This was a video I created for the 24 Hours Queensland Videography Contest. The assignment was to shoot a two minute video over a 24 hour period in Brisbane, Australia. I wrote, directed, shot, and edited the piece. The video went on to be selected as the winner of the competition.
When Americans think about taking a vacation to Australia, they are often intimidated by the distance and feel like they need several weeks to justify a trip. Qantas Airlines and the state of Queensland teamed up to create the 24 Hours Queensland campaign to show an American audience how much they could fit into a single day in the land down under.
The 24 Hours Queensland program sent five filmmakers from around the United States to different regions in Queensland. Each had 24 hours to shoot a film about their region. At the end of the trip, the videos were put online, and a panel of judges (along with some input from social media) selected a winner.
I was chosen as one of the five videographers, and I was assigned to the city of Brisbane. It is a beautiful metropolitan area of around 2.2 million people off the eastern coast of Australia, situated along a bend in the Brisbane river.
Before I left, I came up with the concept of centering the video around a phone conversation and using the difference in time zones to get the audience to think about “what their tomorrow looks like”. The structure allowed me to address the brief and resolve with a call to action, but it also allowed me to tell a compelling story. Since I didn’t know what all I was going to capture, I didn’t actually hammer out the final script until after the shoot day, during a marathon editing and writing session in my hotel room.
The shoot was unorthodox not only because of its length, but also because it was unassisted. I served as both the cinematographer and director, as well as the on-screen talent. To further complicate things, I travelled between locations almost entirely by foot or bicycle, so I had to be very selective about the gear I brought. This led to a lot of shots where I set up a camera on a monopod and walked into the frame hoping a gust of wind wouldn’t tip the camera over (don’t try this at home!). In the end, this shooting style brings an immediacy and intimacy to the finished piece.
Upon completing the shoot, I had two and a half days to finish the edit (the half day being the 13 hour flight back to Los Angeles). It was a whirlwind writing the final script, cutting through all of the footage, finding a stock music track, working with my girlfriend on the other side of the world to create and record her dialog, and recording my own voice over and ADR.
The final videos were deployed on a microsite, YouTube, and a Facebook application. My video garnered more than 16,000 views on YouTube during the contest period, and it was selected by the judges as the first place winner of the competition.
While I may have been shooting on my own, I did work with many great partners on this project. The team at Think Social Media organized the contest and ran the logistics of the entire project. The sponsors at Qantas Airlines and Tourism and Events Queensland made it all possible. Blair Allsopp at Brisbane Greeters gave me a tour of the city before the shoot day, giving me tons of locations that I ended up using, and accompanied me for a few hours during the day of the shoot. The teams at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary and Riverlife Brisbane were incredibly accommodating. And, of course, Anna K Olson helped me out with voice work, feedback, and her incredible support.