Recently we've received an influx of compliments on our video, The TeddyMozart Story. I figured that the best way to answer the question, "Who made your video?" is to introduce the person responsible for creating the magic, Paivi Kankaro.
I caught up with Paivi a few weeks ago and she was happy to hear about the positive feedback. We worked together a few years back on a project for QVC and I loved her work. So when I decided to do a video for TeddyMozart, I immediately thought of her. Lucky for me she was available and that she said yes.
For those of you who don't know Paivi, here's the inside scoop about the talent behind the camera.
Who is Paivi?
Besides being a musician and a cool indie chick in Finland (in the last decade), Paivi earned a masters degree in Media Studies in 2008 at the University of Turku in Finland and worked in the online world creating and developing new concepts for digital services and building communities. She is also a film maker with a degree in Documentary Film from the New School. Paivi grew up in Finland but has lived in New York for the past 4.5 years.
How old were you when you made your first film?
I didn't make my first "real" film until my 30s. I studied film and media studies during my masters program but had a more theoretical approach to films. Slowly through getting familiar with technology, cameras and editing and such, I realized that a hands-on method is more suiting for me.
What was it about?
My film 'Looking For The Hook' observed the creative work of a group of young people from unstable backgrounds collaborating on music in the safe environment provided by the Soho youth organization, The Door.
Through the eyes of Kiddo, 18, and Pamela, 20, the film followed the day-to-day progress of the Vanguard Development Project (VDP), a music production workshop immersed in writing and recording a song album, led by professional producer and songwriter Akira Shelton.
The music this group makes is pretty dope, so I suggest people check it out here: https://soundcloud.com/vdpnyc
When did you decide that you wanted to make films?
I've always had this strong sense of empathy and an urge to comprehend mankind. It has led me my whole life. It has always manifested in my work. After my media studies in Finland, my professional work as an online producer led me first to the world of multimedia and later to photography and film. After moving to New York, I finally worked up the courage to study documentary filmmaking, as it was a long time dream of mine. Life led me to this.
What did you used to do before filmmaking?
I've worked in online and multimedia all my life. I've worked as an online producer developing web services and platforms. I've also been a musician all my life, and released several albums with my band in Finland. I think my current career combines all my creative outlets. I work for a creative startup called Kollabora (kollabora.com), which is an online community for makers, especially for people who love DIY fashion. I am a project manager at Kollabora but I do pretty much everything from creative planning and social media to partnerships. I also started a new company with my boss this spring called CraftJam (www.craftjam.co), where we host 2 hour DIY workshops for everybody, and they are byob.
What makes you unique?
I'm a Finn. We are not too good in listing good deeds about ourselves. It's a cultural thing. But I guess, coming back to my earlier answer, it's my deep sense of empathy and caring.
What or who is your inspiration?
I'm inspired by hard working people because they make me work harder. My parents are the hardest working people I know and their work ethics have certainly grown on me too.
How can people find you?
My website is www.paivikankaro.com. I've recently started a new artist Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/bypaivik/
If you can change anything in the film industry what would it be?
Well it's pretty clear: more women and more ethnicities. The film industry, as well as pop culture, should reflect more real life, not this white washed society. I cannot watch another show about white 30-someting-year-olds complaining about their work and dating life, give me something real to watch.
What's next for Paivi?
To he honest, the future is not very clear at the moment but I do embrace the uncertainty. I'm really just enjoying life day by day and I'm excited to see what kind of future challenges are ahead.