Why the screen industry needs forward-thinking students

Film and television students at UniSA combine their creativity with real-world learning.
A camera man in a dark room with a red and blue light behind him

In a world where the creative industries are constantly changing and being challenged, professionals with the very latest skills will always be in demand. That’s why career success in film and television belongs to those who can combine creative thinking with proficiency in advanced technologies, coupled with strong industry experience and networks. 

The University of South Australia (UniSA) offers multiple programs in film and television, from undergraduate degrees and graduate certificates to research degrees for those ready to take on a Masters degree or Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). And there are some exciting opportunities on offer for students.

‘Students in the VFX specialisation of the Bachelor of Film and Television can spend their entire final year studying at Rising Sun Pictures, one of the biggest and best VFX companies in Australia,’ explained Dr Josh McCarthy, Program Director: Film and Television.

‘The students are on site all year, and are taught by professional VFX artists in a simulated studio environment.’

This unique experience and opportunity sets UniSA students up in the best position in an extremely competitive market.

Whether you’re a high school student with a passion for film and VFX or an industry professional wanting to up-skill and formalise your qualifications, UniSA film and television programs can provide a solid career foundation and progression.

Students on location. Image supplied.

UniSA’s immersive courses across film and television, digital media and screen studies use the latest trends and technologies. They combine practical production including the latest software, hardware, and technologies, and UniSA’s new motion capture and VR studios, with workplace experiences and theory taught by experienced industry professionals.

Studying at UniSA is not purely theoretical. A strong network of industry partners, who are some of the most influential creative organistions in Australia, provides real-world experience, ensuring students are industry and career-ready when they graduate. For many, these networks lead directly to an internship or a new position in the industry.

‘Our industry collaborations and connections with some of Australia’s best creative minds and organisations, including Rising Sun Pictures, We Made a Thing Studios, and MatchBox Pictures sets our offering apart from our competitors,’ said McCarthy. 

‘Our film production specialisation allows students to participate in our Film Concept Lab, delivered in partnership with We Made A Thing Studios.’

This initiative enables students to be involved in the creation of a professional film from start to finish, working alongside, and learning from, leading local and national industry professionals.

‘The students are assigned to different departments and shadow their Head of Department from pre-production through to production and finally post-production and distribution. The films from the Film Concept Lab are then premiered at a major film festival,’ McCarthy said.

‘It is these exclusive experiences, putting them in front of industry hirers and giving real in-industry experience, that sets them up to walk directly into industry – sometimes even before they graduate.’

Students across the creative industries are encouraged to be brave, confident, and entrepreneurial, developing their ideas and their ambitions under the careful guidance of experienced industry mentors. All of the film and television programs at UniSA have been created in consultation with leaders in the creative industries to ensure they are current and professionally relevant.

‘We have very high employment rates in the program, particularly in VFX, with over 130 UniSA graduates working in the VFX industry since 2015,’ said McCarthy.

Ensuring film and television graduates are imaginative, forward-thinking, flexible, and creative is a great way to start an unstoppable career. Through internships and industry placements and experiences, students gain collaborative, real-world experience and complete their studies with a professional standard portfolio of work which they can use to secure their first role industry. The creative future is yours at UniSA.

Learn more about applying to study at UniSA in 2022.

Dr Diana Carroll is a writer, speaker, and reviewer based in Adelaide. Her work has been published in newspapers and magazines including the Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian, Woman's Day, and B&T. Writing about the arts is one of her great passions.