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Zhou Quan (China) - Advanced Diploma of Screen (Film and Television Production), leading to a Bachelor of Communication (Media)
I was 17 when I first arrived in Melbourne. My high school, Shaoxing No.1 High School, had an exchange program with Balwyn High School when I was in second year (equivalent to Year 11 in Australia). Before I went abroad, my dream was to be a journalist or TV reporter. I picked the media class at Balwyn High School and that made me want to be a filmmaker. We watched and analysed Hitchcock’s Psycho and I was thrilled about the impact of cinema. The teacher of the media class recommended I go to RMIT as the film course there is hands-on and practical.
I completed the Advanced Diploma of Screen (Film and Television Production), which was a three-year course. Studying at TAFE gave me a great opportunity to practise the technical side of filmmaking. I articulated from the TAFE course to complete the Bachelor of Communication (Media) at RMIT. The bachelor degree was supposed to be three years long, but my TAFE credits covered half of it.
I think TAFE gave me more practical experience than university, and I felt that I had a better understanding of technical aspects than other students when we were doing group assignments at university. The films that we made during the TAFE course were much more hands-on than the ones we did at university, but the university classes gave me better knowledge of the history of cinema and the contemporary situation of the film industry. In order to be a professional filmmaker, both are necessary.