Rozelle campus inspires animation and film teachers

18 March 2014

Jack McGrath with students

Over two days in February, the Sydney College of the Arts hosted 23 teachers from 10 primary and secondary schools who spent the day planning, shooting, and editing short films to prepare them to teach ahead of running their own stop motion animation and filmmaking program later this year.

The professional development workshops are a part of the Compass Film Production & Editing and Stop Motion Animation program, facilitated by SCA lecturer and filmmaker Jack McGrath. By providing equipment and an inspiring location on grounds of the Rozelle campus, the Sydney College of the Arts is playing an important role in the ongoing partnership between the university, Compass, and the schools.

Teacher filming a stop motion animation

The University of Sydney's Compass - your way to higher education program encourages students from backgrounds traditionally underrepresented at university to participate in higher education. Jack McGrath teamed up with Compass in 2009 to deliver some short workshops on film production. The program has grown to become one of Compass' most popular, with almost all of the 25 Compass metro partner schools having taken part at least once - that's more than 500 students and teachers!

Over one school term, teachers and students work with a facilitator to plan, shoot, and edit a short animated or live action film. Teachers can elect to incorporate this program into subject areas such as Visual Arts, Photography and Digital Media and Creative Arts, but it also fits comfortably with students' English, Drama, ICT, and even Engineering subjects.

Aside from the benefits of learning technical skills associated with film production, the program provides an opportunity for students to work collaboratively, consider filmmaking as an option for further study, and make connections with university staff and students. The program will culminate in 2014 in the Showcase - a screening and exhibition for students, teachers, and university staff in the Great Hall.

Teacher building a clay animation model