CQU screen masterclass empowers Wide Bay's future filmmakers

10 July 2023
A group of eight students stand in a TV student, with a CQU lecturer and alumnus seated in front of them.
Digital Media students with by CQUniversity Digital Media lecturer Regina John Luan (front, left) and alumnus David Pierson (front right)

A creative collaboration between CQUniversity and WideBay ITV is driving inspiring conversations about filmmaking in the region, and showcasing plenty of local talent. 

Live now on WideBay ITV, the new engaging series was entirely produced by a group of talented local students. 

The Film and Television Masterclass in Bundaberg was a two-day intensive workshop for CQU Bachelor of Digital Media students, led by experienced filmmaker and producer Phillip Harris.

Coordinated by CQUniversity Digital Media lecturer Regina John Luan, the sessions tapped into considerable talent of the student cohort, and the final results are live now on WideBay ITV.

Ms Luan said the highlight of masterclass was the creation of a studio interview series titled The Filmmakers Journey.

Episode one features successful young Hervey Bay filmmaker and CQU alumnus David Pierson, interviewed by Timothy Blackwell, with future episodes to feature industry veterans Phillip Harris, David Quarrell, Warren Duxbury, and emerging talents Joshua Furnish and Benjamin White. 

First-year student Trinity Darrow, 18, stepped up to present an episode, and also took production manager and director roles. 

The Gayndah local, who travels two hours each way to attend classes, said she chose the Bachelor of Digital Media for its practical, industry-connected content, and the masterclass had been a highlight. 

“Volunteering to be a host in front of the camera, definitely put me outside of my comfort zone, but I appreciate that CQU is equipping me with the opportunity to take a wide range of career paths,” Trinity said. 

“The Digital Media degree is teaching students to be generalists with a specialisation, and I’m appreciating getting a taste of each specialisation before I decide where to hone my knowledge and skills.”

Ms Luan commended Trinity for embracing the “transformative opportunity”. 

“Trinity's journey serves as an inspiration to others, showcasing the immense personal growth and professional development that can be achieved through hands-on experiences and a supportive learning environment,” Ms Luan said.

The passionate lecturer also highlighted the work of another first-year student Amanda Rule, who took on video editor duties.

“Amanda juggled her studies and WideBay ITV work with commitments as a mother of four, and we saw her passion for media really reawaken,” Ms Luan said.

Amanda said her pathway to the degree began with a self-taught passion for photography and photo editing. 

“As I got good with Photoshop I decided I wanted to do something with media, and in 2012 I decided to study (CQU pathway program) STEPS,” she explained. 

A serious medical situation in the family meant a decade of full-time caring, but Amanda finally returned to CQU this year. 

“I am back doing what I love – learning new things!” she said.

“The lecturers are lovely and so helpful, and I didn't think I would enjoy doing digital video and audio editing but it has surprised me.”

Ms Luan said the masterclass experience highlighted students’ talent and dedication, and encouraged people to tune into The Filmmakers Journey, and be inspired by their creativity and passion for storytelling.

Wide Bay ITV launched in 2022, and is a video-on-demand and stream service from experienced Australian television identity Philip Harris.

Based in West Bundaberg, the studio initiative aims to put regional content creation back in the hands of regional people.

Watch the first episode of The Filmmakers Journey here

Applications are open now for CQU’s Bachelor of Digital Media, to start in Term 2 2023 or Term 1 2024. 

Available on campus in Bundaberg, Mackay, Rockhampton, Cairns and Brisbane, over three years full-time or six years part-time; explore Digital Media here