Meet the Masters – student Wayne McPhee

Meet postgraduate alumni, Wayne McPhee, who began at SAE as an animation student and then a film undergraduate student.
Selfie of man with glasses. Text reads meet the masters. Wayne McPhee. Alumni

Wayne chats with us about his experience as a postgraduate student and what projects he is working towards in the future.

Meet the Masters
– Alumni edition –

NAME: Wayne McPhee
CAMPUS: Online

Why did you decide to undertake postgraduate study?

I wanted to be challenged in a field that I love. I needed to be challenged. I wanted to push boundaries with my filmmaking and be able to create something that was unapologetic and raw. Taking on postgraduate study, provided me with a jump-off point and gave me opportunities to connect and share experiences with people within the creative industries.

What have you been up to since completing postgraduate study?

Just after completing study, I directed a short documentary about Brisbane producer Orthentix, which provided a glimpse into her world and her latest EP ‘Divine Affliction.’ I’ve also been writing and workshopping a couple of ideas for film projects and have been involved in directing independent theatre in Brisbane.

Do you have any advice for those looking to commence postgraduate studies?

Just do it. This is the opportunity to dive into your passions and create something that you want to, the way you want to do it. It is such a huge opportunity to get advice from industry professionals and work alongside some amazing mentors.

Did you choose cross-discipline electives or did you stay within a particular field of study?

I did all film-related electives. In the Master of Creative Industries, there are electives available that aren’t available at the undergraduate level, like ‘independent film’ and ‘working with actors’, which I thought would benefit me and improve my skillset.

Being able to work alongside people from other disciplines, and discuss their projects, I was able to pick up things about audio, about design and apply them to my work.

What skills did you gain from your postgraduate studies?

I really built up my confidence, to stand up and let my voice be heard.

I also learnt to trust my instincts and let them guide my creative work. It’s okay to be vulnerable and it’s okay to take risks and make mistakes, as long as you learn from them.

Tell us about your major project while studying the Master of Creative Industries?

My major project was entitled The Wolves that Live in Skin and Space, a 45-minute film made in the style of New Queer Cinema.

Through the making of this film, I sought to challenge both normative depictions of gay sexuality on Australian screens and the emergent homo-normative narratives of mainstream gay and lesbian culture and thus establish myself amongst a new generation of New Queer Cinema filmmakers. New Queer Cinema is renowned for its bold and unapologetic depictions of queer sexualities and its DIY approach to filmmaking.

Trailer: The Wolves that Live in Skin and Space

This project revives the New Queer Cinema aesthetic within Australian filmmaking and introduces an Australian depiction of queer masculinity to the largely American audience of New Queer Cinema.

Ultimately, it frames queer filmmaking as a brave, unapologetic and ambitious endeavour that involves uncomfortable self-exposure and professional risk, which is rewarded by the opportunity to tell stories of sexual difference based on authentic lived experience queerly reimagined.

Have there been any collaborations with staff and students on your project?

I worked closely with two staff on my major project, Jodie Taylor and Mairi Cameron.

They constantly challenged me to create something that I wasn’t expecting. They provided valuable feedback at every step of the way, and I still use the advice they provided with my current projects.

I couldn’t have made this film without the help of my team which was made up of SAE graduates and students.

We created some truly insane content and pushed ourselves and our creativity to new levels.

What drew you to work within the creative industries and become a creative practitioner?

I am a storyteller at heart, I love sharing stories and making people feel. It’s such a massive reward having people watch your work and they can identify with the story you are telling and hearing their stories.

It is very important to me, for the audience to experience some sort of catharsis after watching my work, so that they are able to perceive what they have just seen in themselves.

What have you been up to since graduating and what are your goals for the future?

I became an adult and started working full time after studying with SAE for many years; starting with the Bachelor of Animation, moving to the Bachelor of Film, and then doing the Master of Creative Industries.

When not working, I have been concentrating on writing a lot and I’m currently working on two film projects and a live-theatre performance. I’ve also stepped out of my comfort zone and am taking some acting classes to help me become a better director and being able to identify with my actors.

Film students working with a camera

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