I am currently studying film, and more specifically cinematography at Unitec, though I have been keen on being a part of this industry for a very long time. My first exposure to filmmaking was the 48Hour Film Festival in 2014, and this extreme crash course sparked my passion for the screen. I have since been involved in various short films made among mates, and of course 48Hours every year since.
2019 was first year at Unitec, which introduced me to a much more professional world. Because of this, already my skills have improved drastically, due to having proper guidance and role models helping me forward. Sean Rundle and Donny Duncan NZCS are, let’s say ‘mentors’ to me, as I have worked with them both in academic and personal capacities. I am extremely grateful for the professional and personal relationships I have developed with them both and am excited to see how they grow in the future.
My major end goal is to establish a solid career in cinematography, hopefully becoming a DOP in a major industry (feature or otherwise), however for now I am focused on growing my skills as best I can through studies, and taking any and all opportunities that are presented to me. I love being involved in filmmaking, and even something as simple as being on set to watch the magic happen is enough to keep me happy for weeks afterwards.
I look forward to the many connections and experiences I will be able to create through the NZCS, and getting to know all of you, my (fingers crossed) future co-workers and partners in our chosen field!
~ James Ashenden