Stu­dent film-mak­ers in­spire teacher


What started as out as a vis­ual story telling hobby for teacher Baz Caitcheon soon de­vel­oped into a full-time job, con­tract­ing to pro­duc­tion houses such as Green­stone Pic­tures, Cream Me­dia, TVNZ, TV3 and the BBC.

‘‘As a teacher, my high school stu­dents and I made heaps of videos. They were full of ideas and loved mak­ing videos,’’ he said.

‘‘That en­ergy was in­fec­tious. I reckon ev­ery­one is a sto­ry­teller, some are bet­ter than oth­ers but it’s some­thing we can all do.’’

Caitcheon will be of­fer­ing his time and ex­pe­ri­ence to pro­vide some ad­vice and tips to those mak­ing movies for the Cam­bridge Edi­tion Short-Film Com­pe­ti­tion.

The com­pe­ti­tion will be held as part of the Cam­bridge Au­tumn Fes­ti­val.

Caitcheon stud­ied at the Univer­sity of Waikato to com­plete a de­gree in eco­nom­ics and then went on to teach English, in­clud­ing me­dia, at sec­ondary school.

He said his high school stu­dents were his big­gest in­spi­ra­tion and it prompted him to look at me­dia and video pro­duc­tion fur­ther as a ca­reer.

It led to a job of­fer, project man­ag­ing TVNZ’s new me­dia depart­ment.

‘‘That meant teach­ing, shoot­ing and edit­ing sto­ries our­selves on small cam­eras and com- put­ers.’’

He shot, di­rected and pro­duced many tele­vi­sion se­ries. Some of those he contributed to or was re­spon­si­ble for in­cluded Nurses, Mag­gies Gar­den Show, Wanted Down Un­der, Mo­tor­way Pa­trol, Chop­pers, Demons to Dar­lings, Pri­vate In­ves­ti­ga­tor and Auc­tion House to name a few.

He also di­rected and pro­duced re­al­ity tele­vi­sion shows but found that chal­leng­ing to be in­volved with.

He’s now re­turned to a teach­ing role with his com­pany, Baz­za­cam, based on Wai­heke Is­land, and is a spe­cial­ist at on­line video com­mu­ni­ca­tion for on­line.

‘‘Now all me­dia is ‘new me­dia’ and I teach peo­ple how to shoot, edit and pub­lish on and from smart de­vices.’’

Re­cently, he was con­tracted to run train­ing pro­grammes for Stuff, to teach re­porters how to make news videos for on­line plat­forms, us­ing smart­phones and tablets.

This is the medium those en­ter­ing the short-film com­pe­ti­tion are be­ing asked to work in as well.

Caitcheon was an ex­pert in smart­phone video pro­duc­tion and said he was keen to pass on his ad­vice to Cam­bridge’s young film­mak­ers.

‘‘My ad­vice re­gard­ing video

The De­tails

Short-films can be be­tween 1-7 min­utes.

Must be filmed around Cam­bridge, us­ing smart­phone or tablet.

The judges fo­cus will be on script writ­ing, act­ing and edit­ing.

The short film can be edited on any soft­ware at school or home.

Films will be played dur­ing Cam­bridge Au­tumn Fes­ti­val April 7-15.

Open to stu­dents only but teach­ers may of­fer help, ad­vice.

Visit our Neigh­ page for more in­for­ma­tion


pro­duc­tion, is to find some­thing you are good at, some­thing you love and that makes your soul feel good.

‘‘Then spend all your time do­ing it. If you stay pos­i­tive and en­er­gised, you’ll find a way to make a liv­ing from it.

‘‘Most open­ings into this game where you can make some­thing of a liv­ing are side en­trances. So build your video sto­ry­telling port­fo­lio con­tin­u­ally, build your net­works.

‘‘It might mean more than any qual­i­fi­ca­tion you might study for.’’

Caitcheon will re­view each of the short-fims made for the com­pe­ti­tion and pro­vide some writ­ten feed­back to the film-mak­ers.

Baz Caitcheon is an ex­pert at smart­phone and tablet video pro­duc­tion and will be of­fer­ing his ad­vice to young film-mak­ers.

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