Leo is a senior member of academic staff at the School of Media and Communication.
Leo completed a Doctor of Philosophy (Communication Studies) degree at RMIT in 2011. The title of the research was “Between Chaos and Control: a practice-based research project that investigates the creative process of micro-budget screen production”. The main component of the research was the production of a 75 minute film called ‘How To Change The World’.
Leo's research interests include the practice of screen production, low and micro budget filmmaking, improvisation, essay films and machinima. He is co-convenor of the
Research/scholarship funding, and awards
2008 Chief Investigator: Protospace Design Project, Australasian CRC for Interaction Design
2008 RMIT University Learning and Teaching Investment Fund: Screen Production Project – the development of a cross-sector, cross-School and cross-disciplinary elective.
2008 Australian Learning and Teaching Council Grant: Assessing Graduate Screen Production Outputs in Nineteen Australian Film Schools (Participation in research project as one of six partner institutions with Murdoch University, VCA, UTS, Griffith University and Flinders Universities).
2008 Australian Teaching and Learning Council Citation: For the collaborative delivery of a program that enhances student knowledge through integrating process based learning with practice, and fostering links between pedagogy and industry (as a member of the Media program team).
2007 Certificate of Achievement, RMIT University Teaching Awards: For a significant contribution to teaching in the category of 'Innovation in Curricula, Learning and Teaching (as a member of the Media program team).
2007 DSC Learning and Teaching Communities of Practice Fund, RMIT University, Creating a Community of Practice: Film and Television@RMIT, (with Molloy, V. and Lesinskis, J.).
As well as his teaching and research, Leo is currently leading the MC2015 project in the School, which involves a program renewal of ten undergraduate degrees. This project aims to increase the focus on a studio/project model of learning and teaching, increase collaboration between programs through the development of a common structure and a shared pool of electives, and renew curriculum to reflect the media and communication industries of the 21st century. Leo is also the chair of the School’s Workload Working Group, a representative group of academics who advise on and oversee the implementation of the School’s workload allocation model. He is a member of the School’s Learning and Teaching Committee.
In recent years Leo has taught COMM2249 TV2, which is a second year course on documentary production, COMM2341 Community Media and the third year Media courses Production Project 1 & 2. In 2013, he taught the elective Screen Production Project, which is available for students from a wide range of disciplines and levels to come together to work on the production of a series for community television, as well as COMM2536 Fiction Project in the new Masters of Media program.
PhD, RMIT University, 2012
Films Leo has made - as a writer, director and editor – include "Summer Was A Blur" (1989 / 32 mins / 16mm) and "Holidays On The River Yarra" (1991 / 90 mins / 35mm). “Holidays” was an official selection for the Cannes Film Festival that year. It also screened at Tokyo, Chicago and numerous other international film festivals. It got theatrical releases in Australia and has screened on the Nine Network in this country and Channel 4 in the U.K. It was included in retrospectives of Australian cinema that were held at the Georges Pompidou Centre in Paris (1991) and the Museum of Modern Art in New York (1995). More recently, it was screened on SBS Television as David Stratton's Movie of the Week (2003) and Foxtel (2004). Leo has also made educational videos ("Do Care", "A Career In Social Work"), worked on television news (GTV 9 Melbourne, as a camera assistant and sound recordist), produced films for other people ("Park Street", directed by Nick Kavalieratos) and directed a series of the satirical puppet show "Rubbery Figures". Since he made "Holidays On The River Yarra" in 1991, he has written three further feature film scripts: "Toxic Love", "Too Hot To Hold" and "Love Parts". Recent projects include:
“Stargazers”, a 300 minute fully improvised video program (screened at the 2005 Melbourne Underground Film Festival);
“Too Close For Comfort”, a pilot for a TV comedy series made with both recent graduates and current students at RMIT;
“Ending With Andre”, a machinima drama that was an official selection at the 2005 Machinima Film Festival in New York; and
“How To Change The World” (2008), an improvised micro-budget 75 minute film drama.
Profiles of his work as a filmmaker can be found at:
An in-depth interview with Leo conducted by Jake Wilson was published in issue 56 of the online journal Senses of Cinema.
Community and industry connections
2013–2014 Member of Community Broadcasting Fund TV Grant Assessment Panel
2012–2013 Secretary and Executive member, Australian Screen Production Education and Research Association (ASPERA), www.aspera.org.au/
2010 Curated and presented the C31 TV series Cheap Thrills, which showcased micro-budget Australian feature films.
2008–2009 President, Australian Screen Production Education and Research Association (ASPERA). www.aspera.org.au/
2006–2007 Chair, Open Spectrum Australia.
2009 UTS Centre for Media Arts Innovation: Advisory Committee member.
- Glisovic, S.,Berkeley, L.,Batty, C. (2016). The problem of peer review in screen production: exploring issues and proposing solutions In: Studies in Australasian Cinema, , 1 - 15
- Berkeley, L.,Wood, M.,Glisovic, S. (2016). Creative destruction: Screen production research, theory and affect In: Journal of Writing in Creative Practice, 9, 7 - 31
- Kerrigan, S.,Berkeley, L.,Maher, S.,Sergi, M.,Wotherspoon, A. (2015). Screen production enquiry: A study of five Australian doctorates In: Studies in Australasian Cinema, 9, 93 - 109
- Berkeley, L. (2015). The Q In: MINA International Mobile Innovation Screening 2015 Wellington, New Zealand
- Berkeley, L. (2014). Tram travels: smartphone video production and the essay film In: Mobile media making in an age of smartphones, Palgrave Macmillan, United States
- Berkeley, L. (2013). Reflections on a postdoctoral career in screen production In: Interactive Media, , 1 - 12
- Berkeley, L. (2013). The 57 In: International Mobile Innovation Screening Wellington, New Zealand
- Berkeley, L. (2011). Between Chaos and Control: improvisation in the screen production process In: Text: The Journal of the Australian Association of Writing Programs, Online, 1 - 13
- Rennie, E.,Berkeley, L.,Murphet, B. (2010). Community media and ethical choice In: Journal of Community, Citizen's and Third Sector Media and Communication, , 11 - 25
- Berkeley, L. (2009). Media education and new technology: A case study of major curriculum change within a university media degree In: Journal of Media Practice, 10, 185 - 197
- Developing a collaborative national postgraduate research program for 22 Australian film schools. Administered by Murdoch University.. Funded by: Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Contract from (2011 to 2013)
2 PhD Current Supervisions