Will Edgar has come a long way from filming talking mops in his backyard with his mum’s digital camera.
The Wollongong High School of Performing Arts year 11 student now has a burgeoning careering as a filmmaker, most recently recognised at Sydney’s prestigious student film festival the Robin Anderson Award where his short film Carmen was screened last week.
The festival began in 2010 to honour documentary filmmaker Robin Anderson. It is open to high school students all over Australia and has three categories – for junior students, senior students and an open category.
Will won the junior category last year with his short film Float, which he put together in just two days.
This year his entry was about a troubled teen, and Will spent more than five months developing, filming and editing the story.
‘‘It’s about the influences on a young teenager that make her go off the rails and go down a path that she usually wouldn’t have.
‘‘I started writing it because I heard a song that influenced me to write the film.’’
Former Wollongong High School student Justin Dela Cruz wrote and played the soundtrack for the film and his long-time friend Taylor Johnson, who attends Figtree High School, was the lead actress.
Although Will’s film didn’t win the best film award at this year’s ceremony, Taylor was given the prize for best actor.
Will said last week’s screening was a good chance to assess some of the top young talent from around Australia.
‘‘It’s really cool to be able to watch young filmmakers’ films – they are so inspiring,’’ he said.
‘‘When I won the award last year, it made me realise this could be my career if I really wanted it to be, because I thought ‘If I can do that in two days, imagine what I could do in five months’.’’
Will was eight when he made his first foray into film – making movies around his house and backyard with his mother’s digital camera.
‘‘Then when I turned about 12 I got a video camera and I started making music videos using my friends with songs we liked and they would do things like dance around and stuff,’’ he said.
‘‘When I was eight I was making films about household mops that were talking with each other and now I’m doing much more serious things.’’
‘‘I can tell how much I’ve grown – it’s all starting to get bigger and better.’’
Will now plans to work hard on two films for his Higher School Certificate visual arts and drama courses.
His aim is to get accepted in to the Australian Film Television and Radio School in Sydney after year 12, to pursue his passion.
‘‘This is the one thing I really want to do and I think I can do it if I put my mind to it,’’ he said.
‘‘I love it because of the effect you can have on people.’’
‘‘The film I made [last year] had a dark ending and people were really shocked – I remember the lady in front of me put her hand up to her face – so that’s what I like to do: get a reaction.’’