Who doesn’t enjoy stories about two nerds finding love?
Well, we’ve got a good one for you. Multimedia schools SAE Brisbane and Qantm College – tired of playing coy with each other — have finally shacked up in an architecturally award-winning, state of the art facility on West End’s riverfront; a relationship destined to last.
“The idea was that we wanted to be a multimedia school that could quickly change with the times,” Campus Manager Michael Page says. That one’s going on the wedding invitations.
The union, which still comes under the name SAE Australia, offers degree, diploma, certificate and masters in audio production, film production, animation, web and graphic design, interactive digital media, games programming and games design.
So, instead of writing 2,500 word essays, SAE students are building video games, producing albums and recording (apparently epic) trip-hop covers of John Lennon’s ‘Instant Karma’. Basically, it’s Mecca for techno-geeks.
“We’re nerdy and we embrace it,” says Academic Coordinator Dr Luke McMillan of the community culture at the school, which houses around 600 students. “There’s a board game club. They do D&D, and then there’s Warhammer Friday. We have an Anime Club who meet on Tuesdays.”
The building was built to accommodate Cutting Edge, Australia’s leading production company, which vacated earlier this year. SAE Brisbane is a stone’s throw from the heart of West End and covers 2.5 floors; the ‘half’ is a 40-seat cinema on the top floor, where students can preview their creations (and watch anime).
The sleek, modern building is perched on the waterfront, overlooking the city. It presents like a sophisticated office space, with seven fully fitted-out audio studios, animation labs, graphic design creative project spaces, gaming labs, an industry standard film studio, a collaborative audio space inclusive of a vocal and foley booth, and an 80-seat auditorium. They even go a little green: window shades are programmed to come down at a certain hour to cut cooling costs.
Michael Page seemed more than a little giddy when he pulled the veil on the school’s pride and joy: a custom series 75 Neve model analog desk. Handmade in Byron Bay, this baby is (apparently) a sound producer’s wet dream, and advanced SAE students get to run their hands all over it.
The focus of the student “breakout room” is a wall-mounted TV before which sits a cluster of seating and enough consoles to keep any geek happy, over lunch at least. Nestled in the corner is an old-school arcade racing game. A crumpled piece of paper lies on the dashboard, tallying a high score competition between staff and students.
Dr McMillan — who holds a PhD in Game Design and flies back-and-forth between Abu Dhabi (where he trains Ubisoft interns) and Brisbane — had his top score knocked off last week. As long as competition doesn’t get too rough, I predict this will be a long and fruitful companionship.The SAE Brisbane and Qantm College campus is located at Cnr Jane Street & Riverside Drive, West End.
SAE Brisbane QANTM College