You are never too young to chase after your dream – just ask Trop Junior’s 2011 winner Simeon Bain. The 15-year-old took out two of the major prizes at this year’s competition and he is keen to see other kids sign up and give it a go.
His winning short film, Imagine follows the life of a seemingly average teenager who unexpectedly turns into a highly trained special operative after receiving an order from headquarters.
The first time entrant was surprised and a little nervous to have his work viewed by a large audience.
"It was pretty nerve wracking ... having so many people watch it but the response was pretty good so it was nice," he says.
Inspired by the creative styles of directors, Christopher Nolan and J.J. Abrams, Bain set out to create an action film that would leave his audience guessing.
"I like action films so that kind of style inspired me," he says. "I obviously don’t have that much equipment or much of a budget so I just tried to make the best that I could with what I had."
Tropfest Founder and Director, John Polson, says that Simeon’s win is proof that you don’t need expensive equipment to come out on top.
"Trop Jr is about the strength of the idea. You don’t need fancy equipment or a degree in filmmaking, all you need is a great story" says Polson. "Last year Simeon wowed crowds and took home two of the major prizes with a film that was created using a mobile phone."
Not only can Bain shoot his next film on his own digital video camera but thanks to Trop Jr he also got a chance to see what it’s like behind the camera with the professionals.
"I did a week of work experience at the ABC. I am still in the process of making the film with the Tropfest mentor, Matt Chuang. It has been really awesome, he [Matt] has been super helpful and I have learnt tons of stuff about filmmaking."
The self-taught filmmaker has loved every minute of the experience and had a decent taste of what a career in the film industry would be like.
"It has given me a bit of insight into the industry and shown me how TV studios work ... and with this film I am making with Matt, I have learnt a lot about working with crews and the whole proper way to go about the process."
After his whirlwind year of success does Bain have any advice for other young, budding filmmakers thinking about entering Trop Jr?
"I would say definitely do it and give it your best shot because if you put a lot of effort in they will notice and you will make a great film and you might even win."
Entries for next year are now open and close on Thursday 5 January, 2012. Visit www.tropjr.com to enter.