22 September 2021

opening-night-cropped.jpgThe University of South Australia officially launched the UniSA – WeMAT Film Concept Lab, in collaboration with We Made A Thing Studios on Wednesday 1 September; a one-of-a-kind initiative in Australia offering a unique opportunity for UniSA’s Bachelor of Film and Television students to work on a live short film production, learning and working directly with industry professionals.

The Honourable David Pisoni MP, Minister for Innovation and Skills, assisted in the launch, which was also attended by esteemed creative industries colleagues and collaborators.

The UniSA – WeMAT Film Concept Lab (The Lab) is a proof-of-concept lab which enables local and emerging creatives to produce local Intellectual Property and showcase elite talent that translates to a global market and provides opportunities to upskill creatives and bridge the gap between education and industry-based learning.

Select third-year students from UniSA’s Bachelor of Film and Television program have the opportunity to take part in the entire production and post-production of an original short film, under the supervision of We Made A Thing Studio’s principles Jeremy Kelly-Bakker and Tom Phillips.

Tom Phillips celebrated the Film Concept Lab launch, saying The Lab is truly a one-of-a-kind film program.
“It’s a program that champions ideas and people, and one that is an absolute win/win for industry and education sectors. We are absolutely thrilled to be collaborating with UniSA on such an exciting opportunity', Phillips says.

The Lab expands student networks and provides valuable on-set experience and credits before they graduate; obtaining first-hand and hands-on experience across filmmaking departments including directing, development, camera, producing, and editing. Students shadow and learn from experienced industry heads of departments, allowing a front seat view of the full process from concept to creation.

UniSA Bachelor of Film and Television Program Director, Dr Josh McCarthy, praised the collaboration with We Made a Thing Studios and credited The Lab to be a crucial part in students skill development.

“Apart from the film itself, there is nothing fabricated about this experience for the students, it is an invaluable opportunity to work in real time on a genuine project, with local and highly successful SA industry collaborators”, McCarthy says.

Bachelor of Film and Television Student and Film Concept Lab participant, Anna Kimura, also praised the industry-based program, and says the opportunity has helped to build her skills and grow her connection to industry, even before graduation.

"My involvement with the Film Concept Lab has been an invaluable hands-on experience. It has provided me with knowledge and a perfect insight into my future career, as well as prime networks. I would recommend this course to ALL film and TV students, as it is an opportunity of a lifetime”, Kimura says.

The UniSA – WeMAT Film Concept Lab also officially launched its first feature film, The Normals, online on Wednesday – coinciding with the Lab’s official launch; after a sold-out premier at the 2020 Adelaide Film Festival.