Road to Zero - a multi-screen narrative installation

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Challenge

The brief I was given was to tell an emotionally powerful narrative that articulates why road safety and the aim of zero deaths on Victorian roads is a rational goal.

From the start I wanted to avoid the grisly shock approach used in past campaigns and focus on a more emotionally telling narrative.

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Thanks to Grumpy Sailor for the opportunity.

 

Creative REsponse

My script focused on the journeys of cyclists, pedestrians car and van drivers, with the implicit messages that we all share the roads and that some of us are far more vulnerable to accident, injury and death than others. It tells a story of converging journeys ending in near disaster, and evoking the potential sense of loss experienced in the fear and anticipation that you’ve lost someone you love.

In the story, two cyclists travel across Melbourne to a birthday party which is being set up by a mother and a younger sibling. Meanwhile a pedestrian, various cars and a van driver are also making their own journeys. Their convergence and the aftermath are told through the inter-relationship between six screens: one 85”, three 55” and two 32”.

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Outcome

This was a difficult project to pull off - the shooting ratio is high, not in terms of takes but in terms of coverage. After breaking down the shots, casting and choosing locations, I had access to an great and robust film crew, including an on-set director in Melbourne leaving me free to oversee the shots and performances being captured.

In the edit, I logged all my usable shots in Premiere, exporting fairly hi-def proxies to edit in after-effects in a composite format that had all six screens in the layout we’d already settled on. As 4 of the screens were 4K, this then meant swapping out the final edit sequences at high def, and replacing proxies. For any multi-screen work I recommend this approach for sure - and the workflow between Premiere and After Effects is basic and completely reliable.

The work was commissioned by Grumpy Sailor on behalf of the TAC (Transport Accident Commission). The finished result resides as the first part of an permanent exhibition in Melbourne Museum on road safety.