Bass Coast Specialist School student Bohe May in the front row at the Focus On Ability Short Film Festival awards’ night in Sydney last week.

THE Bass Coast Specialist School has been awarded a $10,000 Rebel voucher for their students’ work creating a short film about inclusion in Bass Coast.
The students worked on the film every Friday morning for one term with Drift Media’s Mick Green.
During the first few weeks, students brainstormed ideas and learnt how to operate the cameras.
Soon enough they were visiting local beaches and parks to record footage.
Mick installed a camera rig on student Bohe May’s electric wheelchair so he could move around the beach and record his surroundings.
“We needed a practical camera that would work on the chair,” Mick said.
“Bohe controlled it from the iPad and we were using a 4K steady cam so he could get smooth running shots.”
The journey to create the film also boosted students’ self-confidence.
Bohe said all he had to do was drive around and move the camera.
“One day people in wheelchairs might be cameramen,” Bohe said.
“You just need to pop the idea into people’s heads.”
Bass Coast Specialist School teacher Robert Sands said students were learning skills which related to the school curriculum.
Students learnt how to adjust camera settings including f-stops, ISO and frames per second.
“It helps to get them to plan what they’re doing, and building up their skills through acting, thinking and planning, and working things out in a sequence,” Robert said.
“It’s challenged us all about making films – students and staff.”
Mick said the school wouldn’t have been able to win the Most Online Votes award if it wasn’t for the community support, including the Bass Coast Shire Council.
“Without their funding, this may not have gone ahead,” Mick said.
The film received more than 50 comments online and was watched more than 1500 times.
“They nailed it, Wonthaggi’s got international stars right here,” Mick said.
“The film has a legacy that other students will benefit from for a long time to come,” he said.
“And with $10,000, we could have a room full of footballs,” Mick joked.
After the students had enough footage, they worked together to edit it into a short film and added voice-overs.
“It starts that chat about inclusion and allowing everyone to have their say.”
While some of the students admitted they didn’t love hearing their own voices, they were able to match up their words with the scenery to create an engaging film.
The students submitted their film to the Focus on Ability Short Film Festival and after comments and votes poured in for the students’ film, Bohe May and his mother were offered free flights to Sydney to go to the awards’ ceremony.
Mick Green also attended the ceremony, the three of them scoring front-row seats so they could hear the $10,000 announcement close-up.
“The next big thing is working out what to do with the money,” Mick said.
The Bass Coast Specialist School film will be shown in New Zealand, Africa, New York and Adelaide.
The students are keen to use their camera and editing skills again, to possibly create another short film next year, or become YouTubers.
As for tips for other future filmmakers, Bohe says, “If they want to do it, have a go and try your best.”
To watch the award-winning film, go to www.focusonability.com.au/FOA/films/We_Are_Here_1263.html