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THE SUMMER HOLIDAYS USUALLY PROVIDE RESPITE FROM THE DEMANDS OF WORK, BUT SOMETIMES GREATER RELEASE CAN BE FOUND IN CREATIVE LABOUR, IN FINDING ANOTHER YOU THROUGH LEARNING NEW SKILLS. INSTEAD OF SEEKING REFUGE FROM THE HEAT IN ICE-COLD CINEMAS AND HOME-BOUND TV SPORT, WHY NOT LIVE LIFE ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE CAMERA, OR IN THE EDITING SUITE OR PRODUCING OR WHATEVER YOU’D LIKE TO TACKLE IN FILMMAKING?

Filmmaking courses have proliferated across Australia over the last decade. They vary greatly in duration, intensity, cost, resources and quality. Sometimes it’s wise to temper your grand vision of yourself as filmmaker with a try-it-out-and-see attitude by enrolling in a short intensive course, especially when you have the time to focus entirely on putting your fantasy to the test.

The Summer School in Filmmaking, part of Melbourne University’s Screen Studies’ film education programs, has been running for many years with a compact January program taught by experienced film professionals. Prominent among this year’s presenters are Nadia Tass and Mac Gudgeon. Tass’ credits as director inlcude Malcolm, The Big Steal, Stark, Mr Reliable and Amy. Gudgeon has worked as writer and script editor on Waterfront, Ground Zero, Halifax f.p., Good Guys and Bad Guys. His screenplay for Glendyn Ivin’s Last Ride, released this year (RT91, p24), is a masterly example of effectively spare dialogue and crisp scene construction.

Also teaching in the school will be writer, producer, director and cinematographer David Parker (Mr Reliable, Stark, Matching Jack), sound designer, editor, mixer Craig Carter (Romeo & Juliet, Rabbit Proof Fence, Kenny, Home Song Stories) and composer Cezary Skubiszewski (Two Hands, La Spagnola, Bootmen, Black & White, After the Deluge, Blessed, Bran Nue Dae) among many others.

Areas taught include screenwriting, cinematography (a four day intensive, including steadicam), documentary filmmaking, producing and production management, directing actors, production and sound design, editing, digital effects, film music, screen language, film business and legalities, marketing and distribution.

Individual courses vary substantially in terms of time and cost so participants can determine the degree of their involvement and just how far they want to go in their exploration of filmmaking. To lessen even further the potential distractions of the everyday, you can rent accommodation on campus during the course. A working holiday. RT


Course details and enrolment forms: www.summerfilmschool.com

RealTime issue #93 Oct-Nov 2009 pg. 22

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