Dora the Explorer showcases new talent

The arrival of Technicolor Academy and new Mill Film studio in Adelaide this year is opening hundreds of job opportunities to local talent in Australia and further afield.

Among those finding an exciting career path opening in their home town are Flinders University digital media graduates Amy Nguyen and Courtney Paech.

They were among the first university students offered the ‘opportunity of a lifetime’ 12-month placements at the new facility on North Tce, Adelaide, where highly skilled animators and specialists in lighting, fx and compositing are among up to 500 employees expected to work at the South Australian studio in the next five years.

Amy and Courtney have thoroughly enjoyed working on several major projects – with Courtney working on the new feature film, Dora and the Lost City of Gold (Paramount Pictures, Paramount Players and Nickelodeon Movies), which is based on the Dora the Explorer franchise.

After a stint doing the Technicolor Academy visual effects (VFX) training course, they have been working at the new VFX studio, Mill Film, in Adelaide.

Mill Film is a new studio, under the Technicolor family of VFX brands, creating visual effects for feature films and episodic programs, with its production hub located in Adelaide.

This is Technicolor’s first presence in Australia, and the first time the company has partnered with an Australian tertiary institution to create opportunities for aspiring students.

Courtney says it was exciting working on the live action special effects in the new Dora the Explorer feature-length film.

“It’s been very exciting working here, and I am working hard to make the most of it,” she says. “The experience with the company and studio has been amazing.”

Meanwhile, Bachelor of Creative Arts (Visual Effects and Entertainment Design) graduate Amy Tho Nguyen, who excelled in Flinders University’s high rankings in the international Rookies visual arts competition, says her work on the visual effects of a new project due for release in early 2020 has given her an incredible experience.

“My time at both Mill Film and the Technicolor Academy has been incredibly valuable and rewarding experience,” Amy says.

“I’ve learned so much since starting here and I continue to learn things every day from the people around me.

“Our office space is amazing and my co-workers are wonderful people. I still can’t believe I’m here!”

Flinders University graduates Courtney Paech, Amy Nguyen and Emma Wittwer are excited for their futures in the burgeoning entertainment industry.

Another Flinders University BCA Screen Production graduate, Krystal Penhall, along with Emma Wittwer (TAFE SA Game Art/Flinders BCA VEED) have also joined the creative team – also working on the new Dora the Explorer movie.

Technicolor Academy Manager Edwina Jamieson says: “Flinders University has always been a creative University, with the partnership with CDW as well, now even more so.

“It is wonderful for Technicolor Academy to have such a great training ground for future employees here in Adelaide.

“Even in our first year, we have hired Flinders grads into the Technicolor Academy who are now working at Mill Film (and) we look forward to a continued close relationship with Flinders Uni / CDW,”  Ms Jamieson says.

Katie Cavanagh, course coordinator of the BCA digital media program, says Technicolor is producing world-class animations “right here in South Australia”.

“We are delighted our graduates are finding work in their home town, some even before they finish their degree,” says Ms Cavanagh.

“South Australia is already home to highly regarded visual effects and film studios, and with the entry of the Technicolor Academy and Mill Film our global recognition in this space continues its meteoric rise,” says Professor Vanessa Lemm, Vice-President of the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Science at Flinders University.

“The world-class experience, and outstanding creativity and professionalism of teachers and mentors at the CDW Studios / Flinders University Visual Effects and Entertainment Design program, were already, quite literally, second to none.

“The entry of one of the global giants in film and entertainment technology in Technicolor creates further wonderful career opportunities for our students.”

The Flinders-CDW collaboration has twice been named the world’s best digital illustration school by the prestigious Rookies awards. Often described as the Oscars for young creatives, the Rookies are the top accolades for students in creative media and visual effects, and provide incredible opportunities to showcase their work to the world and kick-start careers.

Technicolor’s award-winning visual effects brands and flagship locations have been producing VFX shots for large theatrical projects and prestigious films alike. Recent credits include Lion King, Dumbo, Blade Runner 2049 and The Jungle Book.

About Technicolor

Technicolor, a worldwide technology leader in the media and entertainment sector, is at the forefront of digital innovation. Its world class research and innovation laboratories enable it to lead the market in delivering advanced video services to content creators and distributors. It also benefits from an extensive intellectual property portfolio focused on imaging and sound technologies.

About Flinders University

 Flinders University is a globally focused, locally engaged institution with a reputation for excellence in teaching, learning and research. Excelling in Creative Arts, Flinders is a highly research active university that is finding solutions to the world’s challenges and contributing to social, cultural, and economic growth. 90 per cent of our research has been ranked at or above world class by Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA).  Flinders’ research achievements are underpinned by a robust network of partnerships with organisations and industries and are an important part of Flinders’ exceptional student experience.



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