As part of the Year 11 Entertainment program, students undergo an external one-week work placement to gain invaluable experience in the industry. Throughout Term 4, our students participated in a diverse range of practical experiences, some of which included: The Look, Showtime Productions and Sydney Props Specialists. Below are some of the exciting things our boys got up to:
The Look specialises in drapery hire and installations for large-scale events, which includes but is not limited to theatre productions, television sets, weddings and company conventions like the ICC.
“During my time at The Look, I was given two opportunities to go out on location to assist with the installation of a drape for the back of the My Kitchen Rules set. It was a very memorable experience that generated some insight into how sets are decorated. While I did not have very much to do on the first day, the second day had me in an observational role- I went into the city and sat in a truck while I watched other people load it. The third and fourth day really encompassed my experience with seeing how the My Kitchen Rules set came about. On other days, I completed little tasks like tying ropes to drapes, with the whole experience really developing my teamwork and communication skills.”
– Andrew Badger
Showtime Productions is a private company based in Moorebank, which hires out equipment to other companies and functions, including speakers, mixing desks, control systems, cables, vision screens and other technological apparatus. Showtime operates as both a sales and hiring company oriented towards making entertaining events happen. During my time at Showtime, I was taken to a hotel to help set up mics, speakers and lights. I also got to test returned equipment (such as subwoofers) while receiving advice from people in the company as well as business professionals. This was useful in helping us understand the relevant equipment and skill sets needed to make certain things happen, as well as the importance and stresses associated with dealing with clients and customers.
“Both Finn and I learned a great deal from the experience. Whether it was three metre trussing, audio and lighting equipment tests, truck loading or bump-in, we became well acquainted with how lighting and sound worked. I recommend that people participate in this experience as it was amazing.”
– William Woodward
“I learned about the type of industry that Showtime is part of, and how to use and test all of the equipment. I met new people, and entered the field to have a hands-on experience with lighting up a wedding venue.”
– Finbar Warren
Established in 1983 with a focus on event theming, styling, prop hire and photography, Sydney Props Specialists offers a range of services to the general public. With the largest collection of props in Australia, and an extensive supply of backdrops, furniture and staging elements, Sydney Props can design, source and produce events from scratch. Additionally, they might, upon request, create models and take photographs to bring digital imaginings to life.
In our Marrickville placement, we were introduced to 8 multi-purpose photographic studios that could be hired around the clock. This, along with our direct access to prop making and staging services, meant we had the creative advantage of seeing how different elements worked. Prop makers and scenic artists spoke to us about this process, as well as the process of creating individualistic visions, meaning we came to see how props could be modified to suit certain needs, specifications and interests.
“Sydney Props was extremely fun and the jobs I was given were not too difficult and slowly increased in complexity. This meant I was given more trust and developed confidence in my own abilities. Some of these tasks included painting the studio white, lifting and moving tables, rearranging and organising the storage space and delivering and collecting pieces from different venues.”
-Xavier Kelly, Dylan Smith and Nicholas Buckingham
“Activedge is a wireless system that allows roaming photographers to capture and instantly share photographed/videoed moments to online social media platforms. An interactive platform allowing people to engage with photography, video and gif, Activedge is a smart and engaging tool. During my time at Activedge, we had the opportunity to edit a video to be posted on Instagram. The event we were given the privilege to participate in was the Friday Rugby League, which saw passersby jump on the spot with a football in their hands, all the while being in front of a green screen. This was then altered by the technicians to look like a goal post, so that when integrated with movement, gives the impression that the person has scored a try.”
-Dylan Davis and James Hession
Ultimately, work placement provides an enriching opportunity for students to engage with industry in a hands-on experience. It is no surprise, then, that most students return to school with a clearer sense of the type of experience they would like to pursue further. I am happy to report that a selection of my students are generally offered casual or part time work once they leave school. Their talent and hard-work has allowed them to flourish!