Filmmaking nurses get pointers from NIDA

Fourteen aspiring filmmakers attended a NIDA workshop to learn some professional tricks and techniques in preparation for the inaugural International Nurses’ Day Short Film Festival in May.

Fourteen nurses/aspiring filmmakers attended a workshop at the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) in January in preparation for the Association’s inaugural International Nurses’ Day Short Film Festival in May.

The two-day workshop run by renowned local filmmaker, Maia Horniak, was organised by the NSWNA to help equip the nurses entering the contest with the technical know-how to tell their stories.

Maia took the fledgling filmmakers through all the basics of filmmaking including filming, editing, sound recording and music soundtracks.

Nurses came from as far afield as Mudgee, Coffs Harbour and Murrumburrah to join eight metropolitan colleagues in what was described by all as a brilliant crash course in filmmaking.

Jacqueline Sherry RN from Redfern Community Health was impressed at the level of creativity among her peers, particularly the range of genres they were undertaking.

‘I’m just doing a doco but one of the others is using horror, another comedy and someone’s even doing a sci-fi film!’ she said.

‘Maia was a great teacher. She was very thorough considering there was so much to cover in just two days.

‘We learnt a lot about technique and process but what helped me most, having made a short film before, was the pre-filming processes. It’s amazing how much there is to think about for one little sequence.

‘I’m filming right now but I’ll have to take a week off to edit the film. The workshop really helped – well, I think it did,’ she said modestly.

‘We’ll see once we get it on screen,’ she laughed.

Maia was equally impressed with the diversity of storytellers at the workshop.

‘It was fantastic to work with these people who brought in so much life experience,’ she told The Lamp.

‘They were all incredibly receptive, great collaborators and really stood up to the challenge – their openness, curiosity and good-hearted natures are, I suppose, typical of nurses.

‘And they all had great stories to tell. It was such a pleasure to be able to give them the technical stuff to help them tell those stories.

‘I really hope I get the chance to see the finished products,’ she said.

Sponsored by First State Super, the festival will be held on 13 May 2009 during the week of International Nurses’ Day at NIDA’s Parade Theatre, Kensington.

With $9000 in prize money up for grabs, it should prove to be a night to remember and one well worth putting on your calendar.

After the Sydney screening, the festival will be taken on the road in conjunction with NSWNA Regional Roadshow visits.