Two classes of Year 11 Film, Television and New Media students visited the set of the upcoming fantasy teen television series The Bureau of Magical Things. As part of the course students learn about the institutional aspects of television production, so this was a great opportunity for them to actually experience a real life shoot and gain a better understanding of how a professional cast and crew actually work together.
We were met at the Arundel studio, Monday 9 October by assistant producer, Freyja Lehman. She introduced us to producer, Jonathan M. Schiff who shared his experience and highlights working in the industry over the past three decades. Jonathan then showed us clips of some of the fresh-faced actors who worked on his shows as teenagers, such as Margot Robbie and Liam Hemsworth, before explaining the premise and showing the trailer for his latest series.
We were then taken through to the set – an authentically impressive library stacked with ancient books and artefacts. Television truly is a magical medium: to think that such a strange, marvellous world could exist within a seemingly ordinary industrial unit boggles the mind! The students were impressed with the vast array of technical equipment being used, as well as the efficient and cooperative atmosphere. We watched a scene being shot from multiple angles, while imagining how the finished product might look, once all the footage is edited.
The costume department was next on our tour, where we were once again presented with evidence painstaking logistics are required to ensure continuity of errors are avoided. A strict system is in place in the costume van, whereby all clothing worn by the cast must be planned, logged and matched. Details such as having identical patterns on shirts are elements most casual television viewers would never consider but are essential if a show is to succeed.
Our final stop on the tour was in the make-up van, where we were lucky enough to find two “elves” having their prosthetic ears attached. Like everything else, the attention to detail required, in order to obtain sufficiently high production values was an eye-opener for the students.
The film and television industries are alive and well on the Gold Coast, and it was great for this group of aspiring filmmakers to get a genuine look at what really happens “behind the scenes”.
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