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Curtin graduates win TV award

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Two recent Curtin graduates have been rewarded for their initiative by taking out a community television award in Melbourne last month.

Kirk Goodsell and Melanie Dimmitt’s lifestyle talk show The Red Room was judged Most Outstanding Personal Development Program at the Melbourne Antenna Awards, and also picked up a nomination for Outstanding Young Person’s Program.

‘It was fantastic,’ Kirk said.

‘It was nice just to get nominated for the two categories because there are so many shows on Channel 31 in Melbourne.’

The pair made the move east in 2007 after graduating from Curtin with communications degrees in the hope of breaking into the Australian television industry.

The Red Room came about when Kirk and Mel decided to take matters into their own hands in regards to getting them noticed in the industry.

‘We thought instead of sitting around waiting for our agents to call us with something, we’d go out and create our own show,’ Kirk says.

The duo put their heads together to come up with The Red Room’s magazine/lifestyle-show-for-teenagers premise and made a pilot of the show. Channel 31 bosses were impressed enough to pick up the show for a season which screened in September 2008.

Kirk, who also produced as well as presented the show, said he had learned many crucial lessons over the course of the program’s first season on air.

‘Presenting and being in front of the camera is one thing, but producing as well is a whole other thing. I had to learn to coordinate things like the technical department with the scriptwriting department, learning things like that was invaluable.’

The show appears to have achieved its goal of promoting its hosts, with Kirk scoring a guest role in an episode in Channel 7 drama City Homicide. He said it was a great experience to be on a professional set.

‘Just to see the equipment, I mean we had to make The Red Room on a budget of $3000. I could hold the camera we used in my hand; the Channel 7 camera was bigger than me… and I’m 6’1′ he laughed.

Season two of The Red Room is currently on hold due to Melanie being overseas; however Kirk is planning a new show, similar in format to The Red Room but aimed at Melbourne’s gay population. Kirk is hopeful the new show may reach a greater audience than his previous show.

‘Melbourne has quite a prominent gay community. There are lots of gay magazines and a gay radio station. So we’re going to try and use all that as support to hopefully get the new show on a commercial network.’

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