Griffith Film School students arepioneeringnewtechnologythatisrevolutionisingthe screen industry.

Master of Screen Production students, staff and alumnihavecollaboratedwith industryon avirtual productioncalledDecommissioned, whichuses thesame technology Hollywood productionslike The Mandalorian are employing.

GFS lecturer Sue Swinburne

Griffith Film School(GFS)lecturer Sue Swinburnecalledthe technologya “game-changer”.

“This allows you to create environments that you can’t get to, or don’t exist,” she said.

“Instead of taking a crew to a physical location, feedingthem, findingaccommodationandrelyingon weather and light,wewere able to do everything from the GFS studios atSouth Bank.

“It gives you the freedom to experimentand itwill allow independent filmmakers the opportunity to make really highquality content.

Set aboard the International Space Station, the sci-fi / horror shortDecommissionedwas created using Epic Games’ Unreal Engine.

Behind the scenes of Decommissioned

By piping Unreal Engine through rear projection, filmmakers were able to create a slick production that moved beyond the green screen.

The project grew out of necessity at the height of COVID lockdowns last yearwhenfilm studentswereunable to shoot on location.

GFSstudents and staff worked withalumni at local post-production houseCutting Edgewhere theyexperimentedwith acombination of green screen, motion capture and Unreal Engine softwareto create a series of short films.

MsSwinburne said it was a steep learning curve for everyone involved.

“We were all getting our heads around the technology together,” she said.

“It was industry, academics and students all learning together and we got to demonstrate what experimentation and creative risk-taking looks like.

“We had staff and students from across games, 3D animation and cinematography involved — this project brought together all areas of the film school.

It isan amazing opportunity forstudentsto be part of a new way of storytelling.”

Behind the scenes of Decommissioned

Masters of Screen Production student IsaacOanceaproducedtheshort film,Gorgon, set intheAustralian outback, butusing green screens and virtual environments.

“Before COVID, I was planning to shootashort film on location,” he said.

“This saved a lot of time and money and really simplified thewhole process.

It’sdefinitely the future of film — taking out a lot of post-production work and eliminating the need for green screen.

Isaac alsoworked onDecommissionedas aDirector’s Assistant, calling it the opportunity of a lifetime.

“It was a lot of fun stepping onto a big production with professionals who’ve been doing this for years, but we were all finding our way with the technology.”

GFSalumni Jade van der Leico-wroteDecommissioned andco-producedthe shortfilmwith fellowgraduates Danielle Redford and Sally Worley.

GFS alumnus Jason Hargreaves

CinematographerJason Hargreaves, also a GFSalumnus,said it was exciting tobeat the forefront of filmmaking.

“You can be shooting a New York streetscape in the afternoon,then jump into adesert landscape, followed by a scene in outer space,” he said.

“This is really going to raise the bar for local productions– there is potential to make low-budget filmsthatlook like a million dollars with this incrediblenew technology.

Jasonalsosaid he enjoyed working alongsidelecturers and students on the production.

“It’s been lovely to come back and share my experiences working in the industry, engaging with the students,” he said.

“I would’ve given my right arm for these kinds of experiences — I’ve mentored quite a few students from GFSand helped them gain access to the industry.

MsSwinburne said thenew technologywould be embedded in courses across Griffith Film School.

“This isa great opportunityto keep learning and building our capacity,” she said.

“Industry came to us — it was about pooling our knowledge and resources to create something new.

“They wereimpressed to see what we were doing and there is definitely an appetite to dive into this area and really lead the way.”


4: Quality Education
UN Sustainable Development Goals 4: Quality Education