The journey of a storyteller

November 20, 2020

Mitchell Knights loves telling people’s stories.

Mitchell Knights is ready to cap off an exciting study year with the showcase of his films at the IDEAschool Arts Festival on November 27. It’s the last hurrah before completing the degree in Creative Practice and starting the job hunt.

When Mitchell’s parents decided to move from Auckland to Hawke’s Bay, he had just finished high school. He had two options: staying behind or moving to a place that he knew nothing about. He chose the latter. “I also had no idea what I wanted to do. I was a competitive swimmer, played water polo and was quite creative but there was nothing I was 100 percent passionate about.”

After looking through EIT’s programme offerings he decided to enrol in the screen production diploma. “I had never touched a camera in my life but I liked movies and making things. I sat down with Tessa, the tutor, and the enthusiastic way she spoke about the programme and the industry sparked my interest.”

The rest is history. Once Mitchell found what he liked, he never looked back. Without a doubt, there were moments of frustration but he always focused on the light at the end of the tunnel. “Our tutors are the most supportive people a student could wish for. We also had the best equipment to work with, they not only taught us everything but were also extremely supportive.”

Over the last three years Mitchell has developed a passion for storytelling. “I really love it. Sitting down with an interesting person, digging deep and creating a story that moves people, that is really enjoyable, satisfying and incredibly powerful.” Mitchell also purchased a drone and used this new skill to produce a brand video for Boutique Horse Treks in Clive. The highlight of his studies was the documentary “Volunteering for Te Mata Peak” featuring Civic Honours Award winner Mike Lusk. “It was amazing to showcase Mike’s work and being able to reach thousands of people.”

At the beginning of the year, Mitchell landed an internship with Grundy Productions in Napier. Nicky Grundy said that working with EIT to create an intern role was part of their plans to support the industry and grow their local video production company. “We were lucky enough to have Mitchell take on that role. It was a pleasure to have him as part of the team and to witness his enthusiasm for all aspects of the film industry bubbling away. We feel fortunate to have a solid relationship with EIT and their motivated students.” Mitchell said the internship reinforced his decision to enter the screen industry.

Mitchell has also just resumed his job as head lifeguard at Splash Planet. He has never regretted moving to Hawke’s Bay. “I like the people and the slower pace. Living here is like a breath of fresh air.”