In 1996 two brothers took off round Australia to film their country. One brother, Mark Shea, had taught himself how to use a video camera by filming weddings on the weekends. The other brother, Paul, had never used a camera!
The following year, after nights of editing at a community television station (Optus Localvision), the brothers won ‘Best Travel Program’ for what had become a seven part travel series.
Eighteen years later, one brother, Mark is still making videos. The other brother Paul, got a real job!
It’s been a fascinating journey that has taken Mark around the world. He has seen the advent of non linear editing systems, which first saw him lugging the first iMac round Australia on the backseat of his Kingswood. He has seen the growth of online video, from working on projects that had to be done in flash format, due to limited bandwidth, to single-handedly running Australia’s most viewed and most subscribed youtube travel channel. And of course he has seen the growth of social media, something he is ambivalent about.
Recently he made a video that he believes is he’s best work. Not because it has won any awards, or does anything particularly different, it is really just a series of interviews. It is more because, in a limited amount of time, he managed to take his camera into the epicentre of the Vancouver drug trade and walk away with a story. He faced the dragon and had the skills to walk away with the bounty; a riveting insight into drug use, homelessness and mental illness.
So when you watch this video, think of what went into making it? The interviewing skills needed to get people to open up about their drug use. The ability to film right next door to drug dealers plying their trade. It takes some bravado to capture footage on the frontline. And Mark believes this video took him 15 years to make, using skills he develop working previously as a youth worker and in a prison.
So here it is, a travel video showing a side of Vancouver not often seen, a story on the Downtown Eastside.
Writer – Andrew Shea, October 2014