FASHFEST 2017 Masthead
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Dream Jobs: Georgina Jenkins

Amanda Whitley

“WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP?”

When we’re young, many of us fantasise about being musicians or making movies; as we get older we may dream of being paid to review fine food, or working in magazines. But what’s the reality of these ‘Dream Jobs’?

She’s worked as a writer/producer on everything from FASHFEST short films to Foxtel’s Secret City, but as Georgina Jenkins reveals, it’s not all celebrities and red carpets.

WHEN DID YOU KNOW YOU WANTED TO BE A WRITER/PRODUCER?

I knew I wanted to be a writer from quite a young age, but it wasn’t until I was a teenager that I became interested in drama and filmmaking … but acting wasn’t really for me. 
I wanted to be more in control, so I took on 
the role of stage manager in several school productions. Like all kids, I loved the movies, and cult classics like Apocalypse Now, Whitnail and I and Bladerunner saw me totally blown away by this elevated art form called cinema.

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WHAT WAS IT THAT DREW YOU TO THE PROFESSION?

Film is such a compelling, immersive, versatile medium. As a storyteller, I’m totally intoxicated by the possibilities of its transcendental and transformational power. What I love about writing is that it’s about connecting with audiences through self-exploration. It’s about bringing an idea to life. Producing is about driving the project forward.

What I love about producing is that you’re constantly in motion. I used to think I had to choose between the two, but in recent years, I’ve discovered it’s quite handy being both.

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WHAT’S YOUR JOB REALLY LIKE?

The realities of the job are that to make a living you’re not always working on your dream projects. I run a production house with my cinematographer husband where we do a lot of corporate work … It’s rarely glamorous but it allows us to pay the mortgage, feed our kids and occasionally be able to work on our own self- funded short films and documentaries.

I’m currently developing a low-budget feature and a TV series, but film is the most expensive art form ever devised and investors don’t
 take these risks lightly! It may take years of development before a project sees the light of day. So it’s a hard slog requiring a lot of persistence and determination.

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BEST BITS?

Stories are how we make sense of the world. I want to tell stories that mean something to me, and as a creator it’s important to bring that authenticity, but when a story resonates with audiences, that is what it’s all about.

Another very rewarding thing is giving back to the industry and mentoring emerging filmmakers.

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WORDS OF ADVICE?

Get a degree – it’s a great foundation. But all the theory in the world cannot replace work experience. Making films with your mates is great. Make as many of them as you can. But you also need to align yourself with people more experienced than you. Get an internship. Get a mentor. Offer your services working on professional productions. Be prepared to do coffee and lunch runs – whatever it takes to prove you are in this business for the long-haul.

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All photography by Martin Ollman

This article originally appeared as part of our Dream Jobs article in Magazine: The Dream Issue for Winter 2016. Find out more about Magazine here

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Amanda Whitley

Amanda Whitley is the founder and director of HerCanberra. In her 'spare time', she instructs zumba, loves to cook (and eat), and wrangles two gorgeous little girls. She's done everything from present the tv news to operate a stop and go sign and is passionate about connecting Canberra women. More about the Author

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