“Studying at Unitec gave me a very good idea idea of what it was like in the industry.”
“It gave me plenty of practice and experience at making mistakes and learning from them. I became better at working under pressure and solving problems quickly,” she says.
“I learnt a lot about every aspect of filmmaking during my study, and every bit of information has come in handy.”
Rather than memorising information from textbooks, filmmaking students in New Zealand are encouraged to think for themselves and apply their knowledge in real-life work situations.
That’s one of the reasons why the Economist Intelligence Unit ranked New Zealand as first in the world at educating students for the future in 2017.
It’s also why the Mortal Engines production team could be confident it had a deep pool of industry-ready talent to tap into.
Courtenay says her favourite part of studying was being able to work with students from many different disciplines, from writers to lighting designers.
“It was a collaborative and supportive environment. It was awesome feeding off all the talented creative minds studying there,” she says.
“We had a lot of creative freedom. We weren’t just told what to do and how to do it: we were given the space to solve problems and make mistakes and grow.”
For Courtenay, studying filmmaking in New Zealand has opened the doors to an exciting career in the global movie industry.
She says she thrives on having a job where she is constantly challenged to solve problems. “I love being able to be creative and work with my hands – I’m not the kind of person who would cope being stuck behind a desk!”