Year 12 student, Declan’s film, Captain Cardboard has been shortlisted in the top three for Comedy in the prestigious Bond University Film and Television Awards (BUFTA). The competitive, fun and fast-paced filmmaking competition is open to Year 11 and 12 students across Australia and has attracted over a hundred film entries across nine categories.
“[Captain Cardboard] follows an ordinary schoolboy who is chosen to become Captain Cardboard, the only hero who can save the city from the big blue ball from space. It is an amalgamation of superhero stereotypes which parodies popular films,” explained Declan.
Originally a Year 11 school project, Declan refined the film further before submitting it to the BUFTA. “I have been working on it since Year 11. I was tinkering with the editing and the soundtrack right up until I entered the competition.”
Declan credits his Media teacher, Mr Glen Strindberg for inspiring him to keep making films. “I was introduced to media and film making at school, and I started with making little films in class and they slowly got better. I was inspired to keep working on my skills by my teacher, Mr Strindberg, who is always teaching me new things and encouraging me,” said Declan.
Mr Strindberg has enjoyed supporting Declan throughout the years saying, “My role as a teacher and more specifically as a media teacher is to inspire and educate students in the world of media. Supporting Declan’s interest in technical aspects of feature films and television series meant that we would often have in-depth discussions about ground-breaking filming techniques from directors, editors, and cinematographers. This helped to spur his creativity and learn the technical skills required to create entertaining stories. As a teacher, it is very rewarding to pass on my knowledge and expertise to students.”
Two other Bunbury Cathedral Grammar School graduates have previously qualified for the Finals, with one winning the ‘Best Editing’ subcategory and another winning their film category award.
Mr Strindberg, who has been the Media teacher throughout those successes, has found competitions like this to be very important for students.
“The past few years I have begun to adjust some of the media tasks in class to real-world competitions, festivals, and applications. This allows students to see how their work can be far more than just an assignment, as it can bring them opportunities outside of the classroom. For Declan to be recognised for his work as a finalist in a national competition is a fantastic achievement,” said Mr Strindberg.
After school, Declan plans to study film at Notre Dame University with the hopes of making feature films one day. When asked if he had advice for young budding filmmakers, Declan answered, “Watch as much television and film as you can. New and old movies, so you can learn from experienced film makers. Keep making your own stuff, no matter what it is or how bad you think it is, because some things can only be learnt by doing.”
Voting for the People’s Choice Award is now open, and Declan’s film can be viewed here: https://bond.edu.au/study/experience-bond-for-yourself/high-school-student-experiences/experience-a-study-area/bond-2