Students at RSP Win ‘Best Comedy’ at South Australian Screen Awards

By: Crystel Newman | Categories: Awards, Education, rising sun pictures

A sequel to the popular robot comedy is currently in the works, again written and directed by Rising Sun Pictures (RSP) Instructor and produced by students enrolled in RSP’s highly successful Graduate Certificate Program.

Lucy and DiC, a short film directed by Jeremy Kelly-Bakker and featuring character animation produced by students enrolled in Rising Sun Pictures’ Graduate Certificate Programs in Visual Effects, took the award for Best Comedy at the 20th South Australian Screen Awards. The film, which had its world premiere at the Adelaide Film Festival last year and has attracted more than a million views online, imagines a time in the not too distant future, when technology is no longer content to serve our best interests—in fact, it’s developed an attitude.

“It was an honour to receive the award from our peers in the South Australian film community. It also recognises the professional contribution made by the students, says Jeremy Kelly-Bakker, who is an instructor at RSP and conceived the film as an opportunity for students to apply their classroom skills to a real-world project. “We’re still finding a lot of enthusiasm for the world and characters created.”

The award comes as post-production work is underway on a Lucy and DiC sequel by a new group of RSP Graduate Certificate students. “Our students are very motivated to be working on a film project that now comes with an established audience and proven track record,” notes Kelly-Bakker. “We’ve learned a lot about how to film and operate the character and workflow from the first short. We’re shooting and editing in a different way, ironing out the kinks and starting with an established library of animations. It should result in a smoother production. Although, the new episode is longer than the first, we expect less work in making it across the finish line.”

Student animators and visual effects artists involved in the project are receiving support and guidance from professional artists and technicians on RSP’s staff. All parties put in long hours to give the project a professional polish and make it stand out, according to Kelly-Bakker. “Students benefit immensely from direct contact with working professionals,” he says. “They’re picking up a whole range of tips and tricks from the pros that they wouldn’t normally get in a classroom environment.”

Several graduates involved in the original Lucy and DiC have been subsequently successful in landing jobs as freelancers or contract workers at visual effects studios in Australia and abroad, including Rising Sun Pictures, Animal Logic, Resin and MPC.

Rising Sun Pictures is currently expanding its 3-year-old educational program, which operates in partnership with the University of South Australia (UniSA). Beginning in 2019, RSP will commence delivering the entire third year of UniSA’s new VFX specialisation within UniSA’s Bachelor of Media Arts degree. RSP currently offers Graduate Certificate programs in Compositing and Tracking, and Dynamic Effects and Lighting, available to both local and global university students and advanced diploma graduates. Additionally, the studio began delivering two new subjects onsite this year as part of the second year of UniSA’s the Media Arts degree: Modelling and Texturing, and Look Development and Lighting.