Alumni Profile: Arnold Leibrandt
Arnold graduated in 2014 with a BA undergraduate degree with major in Film and Media Production, specialising in Screen Production and simultaneously completed the BA major in Drama Studies. He is a Film and Media Specialist and self-proclaimed ‘cinephile’ with a lifelong passion for creating engaging and thought provoking media. After graduating he was accepted to the SA F.I.L.M Academy Internship Program, which provided him with valuable internship/trainee experience on a number of high profile productions for approximately a year and a half; most notably working as a VTO/DIT trainee on Black Sails season 4. Following that, he worked as a freelance film industry professional in a variety of different positions (although mostly as a post-production specialist/video editor) on a number of different productions for approximately two years, with my most notable role being that of one of the comedy writers/video editors for season 1 of the television series Comedy Central News with Sne Dladla, which aired on Comedy Central Africa. However, the ups and downs of the "freelance game" had taken it's toll on him and he therefore decided a change was necessary, and since then he has been a full time Videographer at Hubble Studios, a company which focuses on producing online learning videos/packages. He hopes to travel overseas at some point, work in the industry, complete a masters degree and lecture film studies.
Arnold says, “ the degree provided me with an opportunity to experiment with my artistic expression and take more creative risks with the medium. It also gave me a strong foundation/knowledge of the industry before I entered it as a professional, thus lessening the "fish out of water" feeling when first breaking in. I also gained a number a great like minded friends from my time completing my degree, many of whom have gone on to do great things and have been more than willing to extend a helping hand when I found myself in times of professional struggle. There's a sense of camaraderie I gained from my fellow film students that I have yet to experience in any other professional/educational forum”. He also reflects on an important lesson he learnt at UCT that, “Whilst one should always strive for perfection, you can never disregard the importance of deadlines. In the real world there's no percentage penalty for late submissions, if you don't make a deadline, you get fired”. He also reflects on his time at the department. One of his fondest memories was having his script voted in as one of the six graduation films to be produced in third year, which he was then able to write/direct. Whilst his team and he ran into many obstacles along the way and ultimately the film never turned out exactly as he had envisioned it, it was a tremendously fun and exciting learning experience that he is immensely proud of and will cherish forever. Rebekah(2014), went on to be shortlisted for the following year's SAFTA's best student film category.
Arnold’s advice for incoming students is “e prepared for all the negative nay-sayers you'll undoubtedly encounter throughout your career, and learn to block them out”. He encourages new students to never lose sight of their goals.