Film industry experience builds student aspirations

June 3, 2015

A Creative Arts Initiative (CAI) by Murdoch University is exposing kids to mad scientists and lobotomies all in the name of building student aspirations.

For the past three years the CAI program has given high school kids in Perth’s southern suburbs the chance to work with industry professionals to produce horror films.

Antoinette Geagea, Murdoch University’s Project Leader of the CAI project, said the project put students in touch with industry professionals and bridges the gap between school creative arts, university and the workplace.

“The project prepares them for university study in creative arts, gives them connection to industry professionals and helps them to form an idea of what areas they might want to study and work in,” said Ms Geagea.

“High school students get to shadow university film students and many take the opportunity to ask them what it’s like to study at university.

“You can see the high school students develop and start to look at options for their future.  The project is instrumental in the development of their pathways to study and work,” Ms Geagea said.

Coodanup College and Gilmore College have both been involved in the past two years and will again take part this year.

“Despite a half cohort in 2014 the number of university entries received from students who have participated in the project has risen. This is particularly significant for schools where university pathways have not been the main focus,” Ms Geagea said.

“In 2013 Coodanup College had no students apply to university but in 2014 they had five entries, three of which were from students that were involved in making the film.

“In the two years Gilmore College have been involved in the program, the number of students participating in the CAI film project and then applying for university has increased from three students in 2013 to nine in 2014. That is a significant increase.”

In previous years the theme of the films was zombies, something the students took to with great excitement and this year’s theme is just as grisly.

“The premise behind this year’s film is any student who misbehaves is sent to the mysterious room known as 2.22. It’s there a mad scientist is lobotomising students so that they are turned into the perfect teenager,” said producer Brad Major.

Director of film, Australian actor Myles Pollard (McLeod’s Daughters, Drift) said the project exposed students to how much work, focus, responsibility and diligence you need to make a film.

“These realisations will be huge for them going forward and hopefully inspire them to do future study, hopefully in creative arts,” Mr Pollard said.

“The project creates future pillars for an entire industry.”

The project consists of three parts, workshops (that include script writing, storyboarding and acting), auditions and filming. During the project students are exposed to various elements of the film industry, auditions, props, production tools, acting, makeup and filming.


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