Business Owner, Digital Media Producer, Practitioner of Trial and Error – Eleven & Twelve
Where are you now and how did you get there?
I’m running my own media production business in Melbourne, producing digital media products for all kinds of clients, as well as publishing and broadcasting my own projects under my business’ name.
I make websites, videos, and digital strategy plans for businesses, organisations and artistic project managers.
And I’m also publishing an online magazine, and launching a digital community radio station. … And producing my own documentary, writing a comedy festival show, running around with my dog, and doing anything else that feels right.
I got to this point, by basically being a total nerd and spending all my time learning how things work, and experimenting with cameras, and websites and HTML. I spent a lot of time making friends and pets pose for photos and dress up for videos. And even more time browsing the Internet for things I could learn and be inspired by.
Oh, and I studied a lot too, which helped. I completed a double degree in Perth, then moved to Melbourne and enrolled in my Masters at Swinburne and met some amazingly supportive and encouraging people. And for a while I interned and volunteered so much that I didn’t have time to earn money for food.
But the most important part of it all has been just coming up with ideas and giving them a shot, seeing what works, and what doesn’t, and finding new ways of doing things.
Why did you choose to study Media?
Initially, when I was 16, I changed my undergrad enrolment at the last minute from Molecular Biotechnology, to Media and Info, because I thought it’d land me a job on ‘The Great Outdoors’ and I could spend my life holidaying. But I pretty quickly fell in love with language, writing, and visual communications, and using all of those tools to tell stories and communicate ideas. I did a double degree in Media and Info, and Asian Studies – a mismatched combo that fulfilled all of my desires to talk and tell stories. I started my Masters so that I could learn more about digital communications so I could tell more stories and reach for people to communicate with!
Before you started your degree, what did you think you would like to do? Have you achieved or changed this goal?
From veterinary science, to genetic biology, to holidaying media personality, to what I’m doing now – my goals have changed a lot. I am having more fun and learning more than I ever thought I could at work/life. My job has become my lifestyle, and passion and part of my personality.
Now, my goals are to contribute to a new landscape of digital media, where content is more diverse, balanced, free, and accessible to more people at a high quality. I’m excited by the downfall of traditional print and broadcast media, because it means the industry now belongs to citizens with enough energy and passion to innovate and put something new out there – rather than to hierarchies of editors and investors.
I can’t wait to see all the exciting new things that all the bright young journalists, producers and creatives will make, now that the more traditional jobs are becoming fewer and further between!
What is the best aspect of your job?
I pretty much get to do whatever I want. It’s amazing. I create things that I want to create. I choose the people I want to work with. I learn new things, meet people, and visit new places all the time. I have so much flexibility with my routine. I work long hours, and I work my butt off – but it’s rewarded by being able to sleep in some days, or take sunny afternoons off to enjoy the weather when I need to.
Oh and I’m totally creatively fulfilled.
What advice would you give to current students?
Put yourself out there! Learn how to build an awesome website, and then create your best content, something that you not only enjoy creating, but that you would like to consume if you were the audience. Then put that content on the website, and meet lots of people and show them what you’ve made. Get feedback and advice, find collaborators, or enthusiastic friends. Then just keep creating things. The industry belongs to anyone with an Internet connection and an idea, now! So if you’ve got both, just get out there and use them!
Learn as you go. And if there’s something you don’t know – just Google it. You can learn pretty much anything via Google.
Anything else you would like to add?
Just get out there and make stuff!