Ones to Watch

Corrie Chen

For Corrie, directing is all about process and pace - seeing firsthand the realities of directing in the real world, pre-empting problems before they happen and putting out fires, all while retaining the integrity of work.

Through what Corries describes as a mixture of luck and persistence she was selected for three funded director’s placements - Nowhere Boys, Peter Allen, and The Leftovers.

While some emerging directors loath the idea of placements, Corrie found them crucial in her training, learning by osmosis, and shadowing her directors everywhere they went (sometimes even accidentally to the toilet).

Her first hired gig was at the beginning of 2017 on Mustangs FC, where she directed three episodes and will always recall as her truly unforgettable first job.

Confidence is key for Corrie to do her best directing work and Corrie credits RGM agent Jennifer Naughton and Producers Amanda Higgs and Rachel Davis who championed her along the way and believed in her through times when she stopped believing in herself.

For Corrie it’s an exciting time to be a storyteller.  “Niche” storytelling is no longer scary, “authenticity” is desirable, and Corrie wants to be at the genesis of stories and projects that change the status quo of what “diversity” means – not just on screen, but more crucially behind the camera.

“I want to be part of a legacy that makes lasting changes to the makeup of the Australian screen landscape, and through that, build a new audience and thirst for different voices.”

Corrie’s future goal is to make content through the lens of an “Asian- Australian voice”, rather than a specifically “Australian story” … and of course, do her reboot of Jurassic World: Shanghai Rampage.

Meleesha Bardolia

For Meleesha, filmmaking is about illuminating characters and issues that often go unnoticed. While studying directing at the VCA from 2013-2014, Meleesha used her time there to hone her skills in directing, screen language and sound design to use the medium of film to investigate the subtleties of social justice issues and characters' inner landscapes. In terms of process, Meleesha is drawn to the  creative problem-solving the rigors of directing involve as well as how collaborative filmmaking  is and the sense of camaraderie within a film family. 

Meleesha's career so far has seen her make four short films which have screened internationally and won awards. Her most recent short film Match was selected for the  64th Melbourne International Film Festival's Accelerator Program in 2015. It went on to screen at the NewFilmmakers New York series at the Anthology Archives in Manhattan. 

Since 2015, Meleesha has worked for Matchbox and ABC as an EPK Director for Barracuda (2016) and Seven Types of Ambiguity (2017). In 2016, Meleesha also directed a 20 minute documentary for the Wilin Centre  (supervised by filmmaker Richard Frankland)  which followed the relationships between Indigenious Elders and Indigenous sudents at the VCA and MCM. 

Meleesha credits her recent director's attachment on Picnic at Hanging Rock as a wonderful learning experience giving her the opportunity to direct some second unit shots for Block 2 which included VFX plates, macro shots for montages, drone shots and a FX Burns unit. 

Director, writer, producer and cinematographer Lynne Ramsay is a stand-out filmmaker for Meleesha who loves the way Ramsay blends social realism with poeticism. 

Meleesha hopes the skills and experience she’s gained so far will hold her in good stead to make her first feature in the near future.

Johanna Zantuck

Johanna’s fist paid gig in the industry was a Script Coordinator position at Neighbours. Since then she has been steadily working her way up the ranks and is currently the Script Editor on the long-running series. Johanna also has a few personal projects on the side that she’s working on in her spare time, including publishing a historical romance novel.

Through Film Victoria’s industry placement, Johanna took part in House Husbands Season 5, which gave her valuable exposure to the world beyond soap. Also spending some time on A Place to Call Home, she had the privilege of learning from hugely experienced practitioners.

One of the most influential figures in Johanna’s career development is Stephen Vagg, who gave Johanna her first job at Neighbours.

Within the next decade, she sees herself as a show runner on her own show, which would probably be a crime thriller, historical drama, or a combination of both. 

Tracey Rigney

Tracey has always loved stories - particularly those her Grandfather used to tell her. Growing up in the small country town of Dimboola, pursuing a career in the screen industry seemed like a far and distant dream for Tracey. But moving to Melbourne some years later, Tracey began playwriting and in this way, the screen industry found her and she has never looked back.

Tracey wrote and directed Endangered (2005), Abalone (2012) and Man Real (2015). Her first industry placement was on the succesful feature, The Sapphires which she credits as an amazing experience and the stepping stone to a writers placement on The Warriors.

Tracey credits these placements as opening up doors to work on other projects that she has immensely enjoyed. Tracey has since gained advisory roles on television series Picnic at Hanging Rock TV with another project in development.

Whilst memorable role models are too numerous to count, Tracey highlights a few individuals who have gone beyond lending verbal support and backed it up with actions. Tony Briggs, Robert Connolly, Gillian Armstrong and Sue Maslin are those who have been mentors to Tracey, both formally and informally and have also provided opportunities to learn and work more in the film and TV sector. 

Looking to the future, Tracey wants to build on her writing and directing experience and hone her craft for film and TV. Developing and making content for children is a particular goal for Tracey, particularly since giving birth in 2016. She’d also like to have a feature film or TV series under her belt or in development.

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