Leisa Dias: Cutting her way to the top
Page last published: 18 Sep 2013
How do you tell the story of a TV show in 30 seconds? Media graduate Leisa Dias has made a career out of doing that - producing trailers and sneak peek promos of TV shows and movies. As a TV Promo Producer, she shoots footages, writes scripts and edits clips for several ads for different shows every day. Not only has she built a significant portfolio and credibility in the film and television industry, she is living her dream.
Leisa has always loved the art of storytelling and enrolled at Macquarie University's Bachelor of Arts - Media to help her turn that passion into a career.
Learning at Macquarie
She says, "I chose Macquarie because it has one of the best media degrees available with a focus on practical filmmaking subjects. Macquarie allowed me to discover which areas of film production interested me most, giving me a clearer idea of the types of roles I wanted to pursue as a career. Studying at Macquarie also honed my writing skills across a number of genres, which is an invaluable skill to have as a media professional."
"One my most memorable experiences at Macquarie involve shooting the student films I participated in as part of my major. My group mates and I went on a road trip to Orange in the middle of winter to shoot a film that was supposed to look like it was set in the hot outback. It ended up snowing while we there! As the editor of that particular film, I had to get pretty creative with the colour grading to make the footage look the way it was meant to. That was my first taste of video editing, and now I'm doing it for a living."
Breaking into the industry
Leisa knew that cracking into the film and television industry is tough, so she went out of her way to create opportunities for herself.
"I went for work experience at ABC while I was studying and I also volunteered as a runner on shoot for a VISA commercial. By the time I finished my degree I had developed an interest in video editing, so I bought editing software to practice and maintain my editing skills. I wrote, directed and edited my own short film and I also produced corporate videos," she adds.
Being a Macquarie graduate also broadened her professional network.
"The people I met while doing my degree provided the beginnings of my career network. I went on to work on short films with several of my fellow students after graduation and have bumped into many Macquarie graduates as my career has progressed."
Leisa believes that Macquarie University provides a great starting point for a career in media, and making the most out of the university experience is a key to landing a great job after graduation.
She advises, "Do as much work experience as possible while you're studying to build up your network of contacts and to also see what sort of roles are out there. For instance, I had no idea what a Promo Producer was when I first saw the job advertised, despite it being one of the largest creative areas of employment with in the television industry. If you don't have any contacts to help you, start by calling the HR departments of all the big production companies and TV networks."
"If you are interested in production or post-production, try to create and produce your own films. You'll gain practical experience this way. Make sure you include all your work experience and your roles on any student film on your resume. At this early stage of your career, anything and everything that demonstrates experience and/or passion and initiative is vital to give you an edge in getting a job."
When Leisa was starting her career, seeing the promos she produced being shown on air and knowing that millions of people are watching them gave her so much fulfilment. Now she is even prouder to be able to mentor the junior producers and pass on the knowledge and skills she has learnt along the way.
Interested in studying media and screen production? Learn more about Macquarie University's media courses.