‘Your Face Your Story’, previously known as ’100 Faces, 100 Stories’, is a yearly program by ABCN, in partnership with Chester Hill High School and students of their Intensive English Centre. Students representing many nationalities are partnered with volunteer mentors to share their experiences into making Australia their new home.
In August, we captured the key event day of the program where the students are encouraged to share their stories with their mentors. They work one-on-one with them to develop their creative writing and English skills by writing their story, as well as creating a self-portrait artwork which incorporates and highlights elements of their country of birth as well as their culture.
After the success of last year’s ’100 Faces, 100 Stories’ documentary piece, No Pool’s Ben Hasic was asked to address the audience of students and mentors about techniques in public speaking. He encouraged all students to take the opportunity to share their story through an on-camera interview during the event with the hope of producing individual video pieces for any who participated, rather than a single piece that didn’t feature their stories.
Out of the 25 students, a total of 13 worked up the confidence to speak in front of the camera and share their stories. Private interviews were held away from the event’s activities to allow the students to be away from their peers. Mentors were present for all interviews and helped to keep up the students’ comfortability.
We captured some incredibly heartfelt and touching interviews with the students and were able to produce videos for all 13 students that participated. To pull together short videos that respectfully told their stories, content from interviews as well as the students’ end of day presentations and speeches were used. In their interviews, the students were asked to reflect on their cultural heritage, talk about their new lives in Australia, as well as share their thoughts and feelings about their volunteer mentors.
Based on our learnings from experiencing the event last year, it was decided that due to the fast pace of the event, as well as the amount of coverage, the production of the event should be split into two teams. Team A worked on interviews with the students in a private setting just outside the event space, and Team B captured high-frame-rate B-Roll of the event, as well as each of the student’s end of day presentations & speeches.
Interviews were shot in a fairly confined space, where we blacked-out an empty sick bay. While it was confined, we were still able to provide a comfortable space for the students to open up. The interviews were captured on a Sony FS-700, with 4K recorder.
The event B-Roll was shot on a Sony PMW-F55 with Angenieux Optimo DP zoom lenses by DOP Jamie Hamil. Through the rush of the day, Hamil was successful in capturing key coverage of each student interacting with their mentor, which really helped to add dimension to each video. Shooting at 100fps, he really captured the emotion throughout the day and produced some beautiful images.
Differently to last year where the students were provided with a digital book after the event, this year we produced a private ‘Your Face Your Story’ website with web developer, Sean Hambridge and the MRK Development team, which includes profiles for each student, placing their face on a world map at their country of birth. This website has been shared between the mentors, students, and their families, and is a great memento of their time in the program.
At the end of year ‘Your Face Your Story’ event held this month, several of the final student videos were played to the entire student body of Chester Hill High.
We definitely stepped up from last year’s effort and are really proud of the outcome. The 13 individual student pieces produced from the event have had very positive feedback, and more importantly, were a great experience for the students in building their confidence in sharing their stories.
To find out more about volunteering with the Australian Business & Community Network, visit their website here.
Ben & The No Pool Team