Filming links between The Barstow School and Launceston Church Grammar

Action: Ilsy Blachly, Lauren Shore, Caroline Adkins, Izzy Cobbinah-Fears, Alex Blanc, Lucy Hart, Sean Holmes. Picture: Paul Scambler
Action: Ilsy Blachly, Lauren Shore, Caroline Adkins, Izzy Cobbinah-Fears, Alex Blanc, Lucy Hart, Sean Holmes. Picture: Paul Scambler

A step up from making a fun video of your holiday for family, a group of American college students are filming their own full-scale documentary about their two week trip to Tasmania.

Hosted by Launceston Church Grammar, the students from The Barstow School in Kansas are shooting every moment of their trip on their mobile phones, GoPros, and a drone, saving hours of footage to take back home and cut into a full narrative.

“We came here on our school trip – we just signed up because we thought it would be cool,” student Alex said.

“While we’re here we’re making a video as a school project.”

The project is being led by Emmy Award-winning documentary maker and digital literacy teacher Sean Holmes, and is a part of a school partnership between Grammar and Barstow that sees students from both schools regularly visit each country.

Mr Holmes is also a teacher at Barstow, and helped Grammar set up its YouTube channel GrammarTV, similar to BarstowTVN for the Kansas school.

“We’re starting with the acquisition of all the footage first, then we’re going to put it all on one computer,” Mr Holmes said.

“It’s like putting a big puzzle together, we’ll start cutting out what we like and we’re going to start off by sending back home a short little montage of things we’ve done so far.

“When we get back home, we’ll all have to get together and really go through it, see what we have, what’s the story we want to present to the rest of the school.”

With all the students sharing the filming, multiple perspectives on the same two-week Launceston trip will give viewers back in Kansas a wide perspective on Australia.

“Right now we’re just capturing the sights, doing a lot of sightseeing … we’ll talk about the narrative structure and how we’re going to tell that,” Mr Holmes said.

On Thursday the students took a trip out to the wildlife park, where the kangaroos were a big hit, while a two-day visit to Sydney before coming to Launceston gave them a different idea of Australian life.

A trip to Platypus World at Beauty Point is also likely to feature in the final film.

Head of Grammar’s senior campus Nick Foster said the eight-year partnership with The Barstow School was an excellent exchange that utilised skills from both schools, and gave students a new perspective on the world.

“We’re continents apart and time zones apart and we share learning,” Mr Foster said.

The next contingent of Grammar students are expected to visit The Barstow School next year.