This has been a huge week for RMIT graduates, adjuncts, and Program Advisory Committee (PAC) members, with a bunch taking a cut in some $17 million of Screen Oz funding across online, feature film, and documentary.
Writer Mithila Gupta and director Corrie Chen — both Media grads — will be working on the greenlit teen series The Unlisted; adjunct professor Robert Connolly will adapt The Dry for the big screen; PAC member Lucy Maclaren and her team will follow up the huge success of Inside the Firestorm with Aftermath: Beyond the Firestorm; and current PhD student and frequent studio guest Helen Gaynor has executive produced the short animation Bright Lights: The Perils of the Pokies.
Graduate, staff and student work is featured in this year’s St Kilda Film Festival, which highlights the top 100 short films in Australia.
The festival is now an Academy Awards qualifying event, with award-winning films from the festival eligible for consideration in the Short Film Awards and Documentary Short sections of the Oscars.
RMIT is a proud sponsor of the annual festival, providing the Under The Radar Best Youth Film award.
A number of RMIT graduates, a staff member and a current student have had films accepted in 2017.
Films by Bachelor of Communication (Media) graduates showing at this year’s festival include Happy (Stacey Kwijas), Tinseltown (Corrie Chen), Fim Creswick (Emma Haarburger, who also produced two music videos), and Reading the Wind (Adam Ricco).
Firus describes his film A Prickly Affair as a short character-driven documentary focusing on the themes of environment, the vitality of age and Melbourne’s thriving artisanal culture.
He said the most valuable parts of studying at RMIT are the contacts and practical opportunities available to students.
“For example, last year, in my first year of university, I received an internship opportunity through RMIT for the advertising company CHE Proximity in South Yarra,” he said.
“It was there where I met many media professionals who offered advice on my practice.”
Firus wants to use his degree to acquire a position in video advertising with a view to transitioning to a motion picture or commercial documentary director.
Program Manager Rachel Wilson said it was important to acknowledge how unusual and special it is that a film made during a students first year is accepted into such a major festival.
“We are all extremely impressed with Michael’s motivation and dedication to exploring the many opportunities in the field,” she said.
Staff member Ashley Perry, a lecturer in the Bachelor of Communication (Professional Communication) and a graduate of the Bachelor of Communication – Media directed Police Officer TAKAGI which was also selected for the festival.
The St Kilda Film Festival runs from May 18 to 27, 2017 at the Palais Theatre and the St Kilda Town Hall.
Tech company Intel has extended its San Francisco production internship program to students in Australia for the first time.
Andy McCallum, a recent graduate from the Bachelor of Communication (Media), spent September to December 2016 in a paid internship from Intel, which also covered his housing costs.
Andy was selected for the Intel Production Corps (IPC) program in his final year of study in 2016.
The partnership with Intel and universities from Australia (RMIT and UTS), the UK and the US, is open to undergraduate and postgraduate students in relevant disciplines.
In the program, students work in teams for the media production division of Intel’s in-house advertising agency, Agency Inside, in roles such as producer and editor, and in areas as diverse as animation/motion/VFX and sound design.
Yogiraj Graham, Director of Production, Intel Global Production Labs, said the goal of the IPC program is to integrate students into the production workflow, so they can really experience the pace and process of agency life.
“We of course take time to explain and educate the team, but we also have high expectations of them,” he said.
“Andy came in with some background in short-form documentary storytelling that I think he was able to leverage very successfully, and, coupled with his optimistic attitude and generally flexible nature, he flourished here.
“During his time with us, Andy and the rest of our Fall IPC team worked on a couple of projects by themselves, with supervision, but also had a chance to shadow or contribute to a variety of projects that Intel Global Production Labs created.”
McCallum said he felt incredibly lucky to have worked for such fresh and exciting company in the tech capital of the world, San Francisco.
“I think more than anything it is important to stress that we were given real projects with real budgets and deadlines to deliver on – we weren’t simply given menial tasks,” he said.
“Feeling the team of interns grow and mature into our roles throughout the program was one of the more rewarding aspects of the experience – the confidence and conviction of our production team grew leaps and bounds over the course of three months.
“We got to experience and play with all sorts of gadgets – VR, drones, depth perception cameras … it was really cool to experience day-to-day life in such a cutting-edge company!”
Check out this great discussion of the classic film Thelma and Louise, which first hit screens 25 years ago, by two former BComm Media graduates, Zan Rowe (triple j host) and Brodie Lancaster, critic and writer.