Reflections & Aspirations

Mary Lucille – Reflections and Aspirations

The choice to study at SAE came years after dabbling in film, video, MCing at “New Age” Expo’s around Australia and interviewing presenters and exhibitors at those Expo’s. I took up acting classes which led me to New York City, where I switched from acting to film making. My original desire was to create a platform for people who are actively making a difference to raise the world’s consciousness.

While acting, I encountered a range of very professional to very immature student productions.  In 2014, I was interviewed by an SAE student on my experience with ghosts. I was very impressed with her finished product.

That was the main influence for me to enrol at SAE, even though, the New York filmmaking school I had attended opened branches in Australia.

The journey at SAE involved a massive learning curve which I thrived on, using my left brain and developing my right creative side. Coming from a scientific field, as a nurse, (amongst many careers in my 50yrs of working life), I had to learn to let go of left brain studies, which came easily for me, to allow my creative side to flourish.

From  involving myself with the story and landscapes in film, SAE directed my awareness to learning about subtext, camera angles and size of shots, the effect music and special effects had on the emotions of film watching. Writing stories would never be the same. No longer could I describe feelings or emotions. I had to tell the story with actions and actors expressions. Each word had to have a ‘raison d’etre’. “Just show me” – were the words that Ron Howard said to his cinematographer.

Challenges for me, did not include self-discipline. With no other distractions in Brisbane, I had time to attend to the amount of study required. I did however, find the editing classes challenging. I was behind within weeks. Making this known to the head of department was the best thing I could have done. I was given half an hour a week from another lecturer. However, the most useful assistance came when a Strong Foundations class was offered, unfortunately in the last week.

On the other hand, my writing skills developed exponentially to my surprise. Again, extra assistance was available to all students. I embraced every opportunity to better this skill.

I had some meltdowns during the trimester. I was not alone. Upon discussing this with fellow students, I realised it was across the board regardless of age or ability. Pushing through the times when I wanted to give up, made me stronger.

Another challenge was group work with school leavers, who, it appeared, were happy to just pass.  The more I learned about this collaborative industry, the more I realise that, my independence to achieve alone, wasn’t going to work.

I have a book in my computer about my pioneering great grandfather who has been referred to as the ‘Kidman’ cattleman of Western Australia. Creating a screenplay will probably take a year, however, I now see it as a possibility!

Mary Lucille