Mass communication major pursues dream

Last Updated 12 January, 2017

Everybody has a story. The better a story can be told, the better we can come to know one another. For some people, it is their dream to tell stories, both real and fictional, and share them with the world. This is the case with Vlad Imakaev, whose own personal story is just as captivating as the novels he writes and films he works on.

A native to the Ukraine, Vlad ventured to the USA in 2003 to pursue a better future. The same year he arrived,Vlad married, began working and continued his focus on serving the church and writing books. After some time had passed and his children had grown a little older, Vlad decided to use his extra time to follow a lifelong dream to become a filmmaker. Vlad explains, “Especially since my books started selling well in the Ukraine and Russia, I decided that learning how to make films was the most logical way to eventually convert my novels into films.”

Looking for ways to be involved in filmmaking, Vlad found himself working on a film set coincidentally alongside a group of students from NNU. “I loved their professionalism and level of knowledge, as well as their access to great filming equipment. That is why I decided to give NNU a try. In less than three weeks, I became a full time student in the Film School at NNU.”

“The key is not to be afraid or ashamed to ask a question, and not to be too proud to help others if you know something that someone else doesn't.”

Currently, Vlad is involved in the Film School’s latest project, dubbed “700 Volts.” For this film, Vlad has taken on various roles, as is the standard for students in the program. “As a great rule over the four years in NNU’s film school, students always rotate jobs on set so we can learn the many different tasks involved, from pulling cables to directing,” Vlad added. “The key is not to be afraid or ashamed to ask a question, and not to be too proud to help others if you know something that someone else doesn't.”

However, even though he has been able to sample different roles, Vlad’s specific interest is in post-production editing, which is where he focuses most of his time and efforts. Department of Communication Studies Chair Dr. Arnold Ytreeide fully supports Vlad in his endeavors. Vlad added, “The best way to learn is to work alongside people who know what they are doing. We are so lucky to have the opportunity to learn from Dr. Ytreeide and some of his friends and colleagues in the film industry who he often invites on set.”

Attending NNU has been a vital step in Vlad’s plan to reach his goals of turning his novels into films. Everything he’s done here at NNU, from learning in the classroom and socializing with fellow mass communication majors to applying his knowledge and talents to help create full-fledged films such as “700 Volts” has helped prepare him. “This experience has given me knowledge that I wouldn’t find in a book, or that I wouldn't otherwise think about until I faced particular problems in real life situations. Projects like “700 Volts” provide great unity in our department, and help us to stay friends long after graduation.”