Griffith Film School alumnus Ryan Miller is collaborating with Griffith on a new 12-week internship for Masters students at his video content agency.

Griffith Film School Masters students Chris Saurdal and Ali Schaeffer were the first students to complete the internship and both have now picked up paid editing work with the company while completing their studies.

Alumni providing industry experience

Ryan graduated from Griffith Film School a decade ago before starting a production company Ride Free, which creates video advertising and social content for a range of high profile clients, including the Brisbane Bullets, Oakley and the Cancer Council.

He credits the Work Integrated Learning program at Griffith with giving him his first industry experience, and was determined to give interns at Ride Free an opportunity to learn the business top to bottom.

“One of the most valuable things I did at Film School was the Work Integrated Learning program – it was my first good look at the business side of the industry,” he said.

“I wanted our interns to get the chance to see projects through from beginning to end, and navigate the business side of things.

“They have been to client meetings, done job costings, developed concepts, pitched proposals and worked on scripts, shoots and edits.

“I think the students have really valued getting an insight into the client’s perspective.

“For most students, commercial work will be their first chance to put the skills they’ve learned at film school into practice.”

‘An incredible experience’

Masters of Screen Production student Ali Schaeffer said the internship program gave her experience in a variety of roles.

“I got to try my hand at so many different things – I was sitting in on meetings with clients, going behind the scenes on shoots and editing,” she said.

“I haven’t had a lot of industry experience, so everything was really exciting and new.

“It was amazing to see each part of the process and then watch a project come to life.”

The international student originally hails from Las Vegas and juggles a career as a professional soccer player with studies at Griffith Film School.

“I did my undergraduate study in film at Penn State University in the US, and since then, I’ve been lucky enough to travel the world playing soccer,” she said.

“I’m currently playing with the Moreton Bay Jets in the National Premier League, and I decided to pick up my film studies again here in Brisbane.

“The Masters has been such an incredible experience, and I feel so well supported to dive into the industry and start making some great films.”

Nurturing the next generation of filmmakers

Dr Peter Hegedus, who heads up the Masters program at Griffith Film School, said the internship was an exciting way to bridge the gap between tertiary studies and a career in the industry.

“I see the Masters program as a way to help filmmakers build up their connections and learn the ropes before they hit the industry,” he said.

Dr Hegedus also studied at Griffith Film School and said the university’s network of alumni was an invaluable resource for students.

“You can be the most talented filmmaker in the world, but it is hard to break into the industry if you don’t have that network to fall back on,” he said.

“We have so many talented alumni who are keen to give back and help mentor the next generation of filmmakers.”