It is hard to imagine Warrnambool without the FJ’s Silver Ball on the skyline, but just a few years ago its future was in jeopardy.
Full of rust and a public safety concern, the ball was going to be taken down unless someone took responsibility for looking after it.
Back in 2014 when Tonia Wilcox started up the Save the Fletcher Jones Silver Ball & Gardens Facebook page, she had no way to knowing what a following and impact the page would have.
It was through this Facebook page that the Fletcher Jones Silver Ball & factory was bought and spared from a demolishment by neglect. It was also through this Facebook page that an outpouring of public love for the Silver Ball was expressed, along with stories of the FJ’s factory in its heyday.
Those stories, videos and photos shared on the Facebook page inspired the FJ’s community stories project and the development of a website to host those stories. It also inspired the creation of this 30 min documentary titled ‘Keeping the Ball in the air.’
In a world where social media gets so much bad press, the FJs campaign story is a great example of how social media can work effectively; how it can create social change and how it can connect people and create community.
There are plenty of people owed thanks to the telling of this story. As the filmmaker, I’d like to acknowledge that the film was made with crowd-sourced media. I’d like to thank all the people who made this film possible through contributing their photos, videos, newspaper clippings, artwork images and documentary memorabilia.
In 2015, I went along to a TAP Day at Timboon P-12 to create a video story on Ben Galia for ABC Heywire. Ben is a Heywire Winner and a passionate advocate for the farming and agriculture industries. At the Heywire Regional Youth Summit in Canberra, Ben and a group of young people came up with the idea of ‘TRACTA’; a program to help spread the word to young people all over Australia about the exciting and rewarding job opportunities working in the agricultural industry.
In 2014, Timboon P-12 School put in an application to Heywire (ABC) to adopt the TRACTA concept. Their application was successful and plans were in place to create a series of short films profiling the diverse jobs in agriculture in the Timboon and District area.
It was at this TAP Day that I had a chat with Assistant Principal Sean Fitzgerald about how the school were planning to create the short films and I offered my guidance. So in 2015 I began working with Year 7 and 8 Timboon P-12 Students mentoring them on how to create short documentaries. They used their iPads to film and record interviews, and iMovie to edit their films. Sean also had a GoPro that the students used to capture imagery for their projects.
TRACTA stands for – Try Regional Australian Careers Try Agriculture
These films were created as part of TRACTA, through a FRRR ABC Heywire Youth Innovation Grant.
This is a clip of the ‘Landscapes and Locals’ Window Installation in main street Peterborough which screened Jan 22nd- Jan 30th, 2015.
I was funded through the Moyne Shire Pitch Project Initiative to collaborate with the Peterborough community to create a nature-style film. The resulting film titled ‘Landscapes and Locals’ captures the stunning beauty of the Peterborough area, from the striking cliff faces, the pounding southern waves to the smaller details such as rock-pool inhabitants.
The film was filmed by ten participants on numerous cameras including smartphones, iPads, GoPros, DSLRs and Drones over the course of a few months. The resulting 40 hours of footage was collected, sorted, selected and edited into a 15 minute film by myself. Filmers include Natasha Johnson, Alex Nesic, Christine Norton, Wendy Couch, Barry Pike, Cath Bell, Gary Boehm, Coralee Askew, Luke Foster and myself.
The Snapshots project concluded with a full-house community screening of ‘Landscapes and Locals’ as part of the Celebrate Peterborough: Fireworks and Film Event. The screening represented the end of a six month film project that involved film-making workshops and the community creating a film together. To read more and check out event photos, see facebook/PeterboroughSnapshots
During two weeks in January while all the holiday makers were in town, the ‘Landscapes and Locals’ film screened on loop in the window in Mac Street, Peterborough. People treated it like a drive-in and pulled up in their cars or on their bikes to watch it after dark.
‘Landscapes and Locals’ is a collaborative film that celebrates the life, landscape & local flora & fauna of Peterborough during winter. This project is a partnership between the Moyne Council, the Peterborough Residents Group and Filmmaker Colleen Hughson. Music by John Hudson and Matt Hewson.