This has been an interesting process so far, embarking upon making my first documentary has been challenging and exciting all at once.
The initial challenge was to simply come up with an idea to make a documentary about. We needed an issue that was engaging, yet accessible. Initially I had absolutely no idea what this would be, I was trying to think of any kind of local issue that would be interesting enough to keep a viewer engaged, and I struck lucky when I was entering my local Woolworths.
I was entering Woolworths racking my brain to think of an idea, which I had to present at the intensives the next day, when I happened to look across the car park where my local McDonald’s sits. A light bulb moment occurred (these are very rare for me!) as I remembered a hot local issue featuring Mickey D’s that had been occurring just recently. I recalled reading that McDonald’s was planning on installing a restaurant in the town of Tecoma, a quiet and quaint community located in the Dandenong’s, and that the majority of the town’s population had not taken this news well. There had been protests, online petitions and even police intervention as things had started to turn ugly.
Bingo! A perfect issue for me to cover, it had it all! I happily presented my idea at the intensive the next morning and coincidentally enough Silvi had come up with the same proposal as me (great minds hey J) so it worked out nicely that we would work together on the great Tecoma project.
Now that we had our subject matter sorted I felt a little relieved, until I realised this meant the next thing to do was to get out there and start talking to people, eek! Being quite shy the thought of this intimidated me immensely, however such is a documentary maker’s life! Luckily Silvi knew a few people who were residents of Tecoma and quite passionately involved in the protest against McDonald’s, this was a fantastic resource and starting point for us. Silvi got in contact with them and we started to sort pending interviews.
In the meantime we kept up with the issue in the news as best we could and started to look into the more interesting aspects of this issue. It seems Tecoma this isn’t your average everyday protesting town. Tecoma is a unique place and its residents are equally as interesting, as we discovered when we stumbled across information about the ‘Gnomeaggedon’. Apparently the ‘gnomeaggedon’ occurred when a bunch of garden gnomes turned up on the steps of a McDonald’s protesting the building in Tecoma. Silvi and I were instantly intrigued by this aspect of the protest, it showed us there were some real characters to be discovered within Tecoma and we hoped we could meet some of these zany personalities on our journey of documentary.
With a direction in mind we started moving forward…