Interview with Jari Koskela

Interviewed By EvilG

This interview is an addendum to the "Metal Videos" section of for October 2001. The interview arose from e-mail conversations I had with Jari about getting some of of the videos he did online. I thought it would make for an interesting interview to get an inside view from the video director/producer. Therefore I asked him about his work and the types of gear/equipment he uses when making videos.

Since this interview is going to be posted along with some videos you've worked on, let's start there. Tell us how you first got involved with video  production!!

I've always been a movie freak and I think movies have been a main influence for me. Once I got my hands on a video camera it only took less than a week that I started to shoot my first music video. My friend was in a band and they had recently released a demo tape which I liked a lot so it was a quite natural choice for me to try to visualize their  music. That video was more like a training project for me and it never got finished.



Did you receive any kind of formal training in this area?

I've been studying in the college of art and media for four years. I've also studied music video production for six months.



What bands have you worked with so far?

During the years I've been able to work with several different groups. Although metal music is my cup of tea I've also been directing neobilly and pop videos too. I think it's a good training to visualize different kind of music. Every genre has their own style and symbols and it's very interesting for me to get inside of certain genre and be able to learn something new.



 Have you only worked on music videos, or have you done other filming such as movies?

My goal is to direct a movie someday, maybe a short movie would be a good place to start. So far I've been directing commercial videos.



Can you give us a list of the types of equipment and tools that you used to make these videos?

I've used different kinds of equipment from film-cameras to home video cameras. For example Ancient Rites was filmed with DV & Digital 8 cameras and edited with Adobe Premiere non-linear editing software system. I've also been able to use 16-mm film on two of my videos. Using film gives us a certain frames, that material is far more expensive than videocassettes so when you are starting to take picture you have to be 100% sure that the band knows what they have to do.



Do you own all the gear yourself or do you work for a company that owns  it...or perhaps you rent what you need when you are making a video?

I'm working on a freelancer director in a company that owns non-linear editing system. It's a huge advantage to be able to edit my videos as free of charge. When you don't have to calculate hours you don't have to do any quick solutions. All the other equipment's I rent from different sources  depending what kind of project I'm working with.



Do you do the filming/editing all yourself or is this more then a one person undertaking?

I think that editing is a huge part of my work as a director. Nowadays I'm  using director of photography in my projects. It's always a good thing to have a person to take care of the lightning situations and the picture itself - on my responsibility is to take care what is happening in these  pictures.



Who's work in the field of video production/filming do you look up to or aspire to be as good as and how have they influenced your work or creation process?

In a music video field I look up several Finnish music video directors. I've learned quite much from such persons as Soko Kaukoranta, Kie Von Hertzen, Mikko Pitkanen, Pete Riski and Mika Taanila. Those guys have directed videos for the bands like Stratovarius, HIM, The 69 Eyes, Sentenced, Amorphis, 22-Pistepirkko, Circle, Bomfunk MC's and The Rasmus. Swedish director Jonas Akerlund is also a person I look up to.



Lets talk a bit about the specifics of the videos we will be showing here at that you've worked on. First let's start with the band Ancient Rites. How did you come into contact with them and up getting hired to do the video for "Victory or Valhalla"?

Actually this video was more like an "accident". I was organizing Ancient Rites' tour in Finland last year and during the gigs I spent my time filming  the guys. I was also organizing the media promotion and I had already booked Ancient Rites interview to Finnish major music show. Two days before that interview I realized that we didn't have any video to be air-played on that show and without a video there wasn't going to be any interview. Luckily the tour was already begun and I had filmed two shows. I got like 24 hours to make that video. The result wasn't that good but anyway it was air-played within that interview. Maybe the guys liked what they saw 'cause they were asking me to do a video to promote their "Dim Carcosa" album.



Where (and when) was the footage for that video filmed including the live/performance sections and the "wilderness" sections?

Live sections was filmed during Ancient Rites tour November 2000. Live section is mainly taken from one gig. It was filmed in Nosturi club at the capital city of Finland by two friends of mine with two cameras. I also used material from two other gigs, which I filmed personally. The wilderness sections was filmed by a friend of mine, Jorma Koivikko. He's  been filming nature as a hobby for many years. Once he showed his material to me and I was impressed. Luckily Jorma gave me a permission to use his material. Without wilderness scenes, this video wouldn't have worked out.



How long did it take to put that video together from beginning to end? Perhaps a breakdown on time it took to film vs. the editing phase?

In this project filming was the easy part, 'cause I was only filming at the shows. Editing took more than three weeks because I didn't have any kind of storyboard. I had only few ideas of feelings and pictures which would fit to certain guitar riff or drum fill. It took something like three weeks to edit that video. Last couple of days before the deadline I tried to fill the missing scenes and to get the whole video to work out.



Do you usually have any creative control over how things look, or does the band have a strong vision on what they want to see? What method of working do you prefer and why?

I'm always willing to hear what kind of visions the band has. It's easier for me to start the project when I have a certain place to start. Ancient Rites had an idea to use nature material along the live shots. I agreed and about a month later I send 'em a video for preview. 



The other video we will be showcasing is for the song "The Maze" from the band LET ME DREAM. Tell us about the making of that video and the concept you had in mind for it.

During the pre-production process I was trying to fit different ideas to the song. In the end I had a vision of the band on the live situation. I wanted to capture the aggression that we have on stage.



You are also a member of the band Let Me Dream. So here's your chance to plug the band a bit by letting people know what the band is about, the style of music you play and finally what the latest news is on the band and it's projects (gigging/recording/etc).

Hmmm, we're describing our music as gothic/dark metal. At the moment we're heading to studio to record our the 3rd album and after that we're trying to play live as much as possible. I've also planned to direct a new video for us.



Is your band or the video production thing your "job"?

Although the band is very important for me video productions are more or less a "job" for me.



Here's another chance to plug your work in terms of your video production skills. If a band or a label happens to see your work and they like what they see and would like to talk to you about making a video for their band, how can they get in contact with you?

The easiest way is to send me an e-mail:



What is the typical cost for making a video as involved as the "Victory or Valhalla" video?

The budget is depending on the current project. The cost of "Victory or Valhalla" was something like 500$ so it was a low budget production. 



Have your videos been aired on television?

Yes. My videos have been aired at least in Finland, Great-Britain and Greece.



Do you prefer to work on METAL videos? 

I'm willing to work on any kind of project but metal videos are my cup of tea - so to speak.



If there are other news items or things you are working on related to  this please let us know about it  Thanks for your time!

Thank You for the interview! Along with the musc videos I've also been taken photographs for bands like Noctunal Winds & Azaghal so if you need a video or photos I'm always willing to take a chance. =)

Let Me Dream official webpage

2001 Metal Rules!!

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This page last updated on:
Saturday, November 17, 2001