Golden PonyTails 2011

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The third annual Golden PonyTail Audio-only Film Festival 2011.

An Audio-only Film does not have a narrator like an Audio Book, and differs from Radio Drama in the use of hi-fidelity surround sound. spatial effects and musical drama.

This year the 100 students in Sound Design and Production at the University of Canberra adapted a novel, Invisible, written by Paul Collis, to produce an Audio-only Film in 6 scenes. Invisible is a story of contemporary life as an aboriginal man, written by Paul Collis as a part of his Ph.D. thesis in Creative Writing at the University of Canberra.

Invisible was produced using the ABC Pool site which was a platform for sharing creative online media. This site was closed down in 2013.

The ABC Pool site for social media was an essential part of a collaborative production process that involved 100 students over 5 weeks. The top-level Group “Behind the Waterfall” contains 6 sub-Groups, one for each scene. Studio workshops of 10-20 students worked together in distinct roles to produce Dialogue, FX and Music tracks. Directors interpreted the sonic script for each track, Editors were responsible for sequencing, layering and mixing, Designers sourced, synthesised and recorded sounds, and Producers facilitated the process and took responsibility for titles, credits, and licensing. Students in different roles were able to explore. experience, develop and demonstrate skills and techniques in their personal My Page Portfolio on Pool. The audience at the Premiere in the final lecture were invited to vote for Gold, Silver and Bronze awards on the Pool site, and the competition has been intense.

The final production is a first draft and learning experience that highlights what works, what nearly works and what might be done differently next time around. Nevertheless, Invisible – the Audio-only Film, shows the potential to put sound first in film-making, rather than adding it as an afterthought or supporting part. It also shows how sound can communicate powerful ideas in a memorable way through imaginative immersion in dramatic experiences.