Journal 2: The Voice of God


One of the toughest parts of making this film, for me, will be the narration. In every ideal imagining of the film that I would make in the perfect world (a hypothetical that is not constrained by time, budget or my own lacking talent), the narration is solely from interviews. Somehow, the interviews produce, rather than answers to questions, a reminiscence or memoir from each subject. These would then form the narration or structure for the visual; historic footage or photographs, the interviewees themselves and modern Wollongong.

Of course, that’s crazy difficult and as a I mentioned earlier, there are some serious talent constraints. More over, what if the interviews don’t naturally produce the narration that I’m after? Though I think it’s sound to ask questions and hope for the responses that I want, I don’t think I could in good conscience directly prompt the responses that would make my perfect film. This fine line is going to be tough to walk.

The alternative, of course is a scripted and rehearsed narration from Olivia or I. Though this isn’t ideal, it is easier and may have to do in the end. Though I would want nothing more than the ideal, I will have to compromise with circumstance and my own talent. Unfortunately, this is going to extend far beyond the narration. The shots I want, as well as the original footage that I want, are proving harder than I had hoped to acquire. If only I were already an accomplished, talented, rich and crazy handsome documentarian.

In other news, we found out that UOW’s own Campus East was once a migrant hostel. We have contacted some people that used to live there and hopefully we will be interviewing them in the coming weeks. This will juxtapose perfectly with interviews with the current inhabitants, crazy drunk 19 year old campus kids. I joke, of course. Don’t take marks off for that, please.


Journal Entry 1: Steel, Austrians and Wollongong the Brave

I’m relatively new to Wollongong and I’m still adjusting to this surprisingly dense metropolitan. That said, I can’t help but feel a little superior to the first years I’ve met who are complete freshies to the wonders of Crown Street, hung-over bacon & egg rolls at the harbour or that little fountain near the art gallery that hooligans occasionally put bubble bath in. I initially used the word relatively because I have, as one of my neighbours, a man named Eric who emigrated directly from Austria to Wollongong in the 70’s and hasn’t moved since.

The man is a walking history. Though I haven’t had as many conversations with him as I would like, every time we meet I walk away with a story about the city, its people and its history. A great deal of my idea for a film comes from those conversations with Eric. I want to tell a story not just of how Wollongong has changed, but of how people from all over the world have wound up on its shores. I want to look at industry, the industries around Port Kembla and the university, and their international pull, I want to look at the city’s growth and I want to show how the city has, at least in my opinion surged toward becoming a diverse and cosmopolitan city.

I will rely extensively on the first hand accounts of people, old or new to the city, and historical data to provide slices of the city from different points in time all the way up to the present; in the process hopefully demonstrating why I appreciate this city so much.

Failing that I could just get 7 minutes of Flagstaff Hill, The Illawarra Hotel on a Thursday and Chefs Choice. That’d probably some it up pretty well too, I guess.