“TAMK offers amazing opportunities to students who are passionate and driven, motivated to learn and eager to face new challenges.”

In order to celebrate the opening of the new Moomin museum and the mother of Moomins Tove Jansson’s birthday Tampere’s Philharmonic Orchestra collaborated with vocalists, a dancer, two narrators and the Pirkanpojat Boy’s choir. They performed an unforgettable spectacle featuring a vivid soundscape and immersive storytelling of the unique atmosphere in the Moomin books. The show was sold out which tells a lot about the love we share for Moomins.

TAMK in collaboration with Nokia Technologies was in charge of capturing the performance in a 360 video using four professional OZO 360- cameras positioned around the stage. This makes the production probably the largest of its kind done in Finland with this high tech equipment. Three TAMK students, Mark Malyshev (audio), Juhana Sarkki (video) and Jousia Lappi (video and audio), were involved in the making of this video that will be released by Tampere-hall as a three to four minute video clip and used, also by and Tampere Philharmony etc. The idea was to make an immersive experience taking advantage of 360 video. There were also TAMK alumni and lecturers involved in the production.

Jonne Valtonen (composer/TAMK alumnus), Tipi Tuovinen (TAMK's teacher), Jussi Tervo (audio engineer/Piramk alumnus), Mark Malyshev (present student at Media and Arts), Kai Saastamoinen (FOH engineer at Tampere-hall/Piramk alumnus).

The collaboration between Media and Arts and Nokia Technologies has been going on for one and a half years already. This team has worked with for example, RSO, HKO, Lost in Music, Steve ‘n’ Seagulls (360 live) and 69 Eyes to produce different kinds of experimental virtual reality contents.

The TAMK students got involved into the collaboration with Nokia last year. Mark was chosen for the audio side and Juhana for the video side. Both Mark and Juhana were ready to face a new challenge and work as pioneers with something that had not been done much before. Having TAMK's teachers Janne Tauriainen and Tipi Tuovinen present at the Moomin concert all the time supporting in production preparations and later post production played also significant role in TAMK's teams work.

“Keep an eye out for potential projects and prepare yourself. You might not be the one who decides in the end but you should aim to be the one chosen.”
-Mark Malyshev

First day was spent setting up the cameras and figuring out the positions so that they would not obstruct the view of the audience or any of the performers. During the philharmonic orchestra’s rehearsal, they made sure that the cameras are in the right place for the end product and later made the required adjustments. One of the main focuses was also to make sure that all devices were running smoothly and that there were no problems with capturing the feed from the cameras. Each camera has its own audio and video perspective giving more variation to choose from.

The first camera was positioned in front of the conductor, Santtu-Matias Rouvali. The other three are located around the stage in order to cover as much ground as possible regarding the audio and the video. As the performance has many parts, it was essential to make sure all of them were captured properly. There was a lot to take into consideration when figuring out where the cameras will be put. One more challenge for the positioning was the simultaneous multi camera video production (with 6 cameras) done by Tampere-hall. Luckily all went well and collaboration with director Timo Suomi was easy and professional.

“Shooting 360 video is completely different from how you would shoot normally. It takes a lot of thinking and planning on a whole new level to figure out the placement of the cameras.”
-Juhana Sarkki

As these guys have already worked with the OZOs and virtual reality shooting before they have already given up the most wild ideas such as remote controlled drones and hanging the cameras from the ceiling. There is always room for exploration with these kinds of projects but our team of professionals know their way around the field and know what can and cannot be done. The technology is also still new and constantly improving and they have fortunately been able to move past some issues they had before, such as the cameras using up their batteries too quickly or losing the signal. The fact that they were using four cameras and that there were many points of interest made this production different from the ones before it.

The room for monitoring the cameras was located right next to the stage where as the mixing was done in another room. This part of the setting up required taping the cables to the floor and other objects to prevent anyone from tripping on them or anything becoming unplugged. This was also done on stage with the camera and microphone cables.

The second rehearsal day mostly consisted of more fine-tuning with the cameras and mics. As always with these large scale productions there are compromises that have to be made. For example, one of the cameras was moved because it was in the way of the dancer. It was later found that she had adjusted her choreography so that now the new placement was in the way and the camera had to be moved back to its original position. In addition, one of the cameras was in front of the stage on the left side where as the narrator was on the right side. It was still decided in the end that the camera should be left where it was.

“One thing I have definitely learned is that you always have to make compromises but what makes you a professional is when you know where and when you can make them.”
-Juhana Sarkki

Originally, there were 21 microphones and later many more were added, for example a 7.0 mic array was set up done by Tipi Tuovinen. 7 ambience mics were used to capture Dolby Atmos sound for the first time in Finland. Mic placement was done by Jussi Tervo and assisted by Tipi and Janne. Marc also participated in the planning. He has previous experience with gigs and concerts and shows great talent when it comes to spatial mixing. Two of the additional mics were hanging from the ceiling and the others situated amongst the orchestra. Also, OZOs capture sound from 8 integrated mics so there was a lot of audio information recorded from the concert in order to get different viewpoints covered.

Talking to the people after the event I found out more about the whole process concerning the video and post production. For Juhana the biggest problem seemed to be that the rendering took a long time. He was also hoping to render the whole hour and a half long concert but for the time being they were focusing on producing the video clip. In addition, as the technology is new so are the programs and they still seem to have some bugs and compatibility issues and it takes time to learn how to use them. For Mark everything went quite smoothly, later just the placing of the sound sources with a flat screen proved somewhat more challenging than originally thought.

“I have learned to plan and prepare more carefully since every mistake costs even though they cannot completely be avoided.”
-Juhana Sarkki

Both of the guys would definitely recommend putting yourself out there and not being afraid to try new things. They have enjoyed the experience of collaborating with Nokia and TAMK. Looking back at the projects they have worked with they feel like they have grown as professionals. There are some things they might have done differently but now they know better and can try out something new. Both of them feel it is important to have a good team. The communication between the members and producers has been easy which in turn shows in their work. Each production differs from another but you learn how to get around in the sets and organize who is doing what and when.

“Everyone knew what they were doing and it felt great to be surrounded by professionals.”
-Mark Malyshev

Jousia Lappi (alumnus from Media and Arts), Juhana Sarkki (present student at Media and Arts), Mark Malyshev (present student at Media and Arts), Janne Tauriainen (Senior lecturer at TAMK/Head of Music Production path) and Timo Kivikangas (Head of Degree Programme).

According to Timo Kivikangas (Head of DP in Media and Arts) it has been an uplifting experience to see how well TAMK’s present students, alumni and staff have handled their demanding tasks in this unique production with Nokia Technologies, Tampere-hall and Tampere Philharmonic. Kivikangas also wanted to thank all these partners involved in this special case and being able to connect TAMK and the best professionals of each company’s field. This is the way we can learn up-to-date competences needed in a rapidly changing media sector and has provided us skills to be utilized in future with other VR/AR/MR/XR-productions.

At least for me the whole experience of following behind the stage how people worked and in this case listening to the rehearsals was an amazing experience. People working together to solve any issues that arose and supporting each other is always an inspiring sight to see. Not to mention the music that was performed, it actually send chills down my spine and I got goose bumps occasionally since it was so breath taking. As a Finn who grew up with Moomins I can definitely say all of these people working on different parts of the show did justice to Tove Jansson and the Moomins.

Written by Tiia Rintakoski

You can watch a collage of the piece here on Youtube at this address: