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Students are taking interviews into the video age

[THIS WEEK] An architecture student group has set up a series of video interviews which are aired in public screenings, writes James Pallister

At one well-known newspaper, it is becoming common practice to send a film crew to all its set-piece celebrity interviews. The footage is then licensed off and used for a documentary film, to which the newspaper retains some rights. Hey presto – another revenue stream. Why waste time with someone in demand by limiting yourself to a few snaps for the front page and a cheeky quote or two when, with a bit of investment you can get some video, too? This thinking is helping meet a growing demand for online video footage. According to telephony and IT firm Cisco, globally, consumer internet video traffic will be 69 per cent of all consumer internet traffic by 2017, up from 57 per cent in 2012.

Architecture student group Mies UK is wise to this shift and has set up a series of video interviews which are aired in public screenings, then released on a Creative Commons licence, allowing them to be shown across the globe. The group is currently looking for a new home to screen its shows, as its days at Manchester RIBA space are numbered. The initiative was set up by James Taylor-Foster and Arian Lehner, a student at Technical University Vienna, following the success of its Austrian equivalent, Mies Magazin, which has been operating for several years. Expansion beckons: season two sees the group spread its reach beyond interviewees located in Manchester (on a recent trip to London the team of James Taylor-Foster, Mariam Osman and Konrad Koltun popped into the AJ offices and put me in front of the camera). And Mies UK has licensed FUGA Arquitectura (based in Mexico) to translate some of its interviews into Spanish, bringing them to wider audience. The group calls the Mies franchise a ‘genuine, student-led, international, collaborative effort’. It will be interesting to see how the group develops, and whether it will stick to its student roots, or morph into a commercial offering – or indeed, take a path somewhere in between.


The first screening in the second season is at 6pm, 14 October, at Manchester RIBA Hub, CUBE, 113-115 Portland Street, Manchester, M1 6DW.

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