Skip to content

Ipswich filmmaker returns to where it all started

Wearing bright pink sunglasses and issuing instructions using a megaphone he picked up cheaply on eBay, Dustin Schmidt is living his dream of making films.

The University of Southern Queensland graduate returned to his old stomping ground to direct his first feature film at the University’s Springfield campus

Schmidt raised $10,000 to turn his award-winning screenplay into a film.

The Last of the Pretty Boys, which earned him Best Feature Screenplay at the Australian Film Institute Awards last year, centres on shock rocker Lazarus Graves who must confront his past after returning home to Brisbane following a successful international music career.

Schmidt said he was proud to be making his first major project at the campus where he studied.

“I had USQ Springfield in mind as one of the locations for the film when I was writing the script,” he said.

“It has brought back a few emotions and good memories being here, but I’m ecstatic I get to showcase the campus on screen, and bring in a few of my old lecturers for cameo appearances.

“They were the ones who supported and taught me how to make films, and to now be able to work with them again on my first feature film only seems fitting.”

Schmidt graduated from the University with a first class honours degree in applied media in 2016, but the Ipswich filmmaker, who is also a musician, said he had aspirations of making films long before he enrolled.

“Ever since I was really young, I have enjoyed movies,” he said.

“Iconic films like The Wizard of Oz, Star Wars and James Bond ignited my passion for movies at a young age and going to the cinemas was my favourite thing to do on weekends.

“I started making short films in high school and realised it was a great way to express my creative vision through writing, directing and producing.

“I later enrolled at USQ and the skills I learned during my degree were invaluable. 

“It is where I really honed my craft as a writer, but it also gave me a great chance to work with other students on short films, documentaries and television shows, and experience every aspect of the production process.”

Schmidt isn’t the only USQ connection to the film. Among the crew is a host of current and former students, including the film’s producer Indy Davies, director of photography Brodie Ramsay, editor Alex Morrison, camera assistant Jamie-Lee Tipo and make-up artist and co-star Angie Petersen.

“We’re all very passionate about making films and want to break into big budget feature films, so we are hoping this will give us a foot in the door,” Schmidt said.

“We’re all taking on multiple roles, but it’s been a great learning process, building every aspect of this film from the ground up.

“I also get to be creative on many different levels, from designing t-shirts and mobile apps to making props and writing my own music for the film.

“I have quickly gained an appreciation for every little thing that happens on a set, whereas if I had went straight into a big budget production where I had people doing everything for me, I wouldn’t have that same level of appreciation.”

Schmidt said more filming would take place across Brisbane over the next three months, and post-production was expected to wrap by mid-2021.

Next year, the University will introduce seven new Creative Arts courses, including:
· Bachelor of Film and Screen Production
· Bachelor of Television and Radio Production 
· Bachelor of Theatre 
· Bachelor of Music
· Bachelor of Creative and Community Wellbeing
· Bachelor of Design and Interactive Technologies
· Bachelor of Visual Art 

Find out more about USQ’s new degrees.

Behind the scene image of people making a movie.
BTS: The Last of the Pretty Boys.