Mastering the art of storytelling: Mark’s path to creative success

Travelling the world as a photographer and journalist has the makings of a dream career for most, but for Mark Gambino he admitted he “wasn’t achieving much”.
Man wearing cap and hoodie, back to camera, stands in front of wall covered with movie illustrations - storyboard/script. SAE MASTER OF CREATIVE INDUSTRIES POSTGRAD, MARK GAMBINO

With a passion for filmmaking and carving out a career in Australia’s booming screen industry, Mark enrolled in SAE’s Master of Creative Industries. “I realised that I’d been coasting and had been very lucky with the kind of work that I’d done in the past, so it was really a time of self-reflection,” Mark admitted. 

Survive and thrive

Acknowledging that he had to “change” to have the career he wanted, Mark enrolled in the Master of Creative Industries at SAE and has since gained a greater commercial awareness of the screen industry. 

“The reality is that to survive and thrive as a filmmaker, you must be able to craft stories that are going to satisfy the demands of studios and audiences. Having a good narrative is no longer enough, you have to know how to get it out there – that’s what the course has taught me.” 

SAE’s Master of Creative Industries is 100 per cent online and gives students the chance to study flexibly, while enhancing their employability prospects upon graduation. With access to industry mentors, and a place to meet fellow creatives, Mark said he had been exposed to new ideas and experiences. 

I have been in classes with lecturers who have been there and done it; and students who are everything from audio engineers and musicians to graphic designers and game designers,” Mark enthused.

"Being exposed to ideas that I would never be able to come up with, because I don’t have those lived experiences, has been refreshing and I’ve come away from those classes feeling really inspired."

During Mark’s career, he has managed creative teams as a marketing manager and managing editor. Nevertheless, Mark explained how he’s been able to enhance his management skillset during the course. 

“The master’s course has given me the knowledge and skills to see the bigger picture of creative collaboration and how each person is contributing to the final outcome of that project.”

Setting up for success

Mark added that the studying process for the master’s course is all geared towards preparing students for successful careers in the creative sector upon graduation. “It has been quite a learning experience fine tuning those skills as a creative over time,” he said. “It’s like getting fit at the gym – you’re slowly developing those muscles. The results may not be immediate, but over many months you’ll see changes.” 

Creative Australia, the Australian Government’s principal arts investment and advisory board, reported in November 2023 that creative employment is growing at a rate more than 50 per cent higher than the rest of the workforce. With this in mind, Mark remains optimistic about his creative future, once he graduates. 

“Transmedia storytelling has created incredible avenues for contemporary storytellers through micro episodic content on platforms like YouTube, Facebook, streaming services, and television, and that’s where I’d like to see my career go. Creatives are pushing the boundaries and breaking the rules in how conventional content is produced, so it is certainly an exciting time to be a creative.” 

A group of creative practitioners in film, music, audio, sound, directing and project managing on a film set.

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