When RP graduate Perry Lam watched Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight for the first time, he had no idea it would launch him on the path to his current career.
Mr Lam, 30, was already intrigued by movies and filmmaking at the age of 16, but his interest truly skyrocketed after watching the 2008 film as it influenced him to pick up a camera and delve deep into filmmaking.
“Film became something I yearned to be part of. It was a time when I was amazed at how there was a director behind the camera pulling all the strings,” said Mr Lam.
Mr Lam was enrolled in the Diploma in Interactive & Digital Media when he found his calling in filmmaking.
“I didn’t own a camera back then, so I only did film for my diploma modules. The media modules were the ones I gravitated to as I had a strong interest in learning about the process of filmmaking and studying the techniques used,” said Mr Lam, who studied in RP from 2007 to 2010.
After completing National Service, he made the bold decision in 2014 to leave home and pursue his passion in Australia.
“When the opportunity came after National Service, I decided to go with what my heart yearned for, which was filmmaking, and took a chance on it,” said Mr Lam.
Mr Lam pursued a Bachelor in Arts at Sydney’s Macquarie University and continued his education there by researching on aspect ratio and its relationship to cinematic technique as part of his Master’s programme.
As Sydney became his home base, he worked in various companies, such as American toy company Hasbro as a motion graphics designer and film production company Triumvirate Productions as a lead content producer. Mr Lam is currently a motion graphics designer at Nine News, one of Australia’s biggest news networks.
While he honed his technical skills through his jobs, he let his creativity take centre stage in his personal films. Calling his personal project HypePhase2, Mr Lam explores different techniques and genres of film while producing compelling stories.
“Introducing HypePhase2 naturally felt like the next step in my career,” he explained. “I’m able to give my audience entertaining cinematic worlds to visit, which is very fulfilling.”
And his hard work has been recognised, most notably his short film titled Black Rat winning Best Documentary at the Phoenix Comicon Film Festival in 2016. The festival is an annual event where international films of all genres are showcased to fellow film lovers. His other films have also been shortlisted for awards at various local film festivals.
With his burgeoning film career, his RP days might seem a distant memory, but Mr Lam said RP provided the foundation for his current success.
He said: “My lecturers taught me to be open to risks and gave us creative freedom to create whatever we envisioned. I learnt about the fundamentals of filming through hands-on practice, which was basically trial and error, but the experience instilled in me to be okay with failure.”