Thomas Vorisek: ‘I try to create a more relaxed atmosphere in front of the camera’
Thomas Vorisek is a video coordinator. He picked up a new hobby in his student days, entirely by coincidence, and now he makes a living out of it. Thomas likes to spend his free time on the beach.
It was a combination of circumstances that led Thomas to his current position. When he was unable to play sports for a period of time due to illness, he turned to making videos on the beach with his camera, as a way for him to get up from the couch and stay active. ‘Thanks to my experience, I was able to get a job in the department as a student. I had to record lectures, and from there I’ve developed further within the university,’ says Thomas.
He describes his role within the faculty as a point of contact for almost everything that has to do with videos and education. ‘An example is live streaming or recording of lectures, and if lecturers or students want to use our studio for a video or podcast, they come to me as well,’ he explains.
A comfortable atmosphere
It is precisely the variety in his work that appeals to Thomas. ‘I don’t spend all day just sitting at my desk. Sometimes I’m in the studio and other times I’ll be working on location. It allows me to be creative, but I also work on the policy side of things, for instance.’
If Thomas were to pick one aspect of his job that he most enjoys, it would be working with students and lecturers who have no experience in front of the camera. ‘When someone walks into the room, if I notice that they are nervous, I won’t start talking about the video right away. It’s important to take your time and drink a cup of coffee together. The idea is to create a more relaxed atmosphere. Once everyone’s comfortable, we can get to work,’ he explains. ‘In some cases it still doesn’t go smoothly and we’ll try again after I’ve given some pointers. Once it clicks, you can really see them open up. It’s great when you manage to get the best out of someone.’
Most memorable moment
Thomas feels like he has been able to contribute to many wonderful projects, but the videos he made with Victor Gijsbers, university lecturer in Metaphysics and Philosophy of Science, have made the biggest impact on him. ‘In my videos, I try to portray someone the same way they’d be in front of the classroom. In his case it was a one-to-one comparison,’ Thomas explains. ‘At one point, we put his videos on YouTube and they got thousands of views from people all over the world. It’s great to see that so many people were able to benefit from something we’ve created.’
And what about the hobby he had to temporarily give up when he started making videos? ‘I’ve been surfing the waves for about twenty years now,’ Thomas begins. ‘My oldest brother was already into surfing and at a certain point when I was a kid, I decided I wanted to have a go too. Unfortunately, my dad didn’t share my enthusiasm for the sea and water, so he never wanted to take me to the beach,’ he says. ‘One time my brother lent me his surfboard. The surfboard was too small and the wetsuit miles too big. It obviously didn’t go well and I ended up just messing about in the water. But I still felt really cool and I wanted to continue surfing. I’d take the bus to and from Noordwijk and the bus driver would give me a funny look whenever I got on with my surfboard,’ he says, laughing. ‘The only reason I own a car now is to go surfing. It makes it a lot easier for me to get to the beach.’