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Baz Luhrmann Mentors Fledgling Filmmakers for Samsung Competition

With an association with Samsung dating back to 2010, Aussie filmmaker Baz Luhrmann has gone from spokesperson to mentor with the electronic manufacturer’s latest initiative involving the creative community, called the Shoot.

A national competition that reaches out to aspiring filmmakers with the opportunity to work with seasoned pros like Luhrmann, the Shoot culminates Thursday at the Sydney Opera House, celebrating its 40th anniversary, with a short film titled “The Pilgrim Report,” created by 10 novices of various filmmaking disciplines.

The filmmakers used the Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Gear phones and received full access to the facilities at the National Institute for Dramatic Art, where Luhrmann graduated in 1985.

“One of the things that attracted me to this Shoot idea was the the idea of giving something back and being helpful to younger people who are getting going,” Luhrmann told Variety. “All I did was be a cheer squad and a bit of a sounding board.”

Luhrmann explained that the students “were thrown into the deep end,” having been given three days in pre-production and three days of shooting. “And what they achieved was remarkable in that time.”

As Luhrmann explained, “no technology is going to make you a great storyteller, but it can certainly facilitate the heavy burdens of filmmaking.”

Luhrmann said he’s used Samsung technology with his wife, production and costume designer Catherine Martin, to share images on a film production in real time. “It wasn’t very long ago that we would have to go into a room and wait for that footage to be projected.”

“The Pilgrim Report,” which is about 10 minutes, can be seen online at The Shoot.

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