Hothouse, Hot New Talent!

Hothouse 2013, our intensive program for Victorian secondary students, has opened for entries! To celebrate we asked some of our Hothouse 2012 alumni, who explored game design, to take a look back on their experience.

Hothouse participants Josh Caratellie, Reegan Quick and William Campbell

Hothouse participants Josh Caratelli, Reegan Quick and William Campbell

“I was immensely surprised when I found I had got in”, remembers Sam Cole. As was Amy Rolfe, who used spare periods at school to record the ‘to camera’ pitch for her application: “I did about fifty takes because I get awkward talking to cameras. When I found out I got in I actually did a celebratory dance!”

Our ten successful applicants spent a week in the ACMI production studios immersing themselves in the world of game design and developing brand new mobile games. Here’s a behind-the-scenes peek at what went on:

“I was pretty nervous at first about spending an entire week with people I’d never met before” says Amy, “but my fears were quenched the moment we started sharing sketchbooks and playing arcade games together.”

“Just being around like-minded people is really a brilliant experience” according to Mollie Wilkins. “We had only just met, but it took no time at all for it to feel like I was best friends with everyone there.”

Hothouse 2012 participant Mollie Wilkins

Hothouse 2012 participant Mollie Wilkins

For Josh Caratelli, sharing concept ideas was the highlight of the program. “You throw crazy ideas around…somebody has an idea and it’s great, then somebody adds something to make it even better. You go in thinking you know things… but if you keep your eyes and ears open, there’s so much you can learn from team members.”

For Krystal Pham, the experience counts as “The best work experience I have ever done!”

The group got advice from industry professionals, including international games superstar Tim Schafer.  For Mollie, this was “Inspiring. The more people I met the more excited I became about what I was doing – and also made me realise what I want to do in the future.”

The Hothouse students with videogame legend Tim Schafer

The Hothouse students with videogame legend Tim Schafer

So, what advice would our Hothouse alumni give to people thinking about applying for Hothouse 2013? A resounding “Do it!” says Reegan Quick. “Stop thinking about it and start to begin your application because it is an experience you can’t afford to miss out on!”

Mollie agrees: “Don’t hold back, go for it – it’s an experience that I’m going to treasure for the rest of my life.”  Sam adds: “The knowledge that I got in that one week of the ACMI Hothouse program completely eclipsed all of my previous knowledge on game development. It was a great way of learning, and I know so much more because of it.”

– Kate Matthews, Digital Storytelling Coordinator, ACMI

This year’s Hothouse program focuses on narrative film-making. Applications are open now and close on Mon 25 Feb 2013. Good luck!

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