New home for WA's emerging filmmakers

Film & Video and WA Screen Academy

ECU is backing the next generation of home-grown filmmakers with a major upgrade of the WA Screen Academy’s facilities, set to officially open on 15 February 2018.

Recognising that almost all screen industries around the world are now fully digital, the Academy’s base at the Mount Lawley Campus has been designed around the new technology.

WA Screen Academy Director, Dr Cathy Henkel, oversaw the move to the new facilities over the summer. She said they have been designed and built with consideration for both current and future production environments.

“Students will have access to the most advanced training facilities in Western Australia. They can learn and experiment with the latest ARRI Alexa cameras, Panther Dolly, virtual reality equipment and a state-of-the-art output room and post-production facilities enabling them to produce high quality work and be competitive at international film festivals,” Dr Henkel said.

The new output suite will be named after internationally acclaimed cinematographer Don McAlpine, who has shot 56 feature films and been nominated for both BAFTA and Oscar Awards.  In 2011, he was awarded with the AACTA Longford Lyell Award, the highest honour that the Australian Academy can bestow upon any individual.

“Don was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by ECU in 2016 and we are very fortunate that he regularly returns to campus to mentor WA Screen Academy students and share the secrets of his extraordinary success,” Dr Henkel said.

“We are delighted to recognise his generous contribution to our students’ learning in this small way,” she said.

New WA Screen Academy Centre facilities include:

  • Output suite: a small cinema with 5.1 sound capacity where students will be able to colour grade films, preview, quality check, and output to Digital Cinema package.
  • 2x Sound suites: equipped with Pro-tools HD with surround sound mixing capability up to 7.1 surround. The suites include sound editing equipment, Foley and narration recording, and Additional Dialogue Recording (ADR) facility.
  • 6x Editing suites: each designed with consideration for both current and future post-production environments.
  • Teaching Room: with screening and sound facilities.
  • Industry-standard edit server: allowing collaborative workflows from ingestion to output.
  • The Memory Lane Costume Collection: donated by Gail Pether. Students will have access to an array costumes for their films and the collection will be catalogued and available for hire by the WA industry by 2019.
  • Specialist Teaching Room: for screenwriters, directors and producers.
  • Research Room: for post-graduate study.
  • Studio A: the Screen Academy will also have access to the existing multipurpose television studio with multi-cam and live-switching facilities, lighting rigs and a green screen.

The WA Screen Academy Centre will be officially opened by WA Minister for Arts and Culture, Honourable David Templeman MLA, on Thursday, 15 February 2018.

The WA Screen Academy is part of the School of Arts and Humanities. To find out more about studying here visit the WA Screen Academy webpage.