Jost Claassen

Jost Claassen

Creative Technologist, Creature Post
Bachelor of Communication Studies in Digital Communication

Studying digital communication gave him the freedom to express his creativity in numerous ways, says Jost Claassen who completed a Bachelor of Communication Studies in Digital Communication.

“Creating something in your head and then bringing that vision to reality, piece by piece as you master different skills, is truly a fulfilling experience. At AUT, I was able to experiment consistently thanks to the open-mindedness of the academic staff and the flexibility of the assessments.

“Throughout the degree I’ve come to realise that creative expression is one of the most essential things for me. To feel fulfilled, I need to be working creatively and find ways to express myself in my work.”

Now working at VFX studio Creature Post, Jost enjoys the variety his role offers.

“My role at Creature Post involves doing generalist visual effects work, as well as exploring new software and hardware we could use in upcoming jobs. There are constantly innovations being made, which we can take advantage of to enrich the content we make and to make the process more efficient. Two examples are AI enhancing and real-time global illumination, which are both still relatively new technologies, however will prove to be increasingly important in the years to come.

Finding his path
Jost says he initially came to AUT with a plan to specialise in screen production and become a director.

“Coming out of high school I was quite certain that I wanted to work in film or television production, preferably as a director. It was only through my experiences at AUT that I came to realise that it was not only filmmaking that I was passionate about, but instead creativity in a broader sense. I wanted to be limitless with my creative ideas and create things quickly and responsively, which was possible through the Digital Communication major.

“I particularly remember a short film called Grind, which was shown during the AUT Flavours event in 2018. I hadn’t seen many short films that had affected me on an emotional level, however Grind was able to do that. It opened my mind to the potential of what short films could do and I knew I wanted to create things that would evoke a great deal of emotion and get people thinking.”

He would highly recommend AUT’s Bachelor of Communication Studies to those interested in understanding the media industry, Jost says.

“In addition to the practical knowledge, this degree can give you a critical understanding of films, television and the internet, and their role in society. So those that are interested in deconstructing and analysing the media, in addition to learning hands-on knowledge, should study this degree. The facilities at AUT are also a big benefit, and the AUT City Campus is a magnificent place to learn, socialise and study.”

Advice for other students
Don’t fall into the trap of doing something because it seems safe, Jost advises other students.

“We’re living in uncertain times, so the pressure to go with what is considered a safe career path is even greater than it was previously. Often, even those closest to us will suggest we follow the conventional path in life.

“Don’t follow the path that is easy or that is considered normal just because people expect you to. Try to find something that you truly want to pursue and use university as a tool to bring you further on that path.”

Jost now enjoys being able to share his passion for digital communication with other students by teaching a class on motion media at AUT in addition to his work at Creature Post.

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