Chad St. James featured in the Sydney Morning Herald ‘Educate Yourself’ June -18-2011
On Saturday the 19th of June, I was featured in the Sydney Morning Herald in a special report titled Educate Yourself. The article discussed my experiences studying film & television at JMC Academy, recently winning the Tropical Alternatives short film competition for my documentary Becoming Chad St. James, and my ambition to make it in the film industry as successful auteur. It was quite the impressive article, so needless to say I felt pretty damn proud of myself. Anyways you can check out the full article below.
Chad St James has always loved movies – television was "like a parent" to him while growing up. But he never imagined that one day, he would be on his way towards becoming a professional filmmaker. "I’ve always loved film," St James, 28, says. "I’ve always been intrigued by how films are made." Now in his second year of a three year digital television and film course at JMC Academy’s Brisbane campus, St James is excited-if sometimes a little daunted – by his recently found career path. "I never thought I’d actually get into it [filmmaking] but I took a risk and tried it out and I’ve just been blown away by how much I’ve got out of it." Founded in 1982, JMC Academy has campuses in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne. Degrees and diplomas at the private college include film and TV, 3D animation, music performance, entertainment business management and audio engineering and sound production. St James originally enrolled in a business entertainment management course at the academy but after just one week, decided to change to the filmmaking course – and he hasn’t regretted the move. "I’m naturally a creative person. I wanted to do something with that creativity," he says. St James hopes to become an auteur filmmaker- someone who works across the various aspects of film production, including writing, directing and acting. "I want to be known as a successful auteur, someone who does it all and has fun doing it," he says. And he has every intention of shaking up the industry. ‘I’m all about breaking the rules of filmmaking. ‘Chad St James "I’m all about breaking the rules of filmmaking … from the way of positioning people in a frame, to using flashbacks in a film." He says learning the theory of filmmaking is essential and he likes the fact his lecturers at JMC Academy are actively involved in the industry. "You need to know what you are talking about," he says. First-year projects included creating a music show and a 10-minute documentary and, now in his second year, he is working on screenwriting and two music video projects. One of his most challenging works so far is a 10-minute documentary he wrote and produced- all about himself. Becoming Chad St James explores the concept of changing your name, something Chad, formerly Chad James Watson, has experienced first-hand. "I thought creating a documentary about name change would be easy [but it was] probably one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done," he says. The documentary was short listed in the West End Film Festival and won the 2011 Short Film Judges Award at the Tropical Alternatives Queer Film Festival. St James also plans to enter the film in at least seven festivals. He says becoming a well-rounded filmmaker requires more than just slaving over textbooks and attending tutorials. "Just studying isn’t enough," he says. "You’ve got to go to film festivals, see what other people are doing, see what’s on at the movies, what’s going straight to DVD."
SPECIAL REPORT June 18-19, 201 Educate Yourself Sydney Morning Herald Saturday Page: 8 Section: Special Report.