Mythical Dreaming – A filmmaking Journey.

September 21, 2018 by Lynnette Lounsbury

Every Communications student at Avondale takes Video Production unit that teaches them the basics of filmmaking under the tutelage of a working filmmaker. For many of them, this is their first filmmaking experience with professional film making equipment and high level editing software. They don’t get long to make their film and while we provide them with high quality equipment and on-call mentoring, they have no budget and have to be resourceful, creative and generally go guerilla to come up with something unique and entertaining within the constraints.

We wanted to share a couple of our favourites from the last class – two very different films that show innovative storytelling skills: Lawson Hull’s mockumentary about the life and death of dreams faced by tertiary students, and an animation of Tolkien’s poem “The Kullervo Cycle” by Matthew Schimpf.

Dreams from Lawson Hull on Vimeo.

The Kullervo Cycle from Matt Alexi on Vimeo.

 

A manifesto for tomorrow from graduate Charlotte O’Neill

September 16, 2018 by Lynnette Lounsbury

If there is any prouder moment for a Communications lecturer than when one of their students publishes a book – I don’t know what it is. Seriously – we beam. And of course we tell absolutely everyone about it. Graduate Charlotte O’Neill is a writer and a teacher and in 2018 released her first book of poetry – Then the bones blossomed. We talked to her about her work, her life and her vision. –

Tell us a little of your own story…

I grew up in the Northern Rivers region, between Lismore and Byron. I went to Avondale College after leaving school and ended up working at Avondale School before moving north again and finding work on the Gold Coast. Now I work at a wonderful multi-denominational school called Emmanuel College, and live in a wood cabin in the Gold Coast hinterland where I can run, hike, get excellent coffee… the basics of life. I recognise how blessed I am, because this is pretty much exactly what I envisioned three years ago as I was leaving College.

What does your perfect day look like?

At this point, with the pressure of a full time job, a perfect day is one without 9-5 work. I would lay in the sun, eat a ton of good food, have time to write and not be annoyed at pedestrians crossing too slowly on the sidewalk on my commute home. Recently I read David Foster Wallace’ ‘This is Water’ (which I highly recommend for anybody soon to graduate uni!). It’s about stepping outside of yourself every day, and not viewing the world through your own jaded, perpetually self-oriented lens.

Why poetry? What does poetry do to you?

I grew up writing totally unreadable love poetry all over my Maths exams. When I was fourteen, I showed a poem that at the time I thought was dramatic and yet subtle (stars, love, boy’s eyes… etcetera) to my favourite teacher. He said that passion often takes from our ability to write without agenda but it gives us life. It was a backhanded compliment, but it stuck with me. A lot of what I write has a clear agenda – sometimes, it’s peace, but other times it is to draw attention to flaws or elements of society that pain me. Its highly subjective. I’m okay with that, and it is one of the reasons I enjoy the medium of poetry. However, to me it is more than a subjective, artful writing form – it allows me to link ideas together in a way that can be misinterpreted, reinterpreted and read into in a myriad of different ways. People can interpret a poem the way they need. It may not be the most academic response, but I can’t remember the last time I read a truly academic poem and went away wanting to change the world.

How would you describe your style?

Very much free verse, although I like to experiment with rhyme and rhythm. I’m more interested in recurrent metaphors and imagery. I like the fact that there isn’t really any such thing as a perfect poem. It’s as much about meaning as form.

Who are your literary influences? Your life inspirations?

Luka Lesson is a massive inspiration to me, his free-flowing verse that uses imagery to create meaning is so powerful, and totally accessible… and it’s hip-hop. Eminem and Bob Dylan are both literary inspirations to me, in the way they tie together human ideas. Most of my inspirations are not poets.

You talk about The Bones arising out of dark times, what does that mean for you?

Since I graduated uni I’ve experienced a number of deaths of people very dear to me which have devastated my family, and suffered a bit of a nervous breakdown myself due to personal circumstances. I’ve also lived closely with a family member afflicted with severe bipolar, and holding somebody back from the brink of suicide puts a lot of things into and out of perspective. Not everybody will relate to or understand The Bones, but I believe in exorcising dark ideas, putting them on a page and deciding if they are worthwhile. So while the book is about death and pain and grief, it is also very much about hope and power.

Which is your favourite piece in the book?


Burn it. All of it. Burn the hate and greed. Burn the selfishness and the carelessness. Burn the longing and the dissatisfaction and the Regret. On great wood pyres, burn the pyres too and the footings and let the sparks light your way as you run, don’t look back. Don’t look back at the melting debris or the greying ash, run until the smoke no longer clouds your vision and fresh grass is brushing your feet. Make a funeral of your distrust and apathy, and walk on.


Tell us about the writing of the book – your process.

It actually only took about 6 months. It was purely inspiration-based, I just couldn’t stop writing poetry. However this isn’t usual for me. I find that writing isn’t any different to musicianship or any other art form. Often people think writers have to be inspired, but it is actually just a matter of practice. Five years ago I couldn’t sit down and just know that I would be able to write, whereas now it comes naturally whenever I have the time. I fit it around teaching, and find that the stress of having to work around a full time job is very motivating!

What is next in your writing?

I’m currently working on a book manuscript about a physicist stuck inside his own mind. He journeys to the country and encounters his father’s death, which is really the centre point of his whole story. I believe that death marks epochal points in our lives by which we often centre ourselves. Often our first encounter of death is what pushes us to understand life more deeply and provide reasons to exist.

Where can we buy Then the bones blossomed?

My publisher’s website, here http://www.vividpublishing.com.au/charlotte/ is the easiest place to order the book.

What next? Communications Graduate Narkisska Spruce Talks Career

June 27, 2018 by Lynnette Lounsbury

One of the most common questions students ask about the Communications strand is – But, what job can I get with a Comms degree? The answer is as varied – and as fascinating – as our students are. In our first alumni profile, we let our wonderful ex-student Narkisska Spruce, tell us all about what she is doing with her Communications degree.

Where do you work and what do you do?

I am currently working with Deloitte Digital, as a project manager in their Emerging Technology team. My role consists of facilitating the delivery of software-based projects that use some pretty fun tech. Some of the cool projects that I’ve helped to bring from paper to screen include 5m-long interactive touch screen experiences, a biometric-driven motion sphere ride, training sims, racing simulator using a game steering wheel, a

nd augmented reality photo booths. In my 3 years out of Avondale, I have worked with brands such as Mazda, Acura, Coke, Southwest Airlines, Fire & Rescue NSW, Museum Of Applied Arts and Science, Superbowl 50, Laminex and icare.

 

How did you get the job?

My job originated with getting an office support role with Well Placed Cactus, a boutique software/games dev company that later became acquired my Deloitte. I got that job by doing something both creative and unique – I created a playable game that was based on my resume! In the last 6 months of my time at Avondale, I designed and created an interactive game that explored my personality and interest; education, work experience, and aptitude. The idea was to communicate the skills and experiences I have in a memorable way. You are competing with thousands of other graduates with the same qualifications as you – how are you going to stand out?

The game was a bit buggy, had performance problems, and looking back now, it was very risky to send to professional game developers. Regardless, a few days after graduation I sent the game to over 20 game and creative software studios (cold-calling), and by the New Year I landed a job. You can still download and play my resume here​ ​(Playable on Internet Explorer).

What do you love about your job?

On a superficial level, I love the security that my job provides. However, what really drives me to get up each morning and do my job is the autonomy I’m provided by my supervisors, the trust and enjoyment of my development team, and the continued opportunity to grow. I love being organised and, more importantly, I love the journey of getting a project to completion, with all the tears, anxiety and joy it brings. Every project has a special part in my heart.

What is your advice to Comms students planning their career after College?

In the first year of our degree, think about where you want to be – the more specific the better. Plan your official and unofficial internships with this in mind; use any assessment you can to explore your career niche; develop a comprehensive portfolio; and think of how you might standout from every other graduate once you’ve got your degree. Also, acknowledge the skills you are developing while learning. Our degree isn’t just about the academics of your particular area of study – any textbook can provide you that. It’s about developing and working in teams of people you don’t know; foreward thinking and time management; presentation skills; mock confidence; independence and autonomy, just to name a few. No matter your job, you will require these skills on a daily basis.

Hello world – Welcome to Communications at Avondale College

March 28, 2018 by Lynnette Lounsbury

Communications is a strand of the Arts degree available at Avondale College. This blog introduces you to the Communications lecturers, the content of the course and celebrates our alumni and their magnificent achievements. Sometimes we will post about something new we are studying, something interesting we have discovered through our research or something special we have going on. Please feel free to contact us if you are one of our past (or future) students with something to share, celebrate or any questions. We love to chat.

The very word “communicate” describes an exchange of ideas, thoughts and experiences, so we would love you to keep in touch.You can contact me – the editor – Lynnette Lounsbury through lynnette.lounsbury@avondale.edu.au at any time.