Griffith Film School graduate Martin Ingle got up close and personal with Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton on the US election trail, after winning the inaugural Media Super Scholarship.

The up-and-coming filmmaker was selected fromof a nationwide pool of applicants to join ABC TV’s The Chaser and The Shovel in the US to cover the 2016 presidential election.

Martin travelled across the country, working with a small production team to write, film and edit segments and filing a daily video blog from the election trail.

Now back on home soil, the experience is a bit of a blur.

“I am a massive fan of The Chaser, so it was a real honour to be chosen,” he said.

“It all happened incredibly quickly – I was on a plane to the US a few days after I received the news.”

Clinton and Trump rallies

Martin’s whistlestop tour of the US included Clinton and Trump rallies in New York, Pittsburgh and North Carolina.

“Once we got to the States, we really hit the ground running. It was great fun and hard work – we would start at dawn, planning, writing and filming, then edit late into the night,” he said.

“It was fascinating to see the way they worked and they allowed me to contribute my ideas as well.”

The Chaser team had a close encounter with US law enforcement after a stunt at one of Trump’s electorate offices in rural Ohio.

“We pretended to be part of an advance team for Trump and as part of the preparations the guys decorated the office with pictures of bikini models… the punch line was that Trump wouldn’t feel comfortable unless there were women around to objectify,” he said.

“We were manhandled out of the offices and met by police in the next town.

“We got off lightly — they were actually incredibly friendly. I think the fact that we were Aussies helped get us out of trouble!”

Never put the camera down

The best advice he received from The Chaser crew?

“Never put the camera down, and never stop recording — no matter how crazy things get,” he says with a laugh.

Martin graduated with a Bachelor of Film and Screen Media Production from Griffith Film School in 2011.

His short film, Instructions Inside, was awarded Most Outstanding Graduate Film and Most Outstanding Script at Griffith Film School. It screened at Cannes International Film Festival and was selected for the Brisbane International Film Festival.

Martin is a freelance video editor and filmmaker who recently travelled around Australia for ‘Into The Middle Of Things’, a documentary web series about the fascinating characters who make up Australia.

He is currently developing a live improv comedy show for ABC iView called Pillow Talk. Martin’s company Gawky Media received development funding as part of a joint ABC / Screen Queensland initiative. The series will premiere on ABC iView next year.

“This is an amazing way to earn a living — filmmaking has taken me all over the world and given me the chance to meet extraordinary people.”