Filmbites' young stars shine
Now in its thirteenth year, West Australian film industry academy, Filmbites, celebrated its awards nights as one of its alumni appeared in the new US television thriller, Hunters.
Founding director, Hallie McKeig was thrilled with Shannon Berry's achievement.
'Shannon succeeded in auditions that had trawled both the US and Australia for the right actor for the part. She is a previous winner of the Media Super Outstanding Achievement Award and had been with us for four years.
'Not only is it a great result for Filmbites, it's an inspirational story that will drive our other students,' Hallie said.
Filmbites offers expert tuition in filmmaking, acting, acting for screen, animation and gaming, based on curricula developed over ten years. Each year, over two nights, the school celebrates the achievements of its student.
'For those who demonstrate an absolute commitment to their craft, who are generous, inclusive and bring an energetic leadership, Media Super offers an Outstanding Achievement and Commitment Award.
'It is that kind of application, perseverance and dedication that is essential to survival in our industry, and to have it rewarded early in a career points the way forward,' Hallie said.
The juniors are recognised for their class work at a screening lasting one–and–a–half hours before an audience of around 250 friends and family. This year's Junior Media Super Outstanding Achievement Awards went to actors Jack O'Neill, who also played in The Red Balloon for the WA State Theatre Company last year, and actress Briana Amos, a recent student who has quickly demonstrated a rare aptitude.
Senior students are sub–divided into intermediate, advanced and intensive. As they progress through the levels, they first take responsibility for their own two–minute film, using fellow students as cast and crew. This boiler house of creativity gives students a heightened experience of the importance of pre–production, trust in fellow creators and the fundamental importance of a story.
'While living in an advanced technological age allows access to equipment that couldn't even be imagined 10 years ago, the story remains paramount. And that's our focus. You can have as much sophisticated tech as you like, but without a well–structured story idea, the film won't work,' Hallie said.
The senior awards night celebrates the two–minute films by the filmmakers, and ensemble films by the advanced actors. Each is judged by outside industry professionals.
'We get their expertise and it allows students to begin to create the all–important network that underpins success in our industry,' she said.
There were four winners – two from filmmaking, Jordan Paolillo and Connor Fantasia–Serve, and two actors, Sam Dunlop and Blake Hay.
Media Super's Relationship Manager, Patrick Homeman presented winners with a contribution towards their continuing tuition, a major incentive to students to put in the work and a bulwark against losing young talent.
'The students really appreciate Patrick's presence, congratulations and encouragement. For them, he represents our industry taking an interest in what they do, and this is the kind of timely support that helps drive them on,' Hallie said.
Filmbite premiere night videos
Junior screening: https://vimeo.com/166160560
Senior screening: https://vimeo.com/162940238