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NAIT grad living his dream as a content creator

By Admin User on November 18, 2020

When Steve van Diest got his first rejection letter from NAIT, his drive to succeed grew even stronger. He would end up being turned away from NAIT’s radio and television program (RATV) twice before getting in on his third attempt. After his second rejection letter, van Diest moved to Toronto to take an accelerated course in film and television post production.

“I ended up coming out of that program with nothing to really show because everything in that program is project based and everyone has the same projects so you don’t really have a portfolio to show,” said van Diest.

After a year in Toronto, he moved back to Edmonton to try getting into NAIT’s radio and television program again. ‘Third time’s a charm’ rang true for van Diest as he was accepted into the program in 2005.

Van Diest knew he would need to take advantage of the equipment he had access to through RATV in order to build a portfolio and get a job after graduating. He began to take on any project outside of school that he could; he filmed commercials for local businesses, short films with friends and any video work he could get that would benefit his portfolio.

“I would run like four computers at a time in the labs and stay over all night editing because I knew I wanted to get as many projects as I could under my belt,” van Diest said.

After graduating from NAIT, van Diest began working for Global Television as a television assistant but quickly transferred to Global Creative as an editor, doing commercial editing. From there, van Diest was hired by a fitness company to create their social media content.

“I was doing social media before anyone really understood social media, so it was hard to sell. But now it’s kind of come to a point where it’s catching up with me. Now, everybody wants social media and I’ve been in that game for almost ten years,” said van Diest.

Van Diest then began to work for himself as a freelance content creator, photographer, videographer and social media specialist. That is when he decided to laugh his own company, ‘Viva Voce,’ a midivil latin term meaning word of mouth.

The company focuses on creating content for businesses that want professional and effective marketing content but don’t have the large budget that is typically required for high end production.

“That allows us to work with more entry level businesses that don’t want to spend a hundred thousand on a commercial. And frankly, I don’t like doing those big productions anyway because it tends to be more about putting on a show than about the product,” van Diest said.

Van Diest says that the key to success for him, is simple.

“Just do it. Everyone’s so concerned about making money or trying to get that big perfect job or whatever it is. The reality of the situation is that’s not how you will end up happy. Just start doing whatever it is that you want to do and just keep doing it,” said van Diest.



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