Film veteran shares wisdom

�I think the main thing is to let them know that someone, who has had some success, is potentially no different to them and success can be theirs,� McAlpine said.

�They have to have a lot of knowledge, a certain natural aptitude, they have to be lucky and then the rest is easy.�

McAlpine�s modesty is endearing considering his body of work that began in the early 1970s with Don�s Party and My Brilliant Career before Hollywood called with films like Predator, Romeo and Juliet and X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

Given permission to name drop, McAlpine said he loved watching the late Robin Williams work on four of his movies, including Mrs Doubtfire, and was amazed by Robert De Niro.

�But my favourite would have to be Anthony Hopkins (in The Edge),� he said.

�He�s probably the most wonderful actor I�ve worked with in the sense that he was absolutely brilliant, but it wasn�t hard work because it was totally natural.

�He made no fuss about it, just got out there and did it and he was wonderfully approachable to everyone on the crew.�

McAlpine�s visit to the ECU Mt Lawley campus was thanks to a longstanding friendship with WA Screen Academy director Cathy Henkel, who directed Show Me the Magic, a documentary about McAlpine.

The documentary was screened before a public talk about McAlpine�s life and career, wrapping up two days of student and local cinematographer workshops.