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Time has always posed challenges for those who work in the media industry. Such a complex field has a great number of interrelated components – from social change to revolutionary advances in technology.
We suggest taking a look at social processes in a much broader way by studying journalism, media management, directing, editing, the stages of the creative process, and the production cycle of creating a media product – simply put, everything that can be called journalism, media, and communications.
Davydov S. G., Sharikov A., Eremina A. et al.
Cham: Springer, 2023.
Journal of Business Theory and Practice. 2023. P. 46-54.
In bk.: Russiagate Revisited: The Aftermath of a Hoax. NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2023. P. 225-247.
Lapina-Kratasyuk E., Oiva M.
Haastatteluaineisto Yves Montand Neuvostoliitossa, lähdemateriaali. http://urn.fi/urn:nbn:fi:lb-2020081502. The Language Bank of Finland, 2021
The project was also praised by industry representatives: all 4 episodes about the work of the voice assistant were published in the official community “Marusya & VK Capsule VKontakte” (https://vk.com/marusiaproject). We talked with the guys and their supervisor about the process of creating the project and their impressions of it.
3rd year student of the EP "Media Communications"
—Why did you choose the voice assistant Marusya for your course work? Was it your idea or a suggestion from a supervisor?
Initially, the VK Capsule with Marusya was not part of our range of interests, we came to this through a brainstorm. At the beginning,, we met with my partner Oleg every few months, suggested topics, and tried to come up with something unusual. We settled on the fact that both of them work in the field of education, so we decided to tell students about different IT technologies in a video. We came to Artur Stanislavovich with this idea, he advised us to narrow the range of topics in order to make the videos more intense. Then we decided to stop at the voice assistant.
—How were your responsibilities distributed in the process of creating the mini-series?
Initially, we worked together on every detail: we discussed the concept, looked for references, talked a lot about how we want to see the material in order to avoid disagreements. When we started collecting information, we began to share responsibilities: Oleg, since he works at VK, took over all communication and production moments, I worked on texts and visuals. At the final stages, we again worked together: we made corrections to the editing and animation, and reviewed the final versions. I think this division worked well, everyone was responsible for their own aspects and did it efficiently.
—How long did it take to create one series?
We did the whole series at once, we did not divide production into episodes. First, we collected all the information, then we determined how to divide it into parts, wrote a script, and made visual references. We filmed everything in a few days, made a shooting plan depending on the location and the number of shots on it. In general, the entire production from idea approval to publication took 2.5 months.
—Did you communicate with the developers of voice assistants in order to understand in detail their functioning, or did you look for information yourself?
At first, we tried to find as much information on the Internet as possible, but we realized that there was not enough material specifically about Marusya. There are processes that are universal for different voice assistants, we read about them in open sources. When the skeleton of the script was ready, Oleg turned to his colleagues from VK, they helped fill in the gaps.
—Did you have any disagreements while working? If not, what made it possible to avoid them?
The working process was very comfortable, there was not a single disagreement. I think the point is that we have known each other for a long time and often participated in project activities together, so we understand each other's strengths and weaknesses well. Before this work, we discussed in detail who is ready to take on what part. Well, communication in the production process is also important: we have learned to openly talk about what we don’t like and adequately perceive each other’s criticism.
—What did you take away for yourself after creating this project?
Before the project, I didn’t understand the IT aspects of the work of voice assistants at all, and I didn’t know the specifics of Marusya, now I understand all the subtleties. It is always interesting to go through the production cycle from idea to publication, it was a rewarding experience. And in terms of partnership, there are also a lot of conclusions. It turns out that working with friends is not so scary, rather it is even fun and productive.
I remember this time fondly. The brain was constantly in suspense because of the current work, we gradually watched how content was obtained from the idea. I was lucky with both my partner and my supervisor. The atmosphere of work was supportive, they could always ask questions, consult, it helped in many ways to think boldly and develop their ideas.
Do you use Marusya yourself?
I began to use it just while working on the project, and now I can’t imagine my life without it - I have music, an alarm clock, and notes in it. Perhaps if I had not learned all the functionality during the filming, my hands would not have reached the point of using the program. And it also fits perfectly into my interior, so we shot most of the videos in my apartment.
Artur Tarasenko, Asya and Oleg's supervisor, shared his thoughts on the project.
—How did you help the students in the process of creating the series?
My job as a supervisor is to give advice, provide guidance, and warn about possible risks. The students successfully completed the "Infotainment" course, which means they learned how to analyze other people's creative solutions and constantly propose their own, to see the entertaining issues in the complex and important and the smart and serious in the entertaining. My help consisted of setting new tasks, provoking the search for solutions, and surrounding them with the right references.
—What is the secret of this project's success?
The series organically combines the methods and techniques of infotainment. Everything is balanced and harmonious: a clear theme, the drama of the experiment, points of interest, maximum visibility, different visual languages and native transitions between them, as well as the presence of the author's style and irony.
—How was the series published in the official voice assistant community?
Oleg and Asya were engaged in the promotion and placement of the series on the site. They consulted with the creators of Marusya from VK at the stage of working on the script, when the explanatory texts were being prepared. Then they showed the result, which impressed the development team. As a result, the guys were offered to put the series on the official platform.
All 4 episodes of the series can be viewed at the links below:
Series 1. Who is Marusya: https://vk.com/wall-183540171_154878
Series 2. How Marusya recognizes speech: https://vk.com/wall-183540171_159558
Series 3. How Marusya understands: https://vk.com/wall-183540171_163721
Series 4. How Marusya answers: https://vk.com/wall-183540171_172950
Text: Tatiana Pivovarchik
Translation: Yanina Drankeevich