I took some time off from my business in 2016 to enjoy a stint back at the ABC in the role of ABC Open Producer (south west Victoria). ABC Open is a project that works with regional Australians to create great videos, photos and written stories to share on the ABC. The stories produced are shared on ABC radio, web and TV. It’s a great opportunity for people in regional areas to have their voices heard. And for me, it gives me great personal satisfaction to share stories from my hometown and region. Here are some of my favourite stories I created during my 3-month secondment.
‘Sharing The Stoke’ Event @ YMCA Riverslide Skate Park in Melbourne, 28th March, 2014.
Christiaan ‘Otter’ Bailey with Kylie Thulborn, Karen Gilbin, and Co. introduced Chair Skating to whole heap of wheel chair grommets. Kids were dropping into ramps and rolling down transition in their wheel chairs for the first time in their lives. Feeling the fear and doing it anyway = STOKE!
Filmed by Colleen Hughson, Christiaan Bailey and Jesse Abrahams
Edited by Colleen Hughson
Music: Delta Blues @ IB Audio
A few months ago I started digitising all my old VHS Tapes. I came across some hilarious stuff including some interviews that I shot at Fitzroy Skateboard Bowl one day back in 1997. In my early 20’s, Fitzroy Bowl was my local skate park. I totally loved that place. I thought it was a really special place and on this day in 1997, I had asked everyone who was skating, what the Bowl meant to them.
I thought other people would love to see this old footage too. The push to edit it and make it into this short documentary came in the way of a video competition. My husband was trawling on skateboard.com.au one day and called out, “Have I got the competition for you”.
At first I was just going to make a documentary with the old footage and leave it at that but then the idea creeped in to re-interview some of the original people I had interviewed. Once the idea got stuck in mind I could not not do it.
Thanks to Facebook, I was able to re-connect with many of those dudes. So I organised to meet them back at Fitzroy Bowl one Sunday in August to ask them the same questions as I had in 1997. That Sunday was a sunny winters day, like so many I remember. There was a great vibe at the park with plenty of ‘new’ locals hanging out. The day ended up being a bit of a re-union for many of the skaters who hadn’t seen each other in a while.
I wanted music that represented the mid 90’s era and in particular, Fitzroy grunge. My first choice in music was Spiderbait but I thought I would have Buckly’s chance of getting permission to use it. Nonetheless, I gave it try and got a positive response. Part of their email read;
“So many of our early band meetings were held under the trees watching the skaters and so many nights were spent drinking vodka inside the bowl. It’s a big part of the Spiderbait history!”
The last bit I needed to pull the story was some footage of the very early days, when the bowl was brand new. I called on skateboard filmmaker Tom Flaherty for this. He happened to have a Snake Pit skateboard contest he filmed in 1992. Filmed not very well (by his admission) but who cares? It shows some amazing skaters and I got to see Australian Skate legend Mat Davis skate.
You cannot make a documentary about Fitzroy Bowl without mentioning the bowl parties. Once again, I contacted Tom Flaherty and once again he came through with the goods.
Hope you like it.