Budding Aireys filmmakers awarded – Surf Coast Times

EMERGING young filmmakers from Aireys Inlet Primary School have been buoyed by a recent competition win for their stop motion animation “Plastic Riptide”, the Grade 5 and 6 students taking out best overall project for the 2021 Boardriders Sustainability Challenge.

The film is a product of the school last year being selected to participate in Regional Arts Victoria’s Creative Workers in Schools Program where over six months students worked with artists in residence, Fairhaven’s Rebecca Hosking and Melbourne’s Scarlet Sykes Hsterman.

The students experienced a hands-on course focusing on stop motion animation and the filmmaking process; frame rates, movement, camera and lighting set up, storyboarding, editing, sound recording, character design and augmented reality.

The result is “Plastic Riptide”, a three-minute short film highlighting the plight of marine animals as they encounter rubbish in their ocean habitat.

“We want to raise awareness through stop motion animation to create something that is eye catching but also educate people about our local species,” said students Oskar and Finn.

Aireys Inlet PS students on a research field trip for Plastic Riptide. Photo: SCARLET SYKES HESTERMAN

Students researched their local environment and creatures that live there, learned about the making of plastics, environmental health, chose a local species they wanted to raise awareness of and then created the animation using collected plastics as their materials.

“We have been imagining a sustainable future for our Surf Coast environment as we’d like to be able to go to the beach without swimming in plastic and continuing to share it with the wildlife. It’s not just our home it’s the home of other animals as well,” said student Scarlet.

“We want to show a strong message by creating a plastic dystopia and show what is happening in our oceans by plasticizing our marine animals and depict how rubbish is impacting their lives,” said fellow student, Eddy.

With much of the learning year impacted by COVID resulting in students home schooling, artist Rebecca Hosking had to be agile.

“We created lockdown projects for students, art programs they could do at home that don’t rely on being in the classroom. Little stop motion animations they could make on their own,” Ms Hosking said.

“Walking students through the stop motion animation process, how to construct them, the skills tips and techniques. It’s the full filmmaking creative process, story development, character development, script writing, post animation.”

Students used their iPads to make Plastic Riptide. Photo: REBECCA HOSKING

Each armed with an iPad that allowed them to shoot, animate and edit, the students had all the means at their disposal to make a film, she said.

“Kids have always got a digital screen on them, so I’m thinking okay well let’s develop your skill set so you can actively portray yourself instead of just passively consuming.

“Instead of just looking at screens these kids were developing a better understanding of critical thinking about how these projects come together. Script writing, lighting, several cameras.”

“I am so amazed that if you provide the technology and skills, the students will always beat your highest expectation of them. I am sure many students will go on to study filmmaking at secondary school!” added main Jennifer Abel.

Sustainability is a key element of the Aireys Inlet Primary School curriculum according to Ms Abel, making it a logical thematic choice for their final film project.

“As the school is in a coastal town, our students have grown up respecting the ocean and surrounding environment. The students are passionate in learning how to protect their local area and advocate for wider global issues such as climate change.

“As the environmental guardians of the future they are using their agency to persuade local councils, and governments and world leaders to do better. They might be only young but they feel they have a voice, and are confident enough to make it heard.”

To view “Plastic Riptide” visit: https://aireysinletps.vic.edu.au/digital-creations/

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