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Defending with Pride

Last year I had the wonderful opportunity to be the camera operator and editor for Defending with Pride, the centrepiece for the exhibit currently that showed at the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne. It went on to win Best Temporary or Travelling Exhibition in the 2023 Australian Museums and Galleries Association National Awards.

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The exhibit brings attention to individuals of the LGBTQ+ community who served in the ADF, and the discrimination and injustices that followed. We interviewed four veterans, and then edited a 12-minute documentary together that is playing on a loop for a year at the Shrine.

This experience and workflow was rather unique. The centrepiece is formatted as a triptych of vertical screens, meaning we had 3 cameras shooting vertically.  The middle screen featured the subject looking directly at the camera to mimic a a sense of conversation with the viewer, whilst the two side screens were different close-up angles. My task was to edit together a narrative that utilised this format as a dramatic device.

For example, utilising the middle screen predominantly to create a sense of connection between the subject and the viewer, and cutting to the close-up angle to accompany a dramatic moment and create a 'disconnect' to enhance the sense of isolation felt by the subjects. In a few select moments, two angles were used at once to emphasise truly significant moments of the interviews. As it was effectively a documentary without cutaways, the challenge was to utilise the changing angles in an appropriate storytelling manner whilst also seamlessly hiding cuts in the interviews. 

 

 

This process was immensely rewarding. I had to effectively invent a new workflow to manage three concurrent vertical interviews, which was enjoyable and a great learning experience.

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