Film-maker from New Zealand shares experiences with Curtin Sarawak students

Students and staff pose for a group photo with Irwin.

Students and staff pose for a group photo with Irwin (2nd from right).

Miri – 20 August 2014 – The Media, Culture and Communication Department of the School of Business at Curtin University, Sarawak Malaysia (Curtin Sarawak) recently organised a ‘film sharing session’ with visiting New Zealand film producer and director, John Irwin. Over 20 mass communication students and staff of the department attended.

Irwin has over thirty years’ experience in producing, directing, shooting and editing documentaries, dramas and promotional projects under his film company, Wild Sweet Productions Limited. The company was established in 1990 for the production of the New Zealand – Greece co-production, ‘In Rich Regard’. This broadcast documentary explored the relationship between Crete and New Zealand arising out of the Second World War.

During the session, Irwin showed several promotional videos he has worked on, including ‘Piano on Tour’ and ‘Private Journeys – Public Signposts’, as well as a few short advertisements he made for universities in New Zealand and Australia.

Irwin related that he loves documenting history because it enables him to experience and work with different cultures, adding that film-makers need to continually work on their techniques to improve their quality of work.

He also touched on the beauty of filming, saying that it teaches individuals to collaborate in teams and working together to solve problems, and emerging new technologies in the production industry.

Following training in London as an English, speech and drama teacher and two years at the London International Film School, Irwin returned to New Zealand to spend five years at Pacific Films in Wellington.

In 1991, he joined the University of Otago as an educational video producer and video production tutor, followed by a stint as a sound and moving image tutor at Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology. Returning to fulltime freelance film-making this year, John has edited a 70-minute documentary on an Australian gold prospector and developed a project on the World War 1 Anzacs in Greece and Gallipoli.

Wild Sweet Productions documents the arts, New Zealand and Pacific history, health and environmental issues and produces educational and promotional resources. The company’s other interests include video oral history, film preservation and archiving and production consulting.

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