Join us in welcoming the new Head of Film and TV Production at our Sydney Campus, David Opitz!
David has been in the screen and media industry for over twenty years working on multiple award-winning projects, and we’re very excited to have him as part of the JMC team!
We sat down to chat with him about his time filming in Iraq, his interest in the big screen, and what he’s most excited for at JMC!
What got you interested Film and TV industry?
Since I was a child I have always been an avid consumer of media and electronic storytelling, whether in the dark surrounds of a cinema, the small screen or the always-on radio. It was a natural progression to study screen and media and join an industry that connected us all through our imagination and shared stories.
What are you career highlights?
I feel lucky to have a number of career highlights. Among those that stand out are two tours of Iraq six months apart, first under the last few weeks of the Saddam regime, then in the final stages of the American invasion. As the Co-Producer, camera and sound recorder in a two-person video journalism team, we produced an exclusive for the SBS Dateline program featuring Saddam’s only female minister, whom the American’s named Dr. Germ, and who was accused of being in charge of biological weapons production. During my second tour I also shot, sound recorded and co-field produced around 17 sequences for the Michael Moore feature length documentary “Fahrenheit 911”.
What are you most looking forward to in your new role as Head of Department?
I am really looking forward to being part of a team that excites new students about the ever-expanding possibilities of working in the creative industries, and especially of the social value of sharing stories and information that engages all our senses. In this industry we are the new storytellers, and we have a responsibility to inform and entertain.
How do you think technology has, and further will change the industry?
As we all know the means of production and the ways of telling stories are changing under our feet. The one ever-present common factor is the need to tell and engage with stories. What has changed is the way we tell and share these stories, whether it’s through social, interactive, or immersive screen experiences and the multiplicity of distribution platforms. The future for our industry will include the exploration of immersive storyworld engagement, augmented and virtual reality technologies including 3-D, holographic and time and space shifting platforms where the audience can be either the story influencer/generator or a passively engaged consumer.
What advice would you give to any student looking to get into the Film and TV industry.
My advice is to start building relationships with other creators, and form collaborative creative networks that explore ideas and share practices. Then watch as much screen content as possible, especially diverse forms and genres from classic to contemporary. Next, just make content, any content. Remember anything worth doing well is worth doing badly at first. Perseverance, practice and collaboration are key to a successful career in the screen industries.
Find out more about studying Film & TV production