BIG DREAMS: Production designer Rhianna Malezer, 24, has received mentoring from Baz Luhrmann via Skype.
BIG DREAMS: Production designer Rhianna Malezer, 24, has received mentoring from Baz Luhrmann via Skype. Sarah Harvey

Rhianna gets a real buzz out of Skyping with Baz

IPSWICH production designer Rhianna Malezer has always admired director Baz Luhrmann's films, and now she's had a chance to talk about film making with him on Skype and will soon meet him in Sydney.

Ms Malezer won a competition held by Samsung in conjunction with NIDA where they picked 10 young film makers in different categories to go down to Sydney and do an intensive short course at NIDA and make a short film, where she also interacted with famous director Luhrmann on Skype.

"I've been a huge Baz Luhrmann fan since I was in high school," Ms Malezer said.

"Baz Luhrmann is a representative of Samsung and while we were down there we Skyped with him in New York and we each had questions relating to the film we were making and what advice he could give us. It was inspiring.

"For an overall film, Strictly Ballroom has always been my favourite Baz Luhrmann film.

"The Great Gatsby was his most stunning visual film, closely followed by Moulin Rouge.

"All his films have that element of really beautiful production design.

"On the 24th of October we get to see our film screened at the Opera House and Baz Luhrmann is going to be there."

Ms Malezer said it was a thrill to speak with Luhrmann.

"Because we were designing a sci-fi film my question was that we were creating this film set in the future but we wanted our sets to be very timeless, so how do we go about creating a timeless world?

"It was a really intense situation, being on a screen in front of him. I took it in, but five minutes later I'd forgotten what he said.

"My mentor wrote it all down for me so she is going to be sending it to me, and we also get a video of our conversation with him so I can look back at it.

"It took a long time to set it all up and sitting there in front of the TV...with every minute that ticked by I got more and more nervous waiting for Baz to pop up on the screen.

"But he made us feel really at ease. He was a really cool guy actually. He was really accommodating."

Ms Malezer is set to move to Sydney and start working as an assistant on bigger productions and work her way up.

"I want to design bigger budget features," she said.

"I've always been obsessed with film making and when I left high school I went to Griffith Film School at Southbank for three years.

"When I left there I realised production design is what I was good at."