IT was as a 13-year-old doing magic tricks and illusions that the film bug bit for Benalla teenager Jordan Wippell.
He began filming his tricks and soon enough become passionate about a career behind the camera.
In six months he will head to the US to take up a specialist scholarship at the University of Advancing Technology in Arizona.
Click on the video below to see Jordan's film Rain Dog. (iPhone users go to Video tab in Menu.)
It was awarded to him on the basis of a film he entered in the Phoenix Film Festival.
The judging panel in Arizona was impressed by the maturity of his film, the fact it had been made on no budget and that, at 19, he was one of the youngest filmmakers ever to have been accepted into the festival.
He spent time meeting directors, making contacts and watching films, but the highlight was being a guest on a question and answer panel after his film, Rain Dog, was shown.
Mr Wippell recently took out third place in the Mosaic Film Michigan USA, and the Audience Award at the University of Advancing Technology Film Festival in Florida.
“The Phoenix Film Festival (in April) was an incredible experience,” he said.
“It was really cool that my film played in front of an audience, but it was also being part of the whole festival experience.”
His film was considered so good that he was awarded a four-year scholarship to study digital video at UAT.
Mr Wippell said he was looking forward to heading to the US to begin his scholarship in May.
“I can’t wait. It’s been a long wait to go to America and do film stuff over there so I’m very excited.”
Mr Wippell honed his skills with editing and camera and sound operation while undertaking a two year school-based traineeship with WIN News at Shepparton.