Harmony on the Murray- Pre Production WEEK 1

Pacific Stories – Harmony on the Murray has had a great first week in Robinvale working with our 9 new film makers from Robinvale P-12 College.  The community welcomed us on the first evening with a BBQ and after showing the parents some of Pacific Stories and My Story, My Place- Through the lens the parents wanted to know when there would be workshops for the adults!!

We ran an intensive film making workshop with the students.  The group is made up of 9 students from Tongan and Aboriginal backgrounds.  We wanted to give students from these two backgrounds an oportunity to explore their identity and relationship to each other through the film making process.

Pacific Stories - Harmony on the Murray group. © Pacific Stories 2012

We started by exploring film, culture and identity, with students learning about film genres, the film making process as well as some Indigenous Australian history and exploring their own cultures and identities, both as cultural groups and then individuals.

Students also learnt the technical aspects of film including composition, framing and interview techniques – which they all got to put into practice during a vox pop session at lunchtime, where the filmmakers interviewed their peers about different isues. And at the special assembly to welcome the school’s Japanese visitors.

Vox Pop in action: Sarah, Mary & Lillian ask fellow students about what culture means to them. © Pacific Stories 2012

Students then went on to learn about STORY – something that we always come back to as filmmakers!!!  Students studied script and storyboards, developing their own in small groups of a 6-shot film that the students then went out and filmed in the school yard.

By the end of the week it came down to the business end of the workshops, with students having to develop their own individual film concept. They developed a sysnopsis and  plot and pitched it to the group. All 9 students came up with really interesting ideas but after the pitches only 2 could be chosen and there was a unanimous vote for two films.  The films that Harmony on the Murray project group is making are about- “Religion in Robinvale” and “Talented People in Robinvale”.  We are really excited to get back up to Robinvale for the first week of May to start making these films.

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On friday, after a very long intensive week, we asked the students about the Pacific Stories experience to date and this is what they had to say:

” The thing I enjoyed the most is filming all the angles because it helps me when I’m filming something.” Jeremyaar.

“I think it’s important to be part of this project because if you have a message to tell people and you don’t have a voice, this project is the perfect opportunity for you get your message out and it’s also a great way to learn the different techniques about filming.’ Lillian

The part I enjoyed most was storyboarding and filming it and watching the varieties of documentaries they have previously filmed. I deeply love Pacific Stories! You learn, use skills and most of all have FUN!” Mary

” I have enjoyed interviewing people’s thoughts on this school because we got to have a go with using the camera and learning different techniques.” Ofiu

“I have enjoyed using the video recorders, and being able to film many things. Like: interviewing people, making a story board and producing it. I am enjoying how we interact as with each other, and how we co-operate together, to improve our team work skills.” Moj

” I think that it’s important to be part of this project because the community will hear what the youth have to share and we could also get a lot of skills out of this” Ebony

” Its important to be in this project because you learn how to film and learn about filming and how to use a camera and all about the different types of angles, shots and about production and directors and producers.  You learn heaps that you never learnt of heard before and it is an opportunity to learn more about filming.” Sarah

“I cannot say what I have most enjoyed about the filming process because I have enjoyed everything because I am learning all different kinds of things about filmmaking and each other.” Kadeasha

” I think that it is important to be in this project because I want to learn more about things and get to know more about the people that we work with.” Juanita

Back L-R: Amie (Facilitator), Ebony, Mary, Lillian, Sarah, Ofiu, Moj, Jerammyaar. Front L-R: Nita, Kadeasha, Lia (Faciltiator). © Pacific Stories 2012

So, it was a hugly productive and inspiring week working on Harmony on the Murray - a film project that is not only going to have some great outcomes with the the creation of 2 short films that will be screening in June, but also with the development of these 9 exciting new film makers.

Thanks for following us on this journey!

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