Returning the learning favour

October 10 / 46

Summer Coda cast member Susie Porter with Director Richard Gray
Summer Coda cast member Susie Porter with Director Richard Gray

Alumnus of the VCA's School of Film and Television Richard Gray will host an advance screening and question and answer session of his first feature film, Summer Coda.

Mr Gray decided to host this special screening because when he was a student, the University organised for Andrew Dominik to speak about Chopper, his debut feature film.

"It was a fantastic experience, to listen to someone who had actually done it, and the opportunity to ask him questions was just brilliant," Mr Gray said.

"It gave me hope that making my own feature film was possible".  

Mr Gray called his three years of study at the VCA the best years of his life.

"The VCA ticked all the boxes for me; I lived and breathed film for three years, which was awesome.

"Our lecturers were brilliant, and taught us to develop our own style and specialise in the fields in which we excelled," he said.

After he graduated, Mr Gray directed several short films and music videos and worked in television.

He also started his own production company.  "During that time, I was working on screenplays and trying to meet as many influential people as I could."

He received script development funds from Film Victoria to produce the script for Summer Coda and worked with script editors to create the screenplay.

Once he was happy with it, My Gray and his producer, fellow University graduate Marc Goldenfein, approached people in the industry whose work they respected.

Then, slowly, the ball started rolling.

"The more you know heading into our industry the better; it took me six years to get Summer Coda produced, " Mr Gray said.

"If I can help University students by sharing my movie and my experiences, I'd very much like to".

Students and staff are welcome at Mr Gray's director's screening. For details,  http://www.vcam.unimelb.edu.au/summer_coda

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