We are so pleased to welcome back our Francophone film-maker friends, and are thrilled that we (and they!) have finally found time to do some filming together. The last one was (eeek!) in 2014.
Benoit et Gaga (who together are Groovy Banana) have a wonderful sensibility, and have made a very successful career in Vanuatu as wedding videographers. But they love music, and they seem to love working with us.
Please join us in making a fun community-focussed video! The Newcastle Ukulele Community and Groovy Banana have a history of making some great videos (see below). Benoit et Gaga are professionals who bring out the best in people.
Filming will be happening in Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and Port Stephens during the period 27 February to 2 March when they and their kids are visiting (and staying with Mark and Jane).
Why are we doing this? Who is it for?
Have a look below. You’ll see a few different videos. One is of Jane and Mark, telling people about what we do as The Sum of the Parts (music). This video is not one of those!
The 2020 Burn Your Name video is about providing a fun opportunity to our community. We’ve heard from many ukestrans who have done these before that it is the most special experience (Price Tag, Sunny Afternoon and Royals being the biggest evidence of that – see below). Typical comments include
Oh that’s how it happens!
That was so much fun!
Here kids, grandkids, Mum, Dad, look at this great video I’m in, isn’t it lovely!
This video is for our community.
It is a lot of work on our part to set up, and requires quite a bit of money to finance. If we wanted to do a promotional video, we’d do one more like The Sum of the Parts video about what do. But this is not that.
Sure, people might comment when we end up with a great video at the end, and we’ll accept any congratulations, but in the end, this is not about us. Just like a ukestra, this is about you. It is about your musicianship, about your sense of community and sense of place and belonging, and it is about your ability and desire to enjoy yourself. So please join us.
Is this a Newkulele Festival Promo Video?
The answer to that question is Yes and No. It is a good opportunity for Newkulele to be ‘burned across the sky’, but that is not our focus. People come to the Newkulele Festival not just because it is a great festival with great performances and teaching. People come to Newkulele because we are a great community, and the aim of this video is to show that with gusto. We are proud Novocastrians with a strong and vibrant musical community. With that in mind, the Newkulele Festival have offered to chip in a modest contribution.
Who is paying for the video?
In the end this is going to cost us (Mark and Jane) several thousand dollars. About from the Newkulele Festival’s contribution, we are asking participants to chip in a small amount to be in the video, mostly via allocating one uketen session (the equivalent of $13.50) as a contribution. Some people have already given us cash saying “I’m not going to be in the video, but I’d like to help out”. Some people are so generous, and we are so grateful. Ray and Chris up at the Bay have also donated their catamaran for a scene!
We’ve also had to cancel a few sessions to make room for this experience, but we see it as worth it. We hope you do too.
Help us to Burn Your Name
Just this week we’ve finished professionally recording Powderfinger’s Burn Your Name featuring two ukestran lead vocalists – Caroline Traill and Barry Hill. So the song is ready for everyone to mime as we capture the spirit, joy and camaraderie of our community, and the beauty of the Lower Hunter. It is also an opportunity for us all to chip into creating a great vibe to celebrate the coming of the Newkulele Festival.
We are performing (miming) Powderfinger’s Burn Your Name.
We ask participants to ‘burn their name’ by making some facsimile of your name, or the name of your ukestra, choir or related group. Be creative! Lego? Crochet? Macrame? Cardboard and paint? Whatever comes to hand. If you want to make it out of a massive steel, bronze or pottery sculpture, go for it!
Here’s a version we performed at the Blue Mountains Ukulele Festival in 2018, featuring Caroline Traill on lead vocals.
If you have kids/significant others/dogs (only at Redhead for dogs), they can also be involved (or tame pet parrots or cats). Please bring them along!
What to wear? And who is in charge?
Be flamboyant! Extravagant! Or at least bright and colourful. Of course bring your ukes and your ‘name’. If you bring swimmers, we may be able to incorporate some water component, with ukes that may appropriately be dunked.
You can attend any session, but editing will ultimately determine who is in the video, or who is featured. Please take direction from Jane, Mark, Benoit and Ga-ga.
Each session will take 1-2 hours.
Filming Schedule and Locations
Specific location shoots will focus upon particular ukestra/choir groups, but all participants are welcome to join in any location shoot.
Times and locations will be subject to last minute changes depending upon the weather, and advice from the film-makers. To be on the list for being advised about such things, you need to be registered!
Location 1: Redhead Beach – Thursday 27 February
4pm at Redhead Beach. This location will feature LakeMacUkestra (Tuesday arvo), Wednesday Wanderers (Wednesday mornings), and Tuesday nights (Wil&Sons).
This will be our opportunity to work with some dogs, if you have any. This will be the only dog location. If any dogs can fetch an ukulele, that’d be fabulous.
Location 2: Newcastle Baths – Friday 28 February
5:15pm at Newcastle Baths and the Cowrie Hole. This session will focus upon Thursday Night (Wil&Sons) and both Ukestral Voices sessions (Wednesday and Friday).
Location 3: Civic Park/Newcastle City Hall – Sunday 1 March (note change of time)
10am in front of Newcastle City Hall which is the 2020 venue for the Newkulele Festival. Here we will feature Monday Merewether, and both the Saturday and Sunday Newkestras.
Location 4: Tomaree Headland – Monday 2 March
9:00am at Zenith Beach Car Park. Then we are walking to the entrance to the Heads, not to the top of Tomaree. It seems we may have a catamaran to conveniently pass by with some ukes as well.
All we need now is for the weather to be ok. Register now so we know who is likely to make it!
Groovy Bananas previous videos with us
Price Tag – July 2013 – Newcastle Baths
Royals – July 2014 – King Edward Park and the Bogie Hole and some scary looking sea monsters
Ukestral Voices – June 2013
Other Groovy Banana videos of us
Promo video of The Sum of the Parts (music)
Mark and Jane’s old band – The Do Riders doing The Middle
The Shoeless Legges – an original song by Mark
This is what Benoit et Gaga look like
Gaga on vocals, Benoit on shaker, children on lap or drum
NOT GROOVY BANANA!!
The following are some of our other early attempts at videos. Sans Benoit et Gaga.