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TAFE Queensland graduate job-ready thanks to industry experience

A talented TAFE Queensland creative graduate is ready for the world of work after completing his diploma and experiencing work behind the camera first hand.

During his studies Luke Cunningham not only learnt how to make short films, but gained insights into working on a film set by playing a starring role in a TAFE Queensland campaign.

“I decided to study screen and media because I saw it as a great option for my career. I will try to always be on sets that are on a creative theme I’m interested in, so I want to be there on action movie sets, adventure movie sets, comedy movie sets and types of fiction I like,” he said.

“I’ve learnt so much about camera operating skills, producing skills, gaffer skills, directing, art direction and makeup. I’ve worked hard to master all these valuable skills and as a result of what I’ve learnt I’m confident I could work in any of these disciplines.”

Now that he’s completed his Diploma of Screen and Media (CUA51015), he’s ready to hit the ground running, hoping to use his skills and experience to land a job in the industry.

Complementing his studies, Luke had the opportunity to star in TAFE Queensland’s ‘Character Selector’ social media campaign. This gave Luke the chance to be in front of the camera for a change, and allowed him to see a real film set in action from both in front and behind the camera.

“I had a great time acting and learning from such an experienced crew,” says Luke.

“I saw how the key grips, camera operators, makeup and wardrobe people, directors and producers all interrelate while filming — and it was awesome to be a part of it and get that insight.”

“I even offered to help set up and pack down, but the crew said I should enjoy being talent for the day as I’ll be setting up equipment constantly during my career — so I should just sit back and enjoy while I can.”

“I also learnt that the snacks onset could be taken home at the end of the shoot, so when the crew said I could fill my pockets, I did exactly that!”

“Opportunities like this are a big part of why I chose to study at TAFE Queensland — in this industry, it’s so important to get real experience.”

Also giving Luke and his classmates’ vital industry experience to complement the hands-on training they received during their studies was his teachers, who come from the film and television industry.

“TAFE Queensland hires experienced industry people as teachers who helped me learn by providing information in ways that I understood everything. And because they tell us what to expect in the industry, I feel prepared for when I start work.”

Luke also enjoyed the facilities and the equipment he learnt with in a hands-on, practical way.

“TAFE Queensland does a great job of combining theory and practical. We had presentations by our teachers on a topic before going and bringing it to life.”

“During camera classes, we would have a detailed explanation of how a camera operated and then, after completing the theory homework, we worked with the camera and did things we learnt.”

“As the year went on, we became more comfortable with what we were learning and the more we combined practical and theory the more capable we became. We eventually got to the point that we were filming without supervision because we were taught so well.”