Meet film student Ian Ducao

Ian Ducao has always been inspired by filmmakers, now following in the footsteps of his heroes, Ian is on his way to becoming an editor and post-production legend.
Student wearing blazer, looking up. Text reads Student Edition #SAEcrew

– student edition –

NAME: Ian Ducao
CAMPUS: Brisbane
DISCIPLINE: Bachelor of Film

What do you most enjoy about student life at SAE?

One of the most interesting things about studying at SAE is how involved the lecturers can be in your studies and how a lot of them actively look for the best in the developing creative practitioner you aspire to be. A good example would be going through the Post Production stage of my grad film, a lot of my film lecturers were able to point out ways in which my film could improve through the editing, plot, pacing etc. It’s awesome to see that a lot of the lecturers here really go out of their way to provide us with the basic tools necessary to start our future career, it’s up to us to keep learning.

What are your plans for when you graduate?

My dream is to be able to start editing cinema. Big feature films that I could work with like-minded people to develop a powerful story. I’ve always admired short and feature films alike for the way in which they have the potential to emotionally connect with the audience. I’d like to continue to be able to make films that not only people will enjoy and learn from but are meaningful to me and who I aspire to be.

Who inspires you?

Walter Murch. Look him up and do some research about him if you want to become an Editor! I look up to him for a lot of what I want to be like and how I may want to edit. Walter has allowed me to think more about the meaning of editing and how it is much more than the software I would use. One of the many things I’ve taken from watching a lot of interviews with Walter Murch is how the editing has a strong relationship with the audience.

Tell us about your involvement with SAE campus life?

Campus life for me has proved to be very fun and very interesting, to say the least! Trying to introduce myself and make myself known to a lot more people is something I’ve tried to do because whilst of course, it’s a good way to make friends, it’s also an incredible way to network with other talented creative practitioners. Being able to out myself down to help out at open days, info nights, and synergy’s as a photographer or general helping hand was a way in which I was able to connect with like-minded people and even being able to teach people about what I have learned through SAE and my own individual studies.

Have you studied previously?

Before I attended SAE, I previously had done a certificate 3 in sports and recreation in high school thinking I’d be the coach one day. Even through high school I had done senior physical education and participated in most of all the sporting activities. However, at the time I was also very much inspired by filmmaking. Filmmaking that told stories about real life and films that told meaningful lessons about growth was inevitably pushed me towards pursuing film! Now I’m where I want to be – on the path to telling a story.

What do you enjoy most about Film?

Being able to explore the varying ways in which a story can be told is something that I enjoy about film. Take my word for it, I enjoy the stories that are wholesome and have a meaning, a purpose. I genuinely enjoy the way in which the art of filmmaking can shape and mould a story in a unique way. Film is personal to me because it allows for my creative voice to be heard through what is seen, what is heard, and what is felt.

What is your favourite software you use?

A lot of editors have their favourites. A lot of editors prefer Final Cut over Premiere Pro. Walter Murch had mentioned that he had used a variety of programs such as AVID, Final Cut, and Premiere Pro. I prefer to use Premiere Pro in addition to Adobe After Effects and DaVinci Resolve (for its colour grading).

Ian Ducao SAE student

What is your favourite hardware you use?

All of the lighting equipment. If you pay close enough attention to lighting classes and doing some practising on your own, you’ll start to realise how much of the environment can be shaped with unique ways of lighting. Lighting is one of those areas to film where adding or taking away light will change the way the scene is set through the camera. That’s what I love about lighting equipment as a whole. From the DEDO kit to the ARRI 740. To big lights such as the ARRI HMI, they’re all very unique and can be used in very unique ways.

What projects have you worked on?

One major project that I would say I am most proud of is my Grad film titled Dinner Time. As the editor of the project, I was able to exercise a lot of what I had learned through SAE and through people I look up to – namely Walter Murch. Another project that come time mind was my product shot from Studio 3 which was on a bottle of Kahlua. I’m particularly proud of this project as I contributed to both acting as the cinematographer and editor!

SAE student crew working on a film

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