By Joni Campbell

The ASE has had contact recently with Bus Stop Films who run a film school for, and make films with, people with an intellectual disability and others from marginalised communities. They are coordinating the development of an Inclusive Filmmaking Toolkit to support production companies and creatives to feel more confident and be better equipped to employ people living with disability and support their employment in a respectful and inclusive way. We are really pleased to include this story by Joni Campbell from Bus Stop, about her post-production work experience attachment on "MasterChef".

My name is Joni Campbell and I’m 24 years old. I was born with a chromosomal anomaly which presents as a global developmental delay. As a child, I reached milestones later than my peers, and at school I was part of a support learning program. Today, as an adult, my disability means that I need support in the workplace when I’m learning new skills. I also rely on assistance from a range of supports, be it from family or paid carers, to help me learn how to travel to new places and engage in a range of activities.

I love being part of Bus Stop Films and have now been a student for almost five years. It’s the highlight of my week and I get so excited to go and learn new things. It’s really uplifting being part of a group that is so inclusive. I have watched it change lives by giving my friends a voice and boosting their confidence. I highly recommend this course to anyone who has an intellectual disability and a passion for filmmaking.

Bus Stop Films’ filmmaking course is an inclusive filmmaking program for people with intellectual disabilities. They have three programs that each run for a whole year and are split in to four terms.

As an ambassador for Bus Stop Films, I am able to tell people about the amazing program and the lives it has changed. I also get to strongly advocate for all who have a disability and share my belief that having a disability should never define someone and stand in the way of their hopes and dreams. If they have something they want to do then they should and they should never feel like something or someone can stop them from doing so.

I have had so many wonderful opportunities through being part of Bust Stop Films. In 2016, I was one of three people with an intellectual disability to score an internship through Screen NSW, and I did a 2-week internship working at the ABC on the beloved children’s beloved TV show "Playschool". And last year, I travelled to Toronto to do a Q&A with Genevieve Clay-Smith, as one of our films was showing at TIFF Kids (Toronto International Film Festival for Kids).

On Monday 13th May this year, I started my 2-week unpaid work experience with Endemol Shine working on the reality TV Show "MasterChef". Now, I have been watching "MasterChef" since the first season, and have recently started learning how to cook, so working on the show was really a dream come true.

On my first day, Paige and Rosie took me out for a coffee so they could get to know me. They were both so friendly and welcoming. I also met Debbie, who works at the front desk, and she was so delightful. Every day we caught the bus to Central together and it was just so lovely getting to know her.

My work experience focused on post-production which was great, as I was able to get a taste of all the different roles and see how the show comes together.

I did post scripting with the transcribers, which involved listening to what the judges, guest judges and contestants were saying and then typing it all out. I enjoyed it, but it was quite challenging as sometimes it was difficult to hear what was being said.

Stephanie was one of the post-production assistants. She was very patient and spent time answering my questions and teaching me about cue sheets, which are a record of all the songs and compositions used in a film or television production.

My favourite part of the whole experience was working with the Editors. Coryn introduced me to the editing program they use called Avid. When editing, we would work on one contestant at a time. We paused and stopped where we wanted the clip to start and finish, and cut out all the unnecessary parts that we didn’t need. You have to have a really good eye for editing and I felt I did extremely well considering I came into the "MasterChef" work experience with very little editing experience.

I also worked with Luke who is the online assistant. He is in charge of doing all the graphics and stitching the episode together; he’s responsible for the colours and how everyone looks in the episodes. I found Luke’s job really exciting.

I also worked with Emily who is the Post Producer, and that was also lots of fun. Emily’s job as the post producer is to put the best bits together and make sure everyone sounds OK.

Towards the end of my work experience everyone at Endemol Shine, including me, was presented with a black "MasterChef" apron. I thought this was really cool and have been using it when I cook at home. Such a lovely memento of my time on the show.

Looking back, I recall that my days were long and jam-packed, but so worth it. I learnt so many things and made new friends. I had the best two weeks working on MasterChef and I was so sad when it came to an end. Everyone I had met was so lovely, inclusive and treated me normally and not like I have a disability. I enjoyed every minute of it and will forever remember and be grateful for the opportunity. I’ve been asked to come back to Endemol to do more editing and I can’t wait to return and see everyone.

(Thank you to Paige McLeod – Post Production Team Coordinator, Rosie Steindl – Transcriber, Debbie Nichols – Facilities Assistant, Stephanie Talevski – Post Production Coordinator, Coryn Schultz – Assistant Editor, Luke Smeaton – Online Mastering Assistant, Emily Potts – Post Producer, Tracey Corbin-Matchett - CEO Bus Stop Films.)

(eNews 93 - August 2019)