Welcome to Armidale - Film & Television School

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Film Awards

Peter Pan -Belgrave

TV Studio

Brock Colley

Special Effects

Business Consultant


Caz Minios

Peter Pan -The Epic

Graphic Design Course

Summer School

Your Horoscope

Computer Software

Screen Enrolments

Special FX Summer School


Dave Ahern

Talks with UNE

Best Documentary


Head Teacher Comments

Armidale Film & Television School

Published by Stephen Dobson a.c.s

New England Institute of Tafe – Armidale Campus

Spring 2004        Issue1      



Recently a little bit of Hollywood descended on the small town of Bingara. The newly renovated Roxy theatre was the venue for this year's combined Silent Cells, Reel life and Northwest film festivals. Representing the best of our statewide, nationwide and regional film talent. The newly formed Armidale film school was the outstanding performer in a highly competitive field featuring some 45 entries from all over N.S.W.  The narrative film category was won by Nicola Alter for her short drama “ Drive” second place was won by Meredith Adams and Lez Morris for the very melodramatic spoof “ Days of Living “ a comical send up of the American day time television soaps.

The documentary section was won by the stunning rock documentary “5/4 – slight return” Directed by Jason Dunbar and featuring the collective talents of the A.F.T.V.S certificate 2 class. This film sets a benchmark for Certificate 2 class the 5 camera live concert coverage is amazing considering all the students involved are part time and in their first year of film study. Coming second in the tightly run documentary section was Keaton Stewarts classy doco “Rock & Enrol”. This seven-minute film is a sharp contemporary vehicle for Keaton's enormous talent in the field of special effects. Showcasing his kaleidoscopic vision and tight editing ability.


Other major wins for the Armidale team were a Second place for Nicola Alter’s visionary “Creation and Destruction” an animated film, which easily wins hearts with it’s stunning technique and universal themes.




Student gossip

 ( Guess who’s got the hots for what’s in the wok )


The success of this years Armidale film school entrants is indicative of the quality of our regional young film makers and the great job being done by Armidale TAFE in setting up and running the film school. Credit and thanks go to Faculty Manager Bob Pendreigh, Head Teacher Sue Knox and the Teaching staff for encouraging our developing filmmakers.


You are what your deep, driving desire is.

As your desire is, so is your will. As your will is, so is your deed.

                            As your deed is, so is your destiny   Brihadaranyaka Upanishad IV .4.5

Peter Pan to Open Refurbished Belgrave



The student production of Peter Pan has been chosen to open the newly refurbished Belgrave cinema. The new plush seats being installed will; I’m sure be much appreciated with a running time of three hours. Shelley Witting and Dan Wales are editing the film of the play. The mammoth task involves cutting more than twelve hours of tape down to three hours.


Four cameras were used to record the play in its entirety. The production was a polished effort involving some of Armidale’s most noteworthy closet thespians. All gave outstanding performances. Special note should be made of the sublime subtlety of the performances of Richard Torbay as Peter Pan and Phillip Hanna as Hook.


Brock Colley

Clip plays

Prime time on Austar


Local country music artist Brock Colley chose the students from certificate 4 led by Director Keaton Stewart and Producer Jessilee Rice to make the film clip for his latest single “ Gotta take a minute”.


The clip was shot on location at NERAM and in the studios of the film school, using industry standard effects and compositing tools in post production.


After editing the clip, it was sent to Sydney special effects house Frame Set & Match for final grade and the addition of film grain using Silicon Graphics “Flame” super computer. The results are stunning.  Country Music Channel, executive producer Tim Darling was so impressed with the clip he described it as “the best clip he has ever received for an independent artist”.

The clip has been placed on high rotation/prime time for the next eight months.

Television Studio

On track

Equipment has been ordered for the new television studio at the AFTVS campus @ Newling. It is hoped that the studio will be completed in time for the 2005 Special effects Summer School.



Teacher Stephen Dobson has described the new facility as the first step in the establishment of a Community Television station. “ It will give students a unique facility in the region. Allowing for up to eight camera live productions using the latest Panasonic digital vision-mixing desk.


The purchase reinforces TAFE’s commitment to developing the highest possible standard of delivery for students. Thanks go to Faculty Director Bob Pendreigh for his tireless work on behalf of the school.


Student nets work at top

Effects house


Sydney Special Effects and Post Production Powerhouse Frame Set & Match have invited star director and student Keaton Stewart. To do one weeks work experience, at their Sydney headquarters. Lucky Keaton will get to experience the very best commercial effects systems available from companies such as Silicon Graphics / Discreet, Quantel, Da Vinci etc. as well as working with some of the best efx and compositing artists in Australia. Keaton has applied himself tirelessly to the course and certainly deserves this recognition. He is no slouch when it comes to efx as he proved in the recent production of Peter Pan.

If  you don’t know where you are going

All roads lead there!

Business Consultant

Sue Gregory

Helps Build

Business Skills

Students currently working on a commercial for Caz Minios Pasta in Armidale are gaining more than film making skills. They are working directly under the guidance of freelance business consultant Sue Gregory. The students have employed Sue to help them in setting up their production company. Sue (who attended the TAFE screen summer school in January 2004) is currently training students in the skills required to succeed in a competitive business environment.

Sue brings considerable entrepreneurial experience as well as sound production skills. Students work with Sue as part of a polished production team.


Caz Minio’s  goes to air

By P.  Maximus


Rome, Venice and Pisa all come spectacularly to life in the new ad for Caz Minio’s directed by Claire Hardman. The ad, shot wholly in Armidale, depicts, ‘Caz’, travelling through Italy in search of the best Italian food. Only to return to find the best Italian food here at Caz Minio’s

Gifted director Hardman has excelled at capturing the soul of Italy, spectacular shots

And attention to art direction  reward audiences with that warm fuzzy feeling leading them on the trail to a feast at Caz Minio’s restaurant. Nothing was spared in production. Hardman said “it’s astounding how in recreating Italy we were able get a better looking Italy in the process”.

Not only has TAFE’s Film and Television school given birth to a talented elite as well as opportunities for countless others, it has also spawned its own production company. Due to overwhelming demand for the students by commercial entities, the production company,


Being positive in life is not always a good thing.

Especially when it comes to blood tests

‘Big Rock Productions’ has been started to meet the demands in the NSW North West region.

The ads were Big Rocks first commercial production. Big Rock Productions is already in gear

for a big 2005 with a number of projects due to start early next year.

Keaton Stewart a member of the class and also co-producer of Caz Minio’s ads has been offered a place at a post production house in Sydney which he will embark on in a few weeks.

The ads are in Post-production stage and anticipated to be completed in two weeks. After colour grading and approval from the classification board expect to be awed by the sumptuous Caz Minio’s.


( Claire has shown real style in these adverts an amazing career awaits her…Congratulations


Peter Pan


The Epic

By – Kilgore Trout


Perhaps describing the community production of Peter Pan as an Epic might be an understatement.

In total 19 minutes of high quality special effects and background footage was supplied by Certificate 4 students, as well as that the production was shot using four cameras and elements of staging, lighting and audio-visual were carried out by students.


Over two months in the making the production involved every student. Often shooting on weekends, working long hours to meet the deadlines. All students worked magnificently and should be proud of the amazing result.


New Graphic Design Course

Starts @ TAFE


An Innovative new graphic design course will be starting at Armidale TAFE, January 2004. The course has been proposed by everybody’s fave teacher Trish Donald. With support of head teacher Sue Knox.


The new course is breaking new ground for the delivery of graphic art @ Armidale campus. It combines both traditional artistic craft skills such as drawing with computer-aided design using the latest techniques. This combined with the enthusiasm and dedication Trish brings the course, as teacher should make this course a winner. If interested I would encourage an early enrolment as places will be tight. It is hoped that students doing Graphic Design might work closely with the screen course students in the design of on air graphics for television and film production.


Best of luck Trish with the new course from all here at



A life lived in fear is a life half lived…Baz Lurhman


All students displayed great maturity and skill negotiating with local dignitaries and

Cast members. The editing and compositing of the complex effects was a team effort, requiring a great amount of co-ordination and co-operation between all involved. The production was successfully delivered to all round praise from the shows producer and director and hundreds of positive

comments from audience members.



Yes it’s on again




January 10 – 22




Armidale Film & Television School



Old Teachers College

Newling Campus







Enquiries – Stephen Dobson

041 999 2827


Enrol now @ Armidale

Tafe Phone 6773 7700



Text Box: Learn special effects from effects
(DOP special efx – Moulin Rouge)











Your Horoscope

Aries- Beware what you eat at Chinese takeaways. ( That is not chicken).

Pisces- Ring him back and apologise after all it was only a rash.

Libra-Consider surgery. That nose has to go

Sagittarius- That growth on your back is not normal.

Taurus- Nasal hair should not be gelled.

Aquarius- Your age is over so get over it!

Capricorn- Instant noodles are not an aphrodisiac,  especially when applied topically.

Gemini- There is no shame in having to shave your palms.

Virgo- Be sure to iron your underwear this month. Tight creases will bring luck.

Scorpio- Given your propensity to sweat don’t you think that deodorant would be in order.

Cancer-Love is not on your horizon. Which is just as well for the gene pool.

Leo- Bad breath is only one of the reasons you cant get laid.


New Computers & Software on order


Mac & Me have been very busy lately preparing our new  computers Three shiny Mac G5 Dual processor Towers with Massive 23 inch screens. These will be loaded with Industry standard Final Cut Pro software. In addition we are acquiring three more G5 iMacs. This brings our computer editing lab up to a very respectable 10 edit stations.


Screen Enrolments at High Levels

A quick poll of intended enrolee’s has revealed that anticipated numbers in all courses are at record levels. It is anticipated that we will be able to run at least two certificate 4 classes in addition to our new diploma class. Places are still available but filling fast. Certificate 2 part time courses are filling at a more moderate rate, but are still inline with anticipated numbers.

Text Box: SPECIAL 



This years film & Television Summer School will be one cool experience. As we try to recreate that funky seventies T.V. schlock show “Land of the Giants” students will place themselves in amazing situations fighting with giant  tortoises and performing unbelievable acts of daring do such as walking a tightrope across the lake of death (a kitchen sink). And being threatened by a fifteen story high dog. The story follows our heroes who find themselves miniaturized by accident whilst taking part in  a covert operation. Their adventure involves them surviving ever more fantastic scenarios.

Should be fun.

Closer Ties

Between AFTVS



At a recent  meeting with New  England Art Museum director Dr Janice Lally and AFTVS

Head Teacher Sue Knox and teacher Stephen Dobson it was agreed that a greater co-operation exist between the two entities, proposals suggested include the possible delivery of courses by TAFE and the digital recording of the collection by students of the AFTVS. It was also proposed that students take on the role of making television programs to accompany visiting collections. It is still early days in what could be a mutually beneficial relationship. So watch this space!


Thanks Dave


Special Thanks this month go to Campus manager Dave Ahern. Dave has always been a great supporter of the school and puts up with all the antics of our students as they shoot their projects.

We appreciate your help & co-operation


Talks proceed with UNE

Talks are proceeding  between UNE’s Professor Michael Macklin and TAFE’s Bob Pendreigh regarding the articulation of the AFTVS diploma in screen with the Degree in Communications ( Film) The Curriculum pathway has been established through the hard work of Dr Margaret Gummow  and TAFE’s  Stephen Dobson.  An official announcement is anticipated soon.


5/4 slight return

wins best documentary Nth West Film Fest


Interview with Award Winning Director

Jason Dunbar



“originally produced as archival footage for the rapidly developing musicians of “Slight Return”. The creation of this clip was intended to give the film class experience with impromptu filming, but during the editing process of the 5-camera documentary, I decided under the recommendation of Steve that I would create a film complete with interviews of band 5/4 – Slight Return,” is a short documentary detailing the creative and conceptual process involved in the production of the song “5/4”. A song preformed by the local rock band “Slight Return” which manifests some of the greatest musical talents in the region.


The clip was members and friends so that it might have a little meaning to an audience. It was then rushed to completion for the North West Film Festival where it was honoured on the big screen as the best documentary and rewarded with the prize of an I-Pod.



How Armidale Student Jessilee Rice managed to make it onto the A.B.C.



On Friday October 22 the Bingara Roxy Theatre held their fist Annual North West, Silent Cells, Reelife Film Festival. This was brought about by three Film Festivals joining to showcase the talent from local and regional filmmakers. The festival is in conjunction with the Gwydir Learning Region. “The Learning Region is an organization brought about to help increase the educational, social and economical opportunities for isolated rural communities”.



Course were asked by the ABC to film and speak on behalf of the learning region. Those students were Tom Hancock and Jessilee Rice.

Jessilee was one of the initiators in getting the film course running in Warialda and the region. The first film the course made was entered in the Silent Cells Youth Film Festival in 2002 and won the ‘Peoples Choice’ Award. Tom Hancock is a budding young filmmaker, who has made a reputation by making short films for people around the local area. Tom entered his own short film ‘Silhouettes’ in the festival, which took out first prize in the ‘Purely Creative’ category.

Both Tom and Jessilee teamed together to film the festival for a segment for ABCs Stateline. This included doing interviews with teachers, Jessilee and others involved, cutaways, the presentations and vox pops. As this was a job that was to go to air across the state, it was expected to be of a high standard. Friday November 5 an 8 minute segment went to air state wide showcasing the talent of two students who have begun their journey to becoming tomorrow’s filmmakers.


(Congratulations Jessilee to achieve the honour of being given your own segment on Stateline is an astounding achievement for a certificate 4 student all of us at TAFE are proud of your success…

You Go Girl!   - Stephen Dobson : Editor)



Head Teachers Comments

By Sue Knox


The 2004 Screen courses have been an outstanding success with the students undertaking their studies using an industry focused perspective.  The many productions the students have been involved in this year attests the quality, range and expertise involved.


The enthusiasm and dedication of the teaching staff, in particular Steve Dobson has enabled these students to have real life experiences.  Stephen Dobson, ACS, is the teacher, pioneer and ambassador for film studies in Armidale.  An industry renowned cinematographer Stephen is well known for his work on films such as Moulin Rouge, Razorback and he won an AFI Award for Ground Zero.  Stephen has semi retired from the hectic film industry and aspires to sharing his vast knowledge creating a nationally renowned film school in Armidale.


Steve’s industry association has enabled us to secure industry renowned guest facilitators including Peter Lawless, who took a two day break from Eucalyptus (a film starring Russell Crowe and Nicole Kidman) to present a workshop on selecting locations to the students.  Vernon Moore a cameraman with over 30 years experience, including 20 years working as a cameraman for sixty minutes, workshoped with the Certificate 2 students.  Keaton Stewart and Dan Wales have both undertaken studies in the Certificate IV in Workplace Training and are sharing the many skills they have developed with the Certificate II class.


A big thank you to Steve for his tenacity, vision and enthusiasm in establishing the Armidale Film & Television School and making the dream a reality.  Thank you to the students too, who have shown dedication, maturity and enthusiasm and who have made the first year of the Armidale Film and Television School a reality and a pleasure.







These are selective high demand courses

Call Armidale TAFE now

Ph  6773 7700

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