Green Light means GO! Filmmaking – its a journey. This is where mine started…

I have worked in film and TV for …years. Let’s just call it enough time to learn a thing or two and long enough to jump out with the energy, enthusiasm and passion to want to share the things I have learned. You see, during my time working in Film and TV I have taken my share of tumbles and stumbles. I started my filmmaking journey at The University of Sydney where I studied Film Theory and Spanish. Then I fell in love…with film!

Not content with the offerings at uni, I needed to know more…so once I had completed my degree, embarked on a 3 year process of knocking on doors (sometimes they were shut and other times they were bricked up!) and working for NADA (that means nothing in Spanish!). I worked for NADA on many projects including many student films and documentaries – what I didn’t realise at the time of course is how much I was learning; and so I yearned and pined for that first REAL film job. What I also didn’t realise at the time is that I was already a filmmaker – albeit a very poor one!

Eventually, while working as a waitress, that well worn path, like so many others before me, a kind Production Co-ordinator took pity on me and offered me a job! My first real, actual, true and proper paid job in FILM! Oh what joy and happiness, sunshine and rainbows. The birds sang and even two day old indian take away tasted sweet!

So with a Holden station wagon, 1000 bucks in my pocket and an incomprehensible list of things to buy from the grips department I set off on my first day as a production runner on The Mask 2. A cinematic master piece – NOT!

From there, I worked on many films (Yes, I worked on StarWars and yes, it was amazing!) and shows as a production runner trying to figure out exactly what I wanted to do within film – and doing my best not to get fired or yelled at, something that seemed to happen frequently to those around me! I tried my hand at editing – but spending all day in a dark room didn’t really suit me, I love being with people too much. I studied with two of Sydney’s most highly regarded continuity people, but I couldn’t get enough opportunities to practise that complex and intricate craft to sustain that path. I worked in production, but being chained to a desk for 16 hours a day was like water torture!…so finally after much traial and error, I settled on Assistant Directing ( or ADing for short!).

My first job as an AD was on Superman Returns where I thought, yeah…I’ll have me a bit of this thanks! From there I went on to work as an AD on movies such as Newcastle, Don’t be Afraid of the Dark, The Knowing, and TV shows such as Pacific, All Saints, Angry Boys, Wilfred, Neighbours, as well as Advertising campaigns, most notably the QANTAS “I still call Australia Home” but also many more.

But fate always has a way of intervening and the best thing in the world happened with the arrival of my beautiful little girl. Well, obviously spending 16 hours a day at work just simply wouldn’t do now…so back to the drawing board! My brilliant idea this time was to get into screen writing and teaching so off I went back to Uni where I completed a Graduate Diploma in Primary School Teaching at Victoria University and a Graduate Diploma in Screen Writing at RMIT.

And here we are: Green Light Film School – the culmination of all that I have accomplished as a filmmaker, writer, educator and parent. Ready for you to absorb, learn and pick my brain, to start you off on own filmmaking journey.

Lets get you going, Green Light means GO!

Susana Torrealba
Assistant Director, Teacher and Parent