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Theorem of Fire
MEDEA Finalist 2010
Theorem of Fire (Teoreem Tulest), created in 2009 by NAFTA Films (Estonia), is a scientific and educational documentary about fire safety. The film shows dangerous situations related to various fire accidents with commentaries from appropriate specialists. The production of the film "Theorem of fire" has been financed and ordered by the Estonian Rescue Board in 2009 with the goal of raising public awareness about fire safety, to reduce fire casualties, fire accidents and to increase the use of smoke detectors in people’s houses. Theorem of fire explains the development of a fire with different visual effects, scales and comments. It also describes how a smoke detector works using special effects and close-ups.
The showcase video of Theorem of Fire, interview with Esko Rips
The film has been produced so that parts of it can be used and questions answered with the help of a specialist or a teacher. The film recommends the right behaviour in case of a fire and explains how an emergency call centre works as well as the fire department.
The film is suitable for adults as well as youngsters starting from the age of 10. It has been used within the emergency prevention field in the Estonian Rescue Board since 2009 as part of different educational programmes for children and youngsters as well as adults, has been shown on TV on different occasions and has also been sent to all secondary schools in Estonia.
What the judges said about this entry
This professionally produced video on an important subject was described by judges as being exemplary in the way it treats the topic of fire prevention. The subject was approached through clever scripting and engaging visual design without being overdramatic. Judges were particularly impressed by the visual tone - dark and serious but very watchable. They found that Theorem of Fire offers a good level of content and goes beyond simple slogans, explaining and elaborating various aspects of fire safety. The narrative, design, audio and video and production values are exceptionally high.
They describe it as being a very well made training support resource that can result in good learning. The tone was consistent and clear, mixing expert interviews, dramatisations, mock-ups and animations. It’s a very good example of the application of linear video, the explanatory elements are really excellent and the use of the thermal camera very effective, showing video at its best. It is very attractive. The fire prevention message came across right and the judges appreciate the subtitles.
About the creation of the entry
Esko Rips, producer at NAFTA Films (Estonia) highlights the background of Theorem of Fire: “The film has been produced in co-operation with the Estonian Rescue Board, ambulance and Emergency call centre and different specialists from the film industry. It proves that the smoke detector which became obligatory in Estonia in July 2009 is not just an inconvenience. Quite the opposite, a smoke detector is a necessary warning device to give the necessary heads-up in case of a fire. Emergency prevention is one of six main areas of interest for the Estonian Rescue Board since 2007. This prevention is made up of many different activities which all aim to reduce the number of fire casualties and fire accidents.
If music is counted as an art form of great depth, than film is the fastest. Considering our previous experiences on how to make an efficient educational film the best possible way to make one was using reliable professionals who would comment the issue as well as use emotional scenes and visual effects to make the issue more understandable and easy to grasp for the public.
The aim for this film was raising the level of knowledge about fire and also the necessity of a smoke detector to prevent fires and its scientific nature served its purpose while educating different target groups. The commentaries from the specialists and possibilities to show parts of the film give an opportunity to widely explain this area of fire safety to the public.
It has received good feedback from the specialists of Estonian Rescue Board as well as gathered a great amount of viewers on Estonian Public Broadcasting Channels. Although emergency prevention work is a whole that consists of many different activities, we consider this film to be a big part of raising public’s awareness on fire safety issues. Since 2006 the number of fire casualties has reduced from 164 (in 2006) to 132 (in 2007) to 89 in (in 2008) and 63 in 2009.”
This Estonian film was also subtitled in English and Russian
About Esko Rips
“My first contact with video art dates back from early youth when I made several experimental art videos. It soon grew into a desire of mine and after a while I realized that I wanted to commit myself to this field professionally. In 2001 with a couple of friends I started a production company for films and TV commercials named NAFTA. For nine years now I have been a producer/director and a manager in this company. During this time NAFTA has produced numerous TV commercials for Estonian and Scandinavian banks and leading telecommunication and food companies. We have also made documentaries, scientific and promotional films.
In 2008 we made our first short film “Black Peter” (21 min.) in collaboration with Luxfilm. It received several invitations from international film festivals like Tampere Film Festival, International Odense Film Festival, OPEN CINEMA International Short and Animation Festival in Saint-Petersburg, Sao Paulo International Short Film Festival etc. to take part in their international competition programme. In addition to other prizes and recognitions it was also named the best Estonian short film of the year. Working on “Black Peter” made me realize that being a film producer is my true calling and this is something I want to continue on doing in the future.
So in 2009 I started my studies in production at the Baltic Film and Media School’s international MA level. In the same year we also turned our focus in NAFTA more on film. Since then we have produced 3 short films (“Blackout", "True Colours" and "The Tale of a Nixie") in one year and we currently have 3 full-length feature films in development.”
Esko represented this entry at the MEDEA Awards Ceremony and talked about it in further detail during a presentation at the Media & Learning Conference 2010 Brussels.
Download Theorem of Fire online: