Master of Design Technology students prepare to showcase to film industry insiders

Our Master of Design Technology (MDT) students have spent the last few months working hard on their Capstone Films which will soon be screened to emerging filmmakers, industry professionals, and film enthusiasts at an exclusive premiere held at The Roxy Cinema.

A scene from the film After It Happened

With Wellington being the film capital of NZ and a key player in the global entertainment industry, our students have the opportunity to build vital industry connections.

While most Wellingtonians have been taking advantage of the little sunshine we’ve had this summer, these students have been beavering away in the Miramar Creative Centre's state-of-the-art studios. Donning motion capture suits, colour grading in windowless rooms, spending hours in editing suites locking in their final cuts, the student teams are excited to finally show their finished masterpieces: After It Happened and Chrysalis.

“The MDT capstone project is the culmination of all the skills we’ve learned over the year, with the final film being a great demonstration of our abilities,” explains Lucy Jaegers, director of After It Happened.

Speaking about the experience of working on the film, she adds “After It Happened is a fictional documentary following the daily life of a girl called Alex, and her way of living with grief in a world where reality is broken. For this project, we've primarily used Houdini with Redshift rendering, as well as Nuke and DaVinci Resolve.

“While working with the capstone project, I’ve learned a lot about creating projects on a larger scale, the importance of planning ahead and trying to predict issues before they might arise. The highlight of the project has been the team. Working as a group has been wonderful. We’re always together in the studio, giving constant feedback, help, and advice on each other's work.”

Still from the film After It Happened

After It Happened credits:

  • Lucy Jaegers - Director
  • Marcus Karamanolis - Producer and Compositor
  • Jared Lee - FX artist and behind-the-scenes documentary Director
  • Kichyan Zhang - onset VFX Supervisor, Material Artist, Lighter, and Compositor
  • Ripley Shi - Cinematographer, Lighter, and Compositor.

For Philip Matich, MDT student, Environment Artist and Co-Producer of Chrysalis, the highlight of the project was seeing the film evolve from the initial ideation through to its final state. “It’s been super exciting being a part of everything coming together!”

Chrysalis is a 3D animated short film that follows Eve, a meticulous recluse whose routine is disrupted by the discovery of a strange pebble, a reckless creature, and rising winds that bring irreversible change to her life,” he explains.

“We used Unreal Engine as our primary software for Chrysalis because of its real-time rendering and accessibility. In addition to this we’ve been using Houdini, Maya, Substance Painter, Blender, and Motive.”

“Charachter looking at a pebble”
Still from the film Chrysalis

Chrysalis credits:

  • Rachel Baker - Director, Character Artist, Rigging, Animator, Environment Artist, Prop Artist, Concept Artist, and Editor
  • Philip Matich - Environment Artist and Co-Producer
  • Brock Trewevas - Motion Capture Artist and Producer
  • Robert Wilkins – Assistant Director, Technical Director, Effects Artist, and Motion Capture Artist
  • Wade Li - Concept Artist, Environment Artist, Prop Artist, and Lighting Artist

These two films, along with films by Master of Fine Arts (Creative Practice) students, will be screened later this month at The Roxy Cinema in Miramar to an exclusive audience of industry insiders. With the students set to graduate in a few months, the showcase offers a crucial platform for them to make important connections that will help kick-start their post-University careers.

“Desert landscape”
Still from the film Chrysalis