Hollywood director sits down with College of VE students during visit to RMIT

Hollywood director sits down with College of VE students during visit to RMIT

Recently visiting Australia on a promotional tour of his new rom-com movie, 'BROS', Nicholas Stoller sat down with RMIT’s College of Vocational Education (VE) students to discuss the many aspects of producing, directing and writing for film.

Following the movie premier at The Capitol, the writer and director of 'BROS' sat down with VE students for a special Q&A session, hosted by Screen and Media teacher Janis Lesinskis.

Nick has established a successful career across multiple movie genres in the Hollywood studio system and was generous with his sharing his experience and insights into his own professional work methods and habits.

During the 30-minute Q&A, students had the opportunity to hear from Nick as he shared what it was like directing and writing on his previous films, such as Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Neighbors, and his advice and top tips to succeed in the industry.

Director Nick Stoller speaking to VE students VE students had the opportunity to have a chat with director, Nick Stoller.

Final year Advanced Diploma of Screen and Media (Directing) student, Blake Spears, shared that hearing from Nick was an incredibly valuable learning experience and provided the opportunity for students to meet with creative professionals, on a level that is difficult to access outside of the learning environment. 

It enabled students to get first-hand insight into the creative and production processes of a successful and distinguished Hollywood professional.

Lars Prince, from the Associate Degree in Screen and Media Production, is also in their final year and added that the session was incredibly helpful.

“I found it very insightful to receive answers from a professional actively working in the industry at high levels, so I could be confident the answers and advice I was getting were indicative of the industry as it operates today.” 

Some takeaways Nick Stoller shared during the Q&A included: 

  1. Be prepared to write many drafts:  Your first draft script is a starting point. You will make many changes as your idea becomes clearer, better defined. 
  2. Learn from others: Study the craft. Work out what makes good films work. Find good collaborators you trust and be open to their suggestions. 
  3. You need to have flexibility: You might discover new things throughout the process, so re-writing is a constant. From the first script, there’s so many drafts of it, throughout rehearsals and production. 
  4. The script isn’t the movie, it’s what you use to make the movie: You don’t know what you’ll use until you start! Lines can be rewritten on the set. 
  5. Collaboration on set is important: Exposing yourself to as many things as possible is key. Actors can help shape scenes and potentially evolve elements of the script. 
  6. The ‘meta-moment’: In talking about that 1-scene that captures the whole movie, Nick shared a tip for aspiring writers and directors: “You have to be able to summarise your movie in a sentence.”   
Director Nick Stoller speaking to VE students Nick Stoller provided students with top tips on all things relating to producing, writing and directing blockbuster movies.
11 November 2022


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