Graduation is shaping up as an exceptionally busy day for Floyd Pepper of Hastings.
Floyd’s grandparents, mother and girlfriend will see the 20-year-old capped in Napier’s Municipal Theatre and they will join those lining the streets to cheer him and other graduates on in the traditional downtown parade.
Shortly after, the Diploma of Screen Production graduate will be winging his way to Wellington to join fellow Heterodox band members on tour.
Music and film are Floyd’s twin loves and he has studied both at EIT.
In 2010, he and two fellow Karamu High School students formed Heterodox, a “groove/thrash” metal band which features Floyd on bass guitar. His interest in film production was spurred on by a passionate teacher heading the media department‘s film unit and, as a class project, Floyd filmed and produced a music video on the band.
Leaving school, he and another band member enrolled for EIT’s newly-launched Certificate in Contemporary Music Performance.
“It was something I was interested in so I thought I would give it a shot,” Floyd says. “It was a good year with other people who had the same goals and interests.”
Weighing up screen production studies as a possible next step, he wondered about committing two years to the programme.
“I thought it would take ages to do but it ended up finishing really quickly. It was cool. I learnt heaps of stuff. The lecturers teach you things you really need to know for the industry.”
Floyd found he was most interested in field sound recording, post production sound and camera work. As last year’s top screen production student, he was awarded the Pania Award – a gilded statuette that takes its cue from the Oscars.
While studying at EIT, he gained work experience at Sky Sports, on a Rubberneck Productions’ television commercial shoot and on a Top Blokes Productions music video shoot of local band jakob. Happy with his final-year short film, he is entering the mockumentary Bogan Life in competitions.
While studying, Floyd also started doing odd jobs for AWA Transmedia. Founded by Waiohiki Intellectual Property Charitable Co Ltd in collaboration with EIT’s ideaschool, the Government-funded production studio explores ways to use social media to promote positive social development.
Posted on the studio’s website and Facebook and shared with other websites nationwide, visual productions focus on community and awareness issues such as cyber-bullying. Their work includes the award-winning E Tu Whanau! (Stand Tall Family).
AWA Transmedia production coordinator Hayley Osterfield, another graduate of EIT’s screen production programme, offered Floyd a permanent part-time position after he gained his diploma. The studio’s core crew members, the pair are supported by administrators and engineers who work offsite.
Floyd would eventually like to move to Australia where he hopes to pick up production work. After that, he will see what eventuates.
With increasing opportunities in an ever-expanding range of multi-media careers, screen production programme coordinator Claire McCormick says Floyd’s prospects here and abroad are looking very positive.