Graduate Success

Brioni Gray

Employed at Top Shelf Productions

“I’m a mother of three and used to be a travel consultant. However I had an epiphany after the birth of my last child and realised I needed a change in career direction. I wanted to fulfil my life with a passion for my work. I knew so many people who worked to live and I was falling into that same predicament. I knew I had to get out and change things!

“I enrolled at ACG Yoobee in 2011. It was close to home which meant it worked in with my family. Papers were intense but it looked like I could start my career in two years, rather than three-plus years as with other institutions. And time was of the essence for me! ACG Yoobee taught me how to tap into my creative side, understand it and project it into a story. It also taught me that in the creative industry, all feedback is valuable. Studying there was like being part of a big family. We were all in the same boat, working late nights, aiming high and supporting one another. There was a lot to juggle – as well as studying, I was a production assistant for TVCs, and did talent work to network with production crews. I was also a full-time mother and wife! But it was always my goal to do my absolute best and I ended up getting first in my class and graduating with a merit of distinction.

“I graduated from ACG Yoobee in February 2013 and have been freelancing since then. I started out at Māori TV as a graphics artist and operator, autocue and PA for a few months. From there I went to Attitude Pictures for a year and was mentored as a trainee director. I’ve worked on documentaries and short web clips and now I’m researching and directing for Top Shelf Productions. I’ve always liked the work that Top Shelf produced so when I found out there was a position open I emailed the boss and told them how awesome and hardworking I was! I also got a glowing reference from my previous boss and managed to secure a contract with Top Shelf last year. I must have made a good impression because they asked me back this year too!

“As researcher/director my time is spent researching stories, finding talent, organising production shoots, writing scripts, interviewing talent, field and post directing – and basically anything else that gets the job done! The skills I learnt at Yoobee have been very valuable. My studies in post-production help me in every aspect of production, from researching and writing scripts, to field directing and ultimately post-directing. I already have a vision of the end product before I start!

“This is definitely not your typical 9 to 5 job - every single day is different. Being constantly surrounded by open-minded creatives and having the ability to bounce ideas of one another is one of the things I love the most. It’s so good to finally wake up every morning with a passion to go to work!”

Brioni Studied