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From IT to films – a postgraduate shares her creative journey at SAE

Victoria Teh began her career in IT but returned to undergraduate study and completed the Bachelor of Film at SAE Melbourne. She enrolled in the Master of Creative Industries and we caught up with her to chat about her creative journey.
Meet the Masters | Victoria Teh | Postgraduate student

Find out more about Victoria Teh’s creative journey as she undertakes the Master of Creative Industries. Read on for more with Victoria.

Meet the Masters
– Student Edition –

NAME: Victoria Teh
COURSE: Master of Creative Industries

Why did you decide to start postgraduate study?

I had a wonderful experience with the Bachelor in Film at SAE. A film I worked on received The IndieFEST film festival award. It felt like a natural progression to continue to hone my skills at SAE with the Master of Creative Industries (MCI).

What is your career experience?

Before I studied at SAE, I was an Information Management Systems graduate from Monash. I was employed with a national supermarket chain and managed help desks and customer support systems. During the time between contracts, my best friend encouraged me to go to a casting for actors. Within a week, I was signed with an agency and appeared as an extra on Neighbours television program and an Officeworks commercial.

The moment I set foot on the film set, I felt right at home.

In the following months, I was cast in a few more independent films and frequently participated in student films. I became increasingly interested in the crew work that went on behind the scenes. I visited the SAE campus through the student films I work on. The staff were supportive and friendly and invited me to enrol.

The moment I set foot on the film set I felt right at home.
Tell us about your capstone project.

Combining my passion for computers, particularly in gaming and filmmaking, I have conceived a multiplatform documentary “WOW: How We Survived”.

The doco will present how the computer game, World of Warcraft provided crucial data for epidemiologists to model, predict and prevent the spread of COVID-19. It will include an interactive participatory component, more actively involving and engaging my audience.

What are your motivations behind creating the project?

I am interested in improving the perception of computer games and the people who play them. I also think incorporating the topic of coronavirus is relevant to our present situation.

Could you please tell us about the workflow and processes behind your project?

My lecturers have guided me through the research process and the development of key documents, such as the production bible and multiplatform plan. I have completed a presentation and this will be tailored for grant applications.

I have also created materials that clearly communicate my vision to my crew joining the project.

The production and planning is more sophisticated and detailed than the previous film projects I completed in the undergraduate film degree at SAE. With the extra challenge of the film being produced under lockdown restrictions, I am excited about it.

Have you collaborated with staff or other students on your project?

One of the wonderful things about SAE is the cross-discipline collaboration that is actively encouraged by lecturers. For example, I have worked with audio students to make tailored soundtracks and foley sounds for projects. I will be working with other Audio students on my capstone project, to refine the music and sound design for the documentary. Additionally, I will be working with design students to develop overlays and infographics for my documentary.

So far, I have secured a Director of Photography (DOP) and a Producer for the documentary.

Additionally, I have had feedback from both lecturers and my peers on each document developed and have updated these files accordingly. I have found responding positively to feedback often provides opportunities to improve the work and ultimately the final product.

What are your career goals for the future?

I would like to be a Producer or first AD on a TV show or movie. I also enjoy directing. I recently have become interested in documentaries but I also enjoy fictional stories.

In the future, I do intend to complete my Doctorate and would like to pursue academia as an option.

How does completing the MCI online suit your lifestyle?

Initially, it was difficult to make the adjustment from in-person study to 100% online. It can be tricky collaborating with shifting timezones and the lack of the usual social and visual cues I would get from being on-campus or in person.

However, I have since found my groove and working online suits me perfectly.

I have always been a very tech-savvy individual with a field-independent learning style.

SAE has provided me with the parameters for the project and all the materials – all of which are available online – has been fantastic. The extra support from lecturers via Zoom and email has been invaluable.

It has been a unique new experience for me and has fostered independence as a creative practitioner and developed my time and resource management skills.

What are your top three tips for working online and staying motivated?
  1. Set reminders on your phone for online meetings, due dates, and any important moments.

No one else can remind you when things are on. Your classmates are not going to walk past you as you study in the library and ask you if you’re coming to class. When working remotely, you must remind yourself when classes are on.

2. Take online activities as seriously as you would physical ones.

Just because it is “virtual” doesn’t mean it isn’t real. If people physically knock on your door or people you live with want you to join in on things when you have a “virtual meeting” – be firm and communicate that your online classes are real and you need to be present, uninterrupted, and focused for them.

3. Use social media time or gaming time as rewards.

Remind yourself they will always be there once you finish your study and work. Limit those online distractions by allocating specific time for them. For example, I can use Facebook for an hour after I complete this assignment. Or I play World of Warcraft after completing this interview.

Film students working with a camera

Interested in Postgraduate study?

The Master of Creative Industries can help turn successful creators into leaders of tomorrow.

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