
Radnik says that as an interesting twist we get to see how it affects the murderer’s family.
In the future Radnik would love to make The Land of Nod into a feature-length film, but doesn’t know if there will be a sequel to it. Currently he’s working as a locations Production Assistant at the Directors Guild of Canada in Toronto.
At a young age Radnik was exposed to film because his parents would watch different genres of movies all the time from as far back as Charlie Chaplin. He never thought he would get into the film business because he had always wanted to be a hockey player. But as he grew older he fell in love with film.
“It’s just a good place to get away from everything, get away from the real world and get lost in film,” he says.
He doesn’t have a favourite film because the films he watches vary depending on how he feels.
“It’s so hard [to choose] because at different moods and different times in my life it changes. It’s a lot like music. When you’re angry you listen to specific music, I watch a specific type of films.”
Although, a film he tends to be drawn to is Taxi Driver by his favourite director Martin Scorsese, who inspires him and who he tries to draw skills from him.
“He’s a master. Ultimately he’s just a film nerd and loves everything about movies and that’s what I love. I’m inspired by him because he’s always learning and I feel like i’m always learning.”
Ivan says the program gave him the opportunity to be creative.
Mia Pearson is the co-founder of North Strategic company., a communications business that uses brand strategy and social media marketing for media businesses.
Some of the companies they’re responsible for include Twitter and Airbnb. Pearson graduated public relations in 1992 at Humber College.
Since then, Pearson has started three companies. At 29 years old, Pearson was at Hill and Knowlton when she started High Road Communications in 1996.
It became the first technology boutique PR agency in Canada.
Pearson says she wanted to go out on her own again so she started North Strategic in 2011. A year later she started Notch Video, which is Canada’s first online video marketplace. Currently, she’s the CEO at Canada’s MSLGroup.
She has also been recognized as Entrepreneur of the Year by RBC and is in the Hall of Fame for Canada’s top 100 Most Powerful Women by Women’s Executive Network.
For 12 years, Pearson has been a part of The Judy Project at U of T in the Rotman School of Management. Pearson explains it
as being a session on professional branding for senior women who are five years away from being “C” level executives. “My role is to help them develop the skills, the strategy and the confidence to have a very strong external brand and get out there and position themselves whether it’s speaking opportunities, awards, media relations,” she says. “Make sure they’re really externally focused and well known in their organization and in the industry as a whole.”
Challenges an entrepreneur needs to overcome is investing early and seeing their talent Pearson says.
“You need to surround yourself with really strong people,” she says. “Some people shy away from investing heavily in senior talent out of the gates because it’s expensive, but we did that and took that risk. We invested in those people early on and it really catapulted the agency and enabled us to grow into a brand quickly.”
Stüssy Tschudin is one of the principals of Forge Media + Design. They’re in charge of some of the brands and companies including Apple Canada, Phoenix Sky Harbor airport, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Statefarm and Comcast. Tschudin is also a registered graphic designer and serves as president at the Board of Directors of the Association of Registered Graphic Designers (ARGD).
Tschudin graduated design foundation in 1999 then advertising and graphic design in 2001 at Humber North. Tschudin grew up in Switzerland and was a banker there for five years. He travelled with a band for a year and a half and realized he wanted to do something more creative for a living. He was 25-years-old when he came to Humber and says he didn’t quite know what to do so he chose design foundation first. When he graduated graphic design he started working for one of his teachers, Phillip Razoe at Mississauga graphic design company Haughton Brazeau.
Tschudin says he learned a lot from working there and it’s where he met his current business partner, Gregory Neely.
“I learned how to run a business, brought us a long way to start a company,” says Tschudin.
Neely was the senior designer at the company, but left a year later. Eventually they would decide to work together again and start Forge Media + Design, along with creative director Laurence Roberts.
“That was 12 years ago and we’ve built upon that ever since. Over 30 people and we do all kinds of interesting work across the board,” says Tschudin.
“Originally when we started the business the dream was to work from home ‘oh this is great we don’t have to go into an office have total freedom and work whenever we want’,” says Tschudin. “We needed to get more disciplined.”
At the company Tschudin heads the web and graphic design teams, strategy and marketing campaigns, and he’s in charge of HR and the financial side of the business because of his banking background.
Eight years ago, Tschudin became a registered graphic designer and wanted to get more involved.
“I realized I wanted to get more involved and give back to the industry. One of the ways I could get more involved and give back to the community was to get on the board of directors,” says Tschudin.
Tschudin has been the president of the Board of Directors of the Association of Registered Graphic Designers for three years now. His role includes organizing events, monthly webinars, planning for the industry and advocating against spec work.
One of the events he organizes is the DesignThinkers conference for young designers and students in Toronto. The purpose is to help them get started and give them feedback on their work.
“It helps them get started in the industry. How they find a job if they go freelance, how do they set themselves up. There’s a big session of portfolio reviews where it gets shown to three industry professionals,” says Tschudin.
The graphic design program at Humber always take part in the event he says.
“I think the program is among the better ones in the city. At Forge now half of our designers are Humber grads.”
“The one question Mother Teresa asked me was whether I had seen her work,” Harry McAvoy recalls his most tranformitive experience about when he met Mother Teresa in a Humber study group abroad. “What she meant by that was whether I had seen the people, the programs. So the focus wasn’t on her, the focus was on the people that were hurting and the people being helped.”
During his first year of business management he joined a Humber study group where they learn and study about a certain country the semester before visiting it for a credit. McAvoy travelled to India at the end of his third year at Humber with a couple of students and teachers. One of his main goals was to meet Mother Teresa because she was his hero McAvoy says. He tracked her down in Kolkata for a visit.
“When you had the chance to meet her it wasn’t about her,” says McAvoy. “That whole experience was transformative.”
Mother Teresa invited him to visit the Home of Pure Heart she established for the sick and dying. McAvoy also went to a mass (Catholic service) with her.
“It really changed the direction my life went,” he says.
He also travelled to Scandinavia at the end of his first year. A lot of people are struggling with things that we don’t realize he says, and many people take things for granted. He travelled to Norway and stayed north of the Arctic Circle.
“People above the Arctic Circle have to live differently than people in Toronto. The weather conditions, the different opportunities,” he says. “It opens up your mind to the fact that everyone doesn’t live the way you do.”
These experiences from over 30 years ago have stuck with him to this day. McAvoy was student president during his last year and graduated Humber in 1981. In 1982, he worked at Covenant house helping homeless youth in Toronto for about five years. Afterwards he became executive director of Big Brothers in the York Region for 12 years. Then he became Vice President of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada for six years.
From ’07-’08 he came back to Humber College and taught special events in the fundraising program. After that year, he worked on a campaign for three years for the Humber River Hospital.
All of his work experience has lead him to where he is currently a manager at ShareLife and has been for five years. His role includes coordinating with 42 other agencies to raise money for the poor in the GTA. “Our job is to make the most of the joy but spend as much of our lives as we can helping those people who are in pain,” he says.