Videos for volunteers

Community service advertisements made by Screen Studies production students at Flinders for 10 South Australian community organisations will be seen by hundreds of thousands of people in coming months.

The advertisements are the product of the Community Voices Program, which receives annual funding of $50,000 from the State Government’s Office of Volunteers. In addition to 30-second advertisements, the project also produced short documentaries for some of the community-based groups.

The videos were launched by the State Minister for Volunteers, Jennifer Rankine, at a screening at Flinders University on July 7.

Head of Screen Production Mr Cole Larsen said the program has proved very successful in its aim of assisting the organisations with their volunteer recruitment and fundraising, and in increasing the public profile of voluntary services. The program also provides students with experience in the process of commercial filmmaking, from the initial brief through to concepts and scripts, casting and sourcing locations as well as shooting and editing.

“Some of the ads hold their own with professionally produced products which cost substantially more,” Mr Larsen said.

Mr Larsen said that not only do the students learn the real-life dynamics of problem-solving, negotiating and developing client relationships, but their contact with the organisations exposes them to broader aspects of life they might not otherwise encounter.

“They get to deal with organisations that, for instance, work with disabled kids or help in drug rehabilitation: it’s valuable, eye-opening life experience,” he said.

The community organisations selected in this year’s round were: Community Accommodation and Respite Agency; Drug Arm Australasia; Good Beginnings Australia; Guides South Australia Inc; Interchange; Royal Zoological Society of SA; St John Ambulance SA; Technical Aid to the Disabled SA; The Hut Community Centre; and The Leukaemia Foundation of Australia.

The advertisements will be broadcast during major sporting events and prime time programs, while the documentaries will be distributed to local councils and libraries, as well as being used by the organisations for internal and corporate promotion.

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