Give us a quick run down on your background?
I was at Fairfax for three years as a video producer. I spent my final year heading up a joint venture between SMH, UNSW and Sydney University producing explainer and news analysis videos, with expert presenters from the universities. I worked with a team of three motion designers and as many as six contributors to each video. Prior to that, I was the lead weekend producer, working with video journalists all over Australia to co-ordinate coverage of breaking stories on weekends. Other highlights of my time at Fairfax include my interactive production,Trekking the Annapurna Circuit, and producing a series of internal training videos teaching print journalists how to shoot content on their mobile phones.
How did you get into the industry?
I trained as an actor, graduating from Actors Centre Australia in 2007. Almost immediately on graduating, I started writing, directing and producing my own projects, with my third short film screening at the Cannes Film Festival's Short Film Corner in 2011. I wrote, directed and produced two feature films, Coffee(2010), and Bunyip (yet to be released). I performed in international and national TV series, films, ad campaigns and on stage, prior to leaving the industry in 2014 in search of more opportunities to steer my own career.
What is the biggest difference in the industry since you were at university?
When I was at uni, Facebook didn't exist, the iPhone hadn't been released and we still talked about films in terms of a cost of a foot of film stock. Now, you can make a movie on your iPhone and upload it to Youtube. The creation of content has been completely democratised by technological advances, and it's a very exciting time to be a digital content producer in any field – journalism, film, TV and advertising.
What do you do when you are not teaching?
I freelance as a writer and video producer for publishers including the BBC, News.com.au, UNSW and Lonely Planet. I'm a keen adventurer, so you can often find me in far-flung places gathering material for a story, or climbing a cliff somewhere and thinking about my next column for Australia's rock climbing magazine, Vertical Life.
What do you enjoy about teaching at Macleay?
Having worked in digital newsrooms, I'm very excited to be working with the next generation of digital-native news producers. Journalism is undergoing an enormous transformation, but I believe the future is bright for graduates with the multimedia production skills (and great foundational news reporting skills) that we teach at Macleay. I'm passionate about our practical curriculum, and having worked with grads from all the big unis, I think our students have an edge because of the practicality of our course.
What subjects do you teach at Macleay?
Video journalism, Mobile journalism and Multimedia journalism
What is the best advice you give your students?
Fail forward. Now is the time to tackle the tools you're intimidated by. You'll have enough to learn in your first weeks on the job. Video isn't rocket science but it does take many hours to get good at it. Do those hours of practice during the course, when it's okay to get it wrong, and when you arrive in the newsroom, you'll already be ahead of the curve.