Media graduate Corrie Chen, nominated in the best short film category at the 2016 Australian Directors Guild awards, shares her tips for aspiring filmmakers.
Corrie Chen graduated from the Bachelor of Communication (Media) at RMIT in 2007.
Since then she has made a number of award winning short films and a documentary for the ABC2, which won Best Direction in a Documentary at the 2014 Australian Directors Guild (ADG) awards.
Her latest short film, Reg Makes Contact, was funded by Screen Australia through their talent escalator program “Hot Shots” and has been nominated in the 2016 ADG awards.
The film is about a space-obsessed dementia sufferer who unearths a mysterious object from the sky on the eve of being admitted to a nursing home.
We ask Chen to share advice with aspiring filmmakers on the eve of the awards presentation.
What has been your greatest achievement at work to date?
I have made a number of award winning short films and a documentary for the ABC2, which won best direction in a documentary at the 2014 ADG awards. I’ve completed a director’s attachment on the Emmy award winning Nowhere Boys, and the hit miniseries Peter Allen: Not the boy next door.
What skills did you gain from your studies?
A grounded work ethic – in this industry nothing will be handed to you, you have to have the drive to put in the hard work yourself to get things done and be noticed.
What are you working on next?
In the immediate future I have two web series on the horizon, as well as developing two features scripts.
What advice do you have for students considering pursuing a career in this field?
Understand it’s going to be a long road, and really consider why you want to do it. It’s not a career for the faint-hearted, but the rewards once you get a film up makes it worth it. The ability to be able to tell stories is such an immense privilege and it’s sometimes easy to forget that.
Finish the following sentence: I love what I do because….
It’s exciting, it’s challenging, it’s fulfilling, and it’s collaborative. Filmmaking is basically the best and worst thing you can do to yourself – but you are in charge of your own destiny.
The annual ADG awards celebrate the outstanding work of Australian screen directors over the past year and the winners will be announced at a ceremony at the Sofitel Melbourne on Collins on Friday 6 May.
Story: Wendy Little