As thousands come from afar to experience Dark Mofo, three students from the School of Creative Arts and Media are at the heart of the action, working on professional placements that will give them real world experience on a thriving arts festival.
Pius Kung and Tash Bulyga are working in the busy media office of Dark Lab, the organisation that produces the festival.
In addition to studying at the University of Tasmania, Pius has studied in Los Angeles and Hong Kong, but this is the first time he has worked on a festival.
“I’ve met some journalists, helped to organise itineraries and I’m getting familiar with putting out media releases,” Pius said. “I’m studying a Bachelor of Media with a major in screen. I hope to become a feature filmmaker and this experience is helping me understand media and marketing, which will be really valuable for me, especially if I am involved in film festivals in the future.”
Tash came from Adelaide to study the Master of Strategic Communication at the University of Tasmania. Her placement is giving her all-round experience in the media area - helping to organise itineraries, set up media events and liaise with journalists. “It’s interesting and fun to be able to apply your learning to real world situations. I went to a media call and I’ve never done anything like that before. I’m hoping to get a better understanding of how the media works because I would love to work in this type of liaison role, within the arts sector.”
Gianni Sen is a classical flautist interested in experimental music. Gianni is in his final year of a Bachelor of Music and his professional placement is with the stage crew at Mac 2, where the attractions include the innovative and acclaimed German pianist Nils Frahm.
Gianni aims to be a professional musician, but realises that today’s artist needs many strings to their bow. “To be a complete professional artist you really need to be able to do everything. You are not always going to have a professional crew backstage.
“Dark Mofo for me is about being involved in the background tasks and event management. I’m hoping to improve my knowledge of stage handling and upskilling so that I’m not pigeonholed into just being a musician.
“To really be independent you need to know how to run an event, things like running leads, making sure musos are in the right places, helping with artist and sound tech liaison.”
The student placements are an important part of the University’s connection to Dark Mofo. It is also a festival Venue Partner, providing space for festival events at 79 Melville, the Melville St Car Park, Site 9 (31-33 Melville St) and the Forestry Building at 83 Melville St.
Pictured: Tash Bulyga, Gianni Sen and Pius Kung at 79 Melville St, Hobart.