The opportunity

The Australian film and television industry is experiencing a golden age, with South Australia at its centre. Based in Adelaide, visual effects company Rising Sun Pictures (RSP) is world-renowned for producing stunning visual effects, with an impressive list of credits including the X-Men franchise and Marvel blockbusters Black Widow and Captain Marvel, as well as a recent Emmy nomination for their work on TV show The Boys.

The industry’s rapid evolution shows no signs of slowing, creating a need for fresh talent to meet this demand. RSP saw the opportunity to not only nurture creativity and develop workforce-ready artists, but also invest back into their state of origin.

The partnership

In 2015, the University of South Australia and RSP formed a partnership to deliver tailored VFX programs, student placement and mentorship opportunities.

Through this partnership, two postgraduate programs were developed: the Graduate Certificate in Compositing and Tracking and the Graduate Certificate in Dynamic Effects and Lighting. Curriculum content is developed collaboratively by RSP and UniSA, and classes are delivered side-by-side with qualified RSP professionals.

In addition to these postgraduate offerings, undergraduate students who study the Bachelor of Film and Television VFX specialisation have the opportunity to complete the third year of their degree in the RSP studio, working alongside practicing VFX artists as they produce industry-standard sequences for live-action features.

Graduate Sam Maiolo found the hands-on experience provided by the UniSA-RSP collaboration to be instrumental in her securing full-time work with RSP after her studies.

“Studying with Rising Sun Pictures as part of my degree has been an amazing opportunity to learn so much in such a short period of time,” Maiolo said. “Being taught by working artists at RSP has been invaluable in developing industry skills, and during my studies, I was offered a position there after finishing my degree."

Sam is not the only graduate to secure work with RSP, with approximately 30 UniSA alumni currently employed at RSP and over 120 graduates working in industry.

Two people working at a computer

RSP Manager of Training and Education, Anna Hodge said the joint venture has been highly successful in transitioning students into industry and for RSP, gaining access to highly skilled graduates.

“I’m always excited when I see a graduate of our program working here at RSP or when they contact me and tell me they’ve been employed,” Hodge said. “Course delivery at RSP is more than just learning technical skills, we value add to the students’ experience here by incorporating master classes, resume, show reel and interview tips.”

“At RSP, our goal is to make the students’ learning as immersive as possible and be studio ready, and I think we’ve successfully achieved that.  Our graduate employment rate has always been high and this last semester was no exception with 100% of our eligible graduates gaining employment within six weeks of leaving us.”

Through this collaborative partnership, RSP has a constant pipeline of local talent from which to recruit, while UniSA graduates are learning in-demand skills and gaining experience that will enable them to work anywhere in the world – a winning combination.

Partners involved

Rising Sun Pictures

Project outcomes

Access to highly skilled graduates

Strong local talent pipeline

Industry-informed degrees

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