What does ‘keeping the ball in the air” mean to you? This is the theme explored by Warrnambool filmmakers in 2014 for the inaugural Silver Ball Film Festival.
For those who are reading this and are not local to Warrnambool, the Silver Ball is an iconic large steel silver ball that stands 40 metres tall and can be seen on the Warrnambool skyline. It once operated as a water tower for the Fletcher Jones Factory. Want to know more? Here is a link to a great article written by Carol Altmann, from Bluestone Magazine about Fletcher Jone’s and the Silver Ball.
The film festival will feature Documentary, Narrative, Animation and Film Art films made by first-time filmmakers. Residents of Warrnambool had the opportunity to participate in free filmmaking workshops in Feb-March this year. These were organised by the F-Project Cinema, namely Dr Emma Charlton, who herself made a wonderful documentary about the F-Project called ‘A Story Beginning with F’.
Who ever imagined at the beginning of the workshop series that we would end up with so many completed films? 23 in total! The timeline was very short so the amount of time the workshop presenters spent with the new filmmakers was very limited. However, we (I was one of the five workshop presenters) covered the basics and if you’re interested in learning about film-making too, you might like to click on the links below:
- Shooting 101
- How to shoot video on your IPhone or IPad.
- The 5-Shot Method for shooting documentaries
- How to record good sound on your smartphone
- Lighting an interview (Window Lighting)
- How to plan a documentary video project
- Where to source music for your project
- Editing 101
I delivered the documentary workshops to seven adults, four of which made films. I shall link to all the films once they are uploaded but for now you might enjoy watching these films by Chas Cleland, Julie Eagles and Cath Woodward, all of which will screen at the Silver Ball Film Festival.
Chas Cleland’s film on the Rotary House called ‘The House that Andrew (and friends) Built’. A film that honours the inspirational work and time that volunteer Andrew Suggett put into making the house happen. First time documentary filmmaker Chas, has done a truly professional job. He shot his film on a Digital SLR, connected a rhode mic to it and used natural lighting to film his interviews. The film is a fantastic achievement and an important film for the Warrnambool community too. We need to honour our volunteers and the people who work hard to make this town a better place for everyone.
Film by Chas Cleland (Documentary Workshop Participant)
Julie Eagles, who is part of the group ‘Friends of Fletcher Jone’s Ball and Gardens’, interviewed Kevin Fry for her documentary, ‘The Last Man in the Ball’. Kevin’s very entertaining and informative recollections of working inside the Silver Ball as a maintenance man when it operated as a water tower, makes for a very funny documentary. Julie is very pleased to have made her very first film and is keen to continue and make more films about the history of Fletcher Jones. I hope to stay on as her film mentor.
Cath Woodward created a ‘Making of’ documentary’ film about the animation ‘LegoBool’. The documentary included interviews with the animation makers (a mother and son team) and behind-the-scenes footage of the very cleverly crafted animation. The Legobool animation was created for the Silver Ball Film Festival too. Check out Cath’s cool title sequence. Cath has produced a very slick, fun and smoothly edited first short documentary.
Salt n’ Steel and F.J’s Garden
I too, hopped out of my comfort zone and had a go at making a Film Art type film not my usual genre at all! I only got along to one of the Film Art workshops delivered by Tom Walters and Nathan Pye but that was enough to spark some ideas for these two films. The main visual effects I played around with is blue screen and superimposition.
I took the theme “keeping the ball in the air” very literally and made two films about the Silver Ball. The first film, ‘Salt n’ Steel’ takes a look at the affect that the salt air has on the ball and the rust eating away at the silver ball, as told by past Fletcher Jones worker, Kevin Fry.
The second film ‘FJs Garden’ pays homage to the beautiful Fletcher Jones Gardens that once existed. Both films are to be projected in the lane-ways of Warrnambool for the Silver Ball Festival on May 9th, 2014.