Sunday, March 01, 2015


Lily Bennett (Class of 2012)

We live in a competitive culture, school is a competitive environment, and film is a competitive field. By the time I was a junior in high school, I already had a clear idea of how to pursue my goals, but I thought my chances of getting into a film school were slim at best. The path from high school to university appeared to be strict and concrete: must needed all-round outstanding academic and extra-curricular achievements. But by the time I was a junior in high school, I'd not been able to tick off all those boxes. However, I had been able to tick off a few boxes of my own: a strong film portfolio containing official selections at regional, national, and international film festivals, and awards of excellence. I was worried, though. I thought "how much does a college really care about what I've done in a high school film program?"

In 2013 I was accepted into the Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS). AFTRS is the most rigorous film school in Australia. The schools application process judged on merit, meaning that a panel sat down and evaluated my work. Thanks to the portfolio of narrative shorts, documentaries, music videos, and PSAs that I had created over my four years in Lawrence's classes (as well as an Australian citizenship) I was able to get into my dream school! On my first day of class I realized I had some of the most experience among my classmates with story, camera, lights, and on-set safety. Now, just over a year later, I've worked on countless student productions, Production Assisted on the Ellen DeGeneres Show, and was a Costume Assistant on the feature film Mad Max Fury Road. This goes to show that one great opportunity leads to the next, and the Ballard Digital Filmmaking Program is the first great opportunity. The work you produce in these classes will be valuable to you in the years ahead. I am so grateful to have been a part of such a program. It opened the doors to my greatest career goals.