How My Lecturer Got Me The Job Of A Lifetime

Macleay's Digital Media graduate, Rebecca Wilson, shares how her lecturer got her the job of a lifetime and how Macleay helped her become a filmmaker in her own right.

I can truthfully say, that every single lecturer at Macleay helped to make me a filmmaker. Andrew Barnum illuminated my first wave of illustrations and animations; of meaning and purpose in storytelling. Jason Geminis. That is a name I will always cherish. A dad and an incredible and inspiring businessman that always told me there was a spare seat at his digital agency, Peppermint Table, when I’m freelancing at my company ‘Wilso’. Ian Thompson, Documentary Lord. He guided my documentary-making-mind to higher places. To be taught by real people, working in real industry-relevant jobs, that really cared. I mean, that meant everything to me. 

Even before I could talk, I was craving human and social connection. I never slept (you can ask my mum). I needed to know what was going on; what stories were being told (I am a Gemini by the way). And that only got more prominent as I grew. The older I got, the more my heart would crave storytelling and sharing my mind with others. Lizzie McKenzie, my first lecturer, in my first class of my Bachelor, made me believe that being a storyteller was possible for a career. She started with “Storytelling is the universal language we go through the world with”, and that was all I needed evidently. That day, I honestly knew that I would colour our world with stories; with purpose. And so… I began my path to become a filmmaker. 

My storytelling journey began after a gap year in Europe (typical, I know), half a year at UTS, beginning what I thought was my path as a Global humanitarian cross lawyer, to then delve into the world at Macleay (because I knew I wouldn’t just be a number there) and complete a Diploma of Marketing. I went on to work for George P Johnson as a Project Coordinator and worked across amazing and large-scaled experiential events for Toyota, Amazon Web Services, NAB and Polo. After a year and a half, something became clear - I needed more. There was that Gemini instinct again… craving a further challenge; a new skill; a new story to tell. And so, you better believe it, back to Macleay I went (after another trip to the European summer haha). 


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My career actually goes back to Macleay in the TV studio. My laptop broke and so I had to stay behind to finish an assignment in the back corner while another class was about to come in. I didn’t realise that the teacher would be Cisco Corea, my future boss. I asked him if I could stay and be quiet but later in the class, I couldn’t help myself… always wanting to be part of the conversation of course. I actually thought I said my answer in my head but I guess it came out verbally as Cisco was glaring at me from the other side of the room for about five seconds before he said, “yes you, that is the rule of thirds, you should do my class, now finish your assignment”. I was scared and happy all at once. And so it began. Video production 101 with Cisco. Never have I met a man that has so many thoughts, strategies, creative insights and campaign ideas, inside his brain. So much valuable knowledge about film ... he was the film bible personified. 



Advertising and Digital Media Lecturer Cisco Corea on set for a Buzzfeed/Google Campaign! 


For our second assignment, we had to judge each other on our individual ideas for a TVC and run with the most popular one. Being me, I wanted to be different and so my idea was to do a short film featuring "Happy Socks" and to enter it in a competition. I got my musician boyfriend to play the trumpet in our lecture that day and I re-enacted what would happen in the film. I was so happy about my creative idea being chosen. I was the Creative Director for the assignment and couldn’t have been more impressed with the final short films' professionalism. You can watch it via the link below: 



Graduate Rebecca Wilson as a Creative Director on set for their classes production of Happy Socks. 


After that assignment, I naturally began to intern for Cisco. He said “Wilso you free for a shoot” and without hesitation I said yes. I was craving and wanting to get my hands dirty in the film world. Fast forward 3 months and I'm still finishing my Bachelor at Macleay. Long story short Cisco offered me a job. I can say that to date I have performed several video production roles, from Directors/ Production Assistant, Gaffer, Grip, 2AC, Good boy, Junior Producer and Editor. I have been on bliss-mountain working for Joker Theory. I have travelled across Australia for ANZ shoots, worked at festivals, been in the belting sun for Hitachi, and spent several days and nights in the office space of Joker Theory getting delusional with Cisco. His words, “the client doesn’t care if you don’t sleep, a deadline is a deadline”. Like a wise buddha, he is. Never can I learn enough when under Cisco’s eye.


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Macleay Graduate Rebecca Wilson and Macleay Lecturer Cisco Corea on set for a Joker Theory project. 


Being able to blend: hobbies, deadlines, laughter and fun, seriousness, amazing shoots and final deliverables into one job, is pretty damn good. Cisco taught me patience, the right time to be silly and serious, to always carry baby wipes, not only to shoots but for life (he hates dirty hands). Do not think about licking your fingers and touching his camera gear. It is no joke. He is the teacher, mentor and all-round experienced boss I have loved growing from. 

Macleay, you had me from day one. And Cisco, you have given me a colourful lens to grow and become a filmmaker of my own. 


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