Studying in another country is a daunting experience, but an extremely exciting one that is full of opportunity to learn and grow. Sydney Film School encourages and welcomes with open arms students from all around the world into their Diploma and Advanced Diploma programs. We currently have students attending the school from countries such as Brazil, Russia, India, France, Spain and Sweden who are all keen to learn about filmmaking in Australia in a practical sense.
Olesya Mazur is from Moscow, Russia and is currently studying Diploma of Screen and Media at Sydney Film School. After completing her study in TV and Film Production in her home country, she decided to further her studies overseas and chose our school based on it’s reputation for it’s successful practical component which is highly regarded in the industry.
We thank Olesya Mazur for taking time out of her busy Sydney Film School schedule to have a chat to us about her experience at the school and living in Sydney.
Interview and article by Nicole Newton-Plater
Firstly, where are you from in Russia and what did you study before coming to Sydney Film School?
Originally I’m from Moscow. Few years ago I graduated from a course in Management in TV and Film Production at Moscow State University. Also after graduation I worked for 2 years in TV production.
Was studying overseas at film school something you had always wanted to do? And why?
During my study at university I was thinking about going to study overseas, but at that moment getting working experience in the industry was my priority. After two years of working in TV production, I came back to the idea of studying overseas because I was always interested in the practise of international film production in order to meet different prospects in filmmaking and, of course, to improve my English. For me it was also important to compare my own experience to combine elements of my previous working experience and new knowledge in order to achieve better results.
Where did you first hear about Sydney Film School and how did you make the decision to come here?
I saw an ad on the website of the Australian embassy about a presentation of the school. I really liked the idea of practical orientation of the school and that I could meet closer with editing software, camera and lighting gear. I think that truly you could learn filmmaking only by actually making something, and not learning the theory, though it’s also important.
Do you find Sydney Film School accommodating for foreign students such as yourself?
Everyone is very supportive and always trying to help. It’s really nice that except me, there are a lot of other overseas student from all over the world like Brazil, India, France, Spain and Sweden. I think it’s a great opportunity to collaborate and network for the future.
What was the most challenging part about coming to a new country for film school?
For me it was just an exciting adventure. I was very excited, though a bit scared of breaking my normal routine. I had mostly irrational small fears. I remember that I was worried about random small things like where I will get my haircut. It’s stupid and irrational, but mostly I was just excited to start the program and to create a new life while doing what I really love…filmmaking.
And what was the best part?
Best part is to do what I love. The process of trying to find my voice as a filmmaker and the creation of my own projects.
What is something you feel you have learned about film that you perhaps wouldn’t have if you studied in Russia?
I guess it’s not about learning. It’s about the opportunity to create something of your own. I was working for TV production before and I was supporting developing and the creation of someone else’s idea. Here for the first time in my life I created my, completely mine project. It’s an amazing feeling to see how something that was just in your head, small and very general idea gets flesh and blood.
How have you found living in Sydney is different from your hometown?
It’s very laid back comparatively to Moscow, which never sleeps, and to find coffee after 5pm is challenging. You need to get into Sydney’s schedule. It’s more relaxed, though I liked it.
What do you plan to do after you complete your time at Sydney Film School?
Work, work, work and work. I want to find an internship or preferably paid job to get more experience. I’m looking forward participating in great and interesting projects and to see the world through the camera.