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Bond alumnus scoops second prize at Tropfest

Bond University Film and Television alumnus Cameron Edser admits being presented second prize by Toni Collette at the Movie Extra Tropfest Final is “all a bit of a blur”.

“All I know, from watching the replay, is that I had the biggest grin I’ve ever seen on my face. I guess I was pretty happy!” Edser said.

And happy he should be. Scooping second prize at the world’s largest short film festival has catapulted Edser and his Co-Director Michael Richards into the spotlight.

“Already we’re starting to see doors opening for us. Overnight we went from relative unknowns to, well, not famous, but significantly more prominent within the film industry,” he said.

The South Australian pair’s four-minute animation, My Neighbourhood Has Been Overrun by Baboons, was the culmination of six months of painstaking work with six-inch clay figures.

“Those six months of working virtually around the clock was all worthwhile for four minutes of sitting among an audience of 75,000 at the Domain in Sydney who were all laughing and cheering for our film. It is pretty much the best thing any filmmaker can hope for,” Edser said.

It’s a long way from the relatively small audience at Bond University’s Film and Television Awards that watched one of Edser’s first claymation shorts - The Bushman of Bunyip Billabong – win him a full scholarship to study Film and Television at Bond.

“I learnt a lot while studying Film and TV at Bond. I worked on a lot of productions that helped hone my skills in the broader area of filmmaking rather than focusing solely on animation. But it was probably the useful connections I made with staff, students and people in the industry that was most beneficial.

“Whether I went to Bond or not, I would have kept making films, but having a great institution, like the Film and Television department at Bond, to guide you in the right direction, critically analyse your work and motivate you to continue, is absolutely vital,” Edser said.

After graduating from Bond in 2007, Edser moved back to his home-town of Adelaide to establish GooRoo Animation with friend and business partner Michael Richards.

The pair are now working on a documentary on the creation of stop-motion animations that they hope to market to schools as a teaching resource to inspire the next generation of filmmakers, for whom Edser has this advice: ”Just keep making films – as many as you can. It's the best way to learn.”

For more information contact t Bond University's Centre for Film, Television and Screen Based Media.

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