In Focus: an eye for detail behind the lens

From a very young age everyone knew Sean was a budding film maker. Never one to shy away from the camera, he was at home whether in front of the lens or controlling it. From our days collaborating in the class room to appointing him as the Head of Communications for Wadwell Initiatives, Sean has been constantly challenging himself to think outside the box of film and representation.

Sean

Working in a freelance capacity, he has developed an impressive portfolio producing high quality videos and graphic design for clients such as, the University of Wollongong, UOW College, All About Yves, Wollongong Nightlife, Ingleburn High School, Live N Lounging, Regals Musical Society, Mint Accessories, Ruby Claire and, of course, Wadwell Initiatives.

Sean’s love for the moving image started back when he was eight (or nine) after is father first introduced him to a computer-based video editing program. Sean recalls,

I’ve always been a storyteller – as a kid I used to write short stories and draw and construct picture books; creating whole ideas and titles for a series of novels. When Dad handed me a camcorder and some editing software, I was fascinated by the fact I could tell stories this way too. And for me it’s so much more appealing telling stories this way than through text, because you get to see exactly what I’m envisioning.

Astute observations of social trends and attention to detail contribute to Sean’s high quality execution. After high school he pursued a Bachelor of Media and Communication at the University of Wollongong where he co-produced the highly successful, ‘PopUp’. This weekly vox pop series started out as a group assessment with his fellow students Lindsay, Ed and Gretel and continued for three seasons (to coincide with semesters). The series engaged the student body in current affairs and issues facing young adults. Nothing was off limits from terrorism, gender, euthanasia and political activism to more light hearted themes, such as consumerism, online celebrities and beards. It is fair to say that POPUP became an institution at UOW and within student’s broader networks.

This widespread engagement and organic relations with students led Sean to being commissioned by UOW. He produced a series of promotional films highlighting student life at the university. Focusing on building facilities, student life, academic resources and conference documentation, to name a few, these videos are easily accessible online and continued the crisp style and light humour that Sean refined throughout his studies.

What is Sean’s must have piece of equipment?

I could say the camera but that seems too obvious and a bit sarcastic. Maybe I’ll just say my 50mm lens. It was a spontaneous purchase and relatively cheap in comparison to my other lenses, but it still produces some of the best footage I’ve ever shot. It produces all the characteristics of the aesthetic that I’m going for.

On the side Sean voluntarily assists Wadwell Initiatives, producing promotional material for my projects (his official title was social media guru at one point). Watching Sean grow exponentially makes me super proud to hear that this month Sean will take up a position with Newscast, a video production company based in Canberra. Sydney’s loss is a massive win for the capital territory, but don’t fret, Sean ensures me that he will still be around.

Sean is a well-travelled individual who loves an adventure any day of the week. When I asked him what his dream filming destination would be, his response didn’t surprise me it excited me –

I would love to do something a bit different to what we see in the mainstream film industry. Maybe Korea? I love Korean culture (although I’m yet to go there – perhaps why I’m excited about it). Say we lived in a future where I was a mega successful director, I’d love to hop over to Korea, or really anywhere in Asia that isn’t really seen commonly in typical Hollywood films, and not just film there and then pretend it’s America or something, but actually show off their culture and cities and landscapes, be like ‘Yes, this film is set in Korea, look how great this is!’

Keep your finger on the pulse and follow Sean here.

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