SAE Perth film student Dawid Poniatowsk

International Student Dawid, has dreams of working and living in LA after he graduates with a Bachelor of Film.
Smiling male student. Text reads Student Edition #SAEcrew

A passionate filmmaker, he relishes the opportunities that have opened up to him while studying at the SAE Perth campus such as having films he has worked on being screened at Cannes. #Cannes2020

– student edition –

NAME: Dawid Poniatowski
DISCIPLINE: Bachelor of Film


What do you most enjoy about student life at SAE?

If I am ever stuck or feel like I am alone I can come to SAE and have so much support from lecturers who care and will do everything to ensure you’re achieving your best, and the students there can be as helpful as the lecturers. The vibe of everyone is very welcoming. Coming to this country alone, worrying about friends, SAE allowed me to create some great friendships with people which I refer to as my family. Most people are so dedicated to their projects and there is such amazing teamwork going on all the time.

What are your plans for when you graduate?

I am in the middle of starting a production company which I am hoping to work with SAE in getting students to do paid internships for some bigger projects. I also want to create more contacts in Los Angeles and slowly migrate there.

Can you share an artist or professional in your discipline that inspires you?

Johnny Depp for his overall success and talent in life and the things he had to go through to get to where he is right now. As well as Hoyte Van Hoytema which I think is one of the best cinematographers in the world. Every film he shoots makes me just wanna go out and shoot something similar.

Have you studied previously?

I have previously studied a 2-year diploma course of game, web development, networking and technical support in England, where I realised that throughout doing the course I have been non-stop thinking about wanting to do a film, realising that the career choice of IT is not my thing at all. I always had a way of not doing well in things I do not enjoy doing and that was something that I simply could not stand doing for the rest of my life. There is nothing worse in the world than doing something you hate more and more every single day of doing it. In class, I would always think of how I can get into film[making] as a job and this is when I came across SAE. SAE allowed me to take a huge step in the direction I want to go.

What do you enjoy most about Film?

I get to do what I love, whether it is being behind the camera, editing away, playing with lighting, or just being on set or working with video-based content. The biggest one being meeting great people and this industry allowed me to meet some famous people who I never thought I’d meet.

What have you accomplished that you are most proud of?

I worked on a short film called True Reflection as a gaffer and first AC, which was screened at the 168 Film Festival in Los Angeles. The film was nominated for 15 awards and won 6 one of them being the best film of the festival and the film is screening at the Cannes film festival in May 2020.

What is your favourite software you use?

Mostly use Premiere Pro, Davinci Resolve for colour grading, Photoshop and Lightroom for photo editing.

What is your favourite hardware you use?

Favourite hardware to use has got to be Sony cameras, the combination of that and Dji based products such as my drone or gimbals.

What advice would you give to someone considering coming to SAE?

Do not hesitate, if you think you want to go into this industry go and learn more about it, SAE will prepare you for the real world and give you some amazing opportunities.

What is Orientation and the first day of SAE like?

On the first day, I came in very stressed not knowing what to expect, but one of the lectures said to us “we’re not going to bother with focusing hours on looking at texts and tutorials. Here is a camera assemble and a team, go shoot something”. This day has made all the stress go away and I have never felt so welcome. I was surrounded by people who have the same interests as me.

Do you have any helpful tips to share with fellow students?

Use the opportunities we get, get into internships and do them for free, you will get to meet some great people and possibly meet your future work partners or jobs. Also, use the gear we have, rent it out use them much as you can, be open to using more equipment. The industry we are in is one of the most competitive, do not give up after something goes wrong or if you feel like people do not appreciate your work. Give it time and people will be coming to you, pitching their ideas to you, wanting you specifically on projects. People notice those who do not give up and stick around.

What is the best fun fact about yourself?

I am a huuuuuge space geek, and a sucker for a good drama film. Not a fan of Marvel.

Who are 3 people you would invite to dinner, dead or alive?

Johnny Depp, Hunter. S. Thompson, Freddy Mercury

SAE student crew working on a film

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