A team of young filmmakers from Griffith University have created an advertising campaign that encourages young people to have their say at the ballot box.

The project was commissioned by the Electoral Commission of Queensland (ECQ) who tapped into Griffith University’s multi-disciplinary expertise, from Griffith Business School, School of Government and International Relations, Griffith Film School and Social Marketing @ Griffith.

Griffith Film School student Carmen Garratt

Second-year film student Carmen Garratt directed and produced the campaign with a crew from Griffith Film School.

Carmen’s concept won a pitch competition run by Griffith Film School’s in-house production arm, LiveLab. Her visionwas simple and effective: create a campaign that focuses on the issues that really matter to young people.

“Young people can be a bit disillusioned with politics, but it’s important that they feel voting will make a difference,” she said.

“We drove home the point that seats can be won or lost by a few votes, and that young people have the potential to shape the upcoming Queensland election.

“The ad campaign covered all of the issues that my friends and I care about – the environment, mental health, technology.

“It was about making things exciting, colourful and vibrant.”

Carmen and the crew shot at 13 different locations across south-east Queensland to tight timeframes – from labs and lecture theatres at Nathan campus to rural properties, skate parks, police stations and coffee shops. Adding an extra layer of complexity was the need to make sure the shoot conformed to strict COVID protocols.

“It was very intense – a real learning curve,” she said.

“It was logistically very challenging, but it all paid off in the end.

“I always wanted to make films that positively influence society, and I’m already getting the chance to do it before I even graduate.

“By studying at Griffith you are part of something bigger – we get to go beyond the classroom and work on industry-level projects.”

LiveLab Creative Director Richard Fabb said the student filmmakers had been able to draw on Griffith University’s expertise, industry connections and cutting-edge equipment to create a stunning, cinema-quality campaign.

“The scale of the production and the tight timeframes meant this was a steep learning curve for our students, but they really stepped up,” he said.

“ECQ were delighted with the campaign and have plans to use it beyond the upcoming state election.”

Professor Anne Tiernan

Griffith Business School Dean (Engagement) Professor Anne Tiernan said the project provided a model for industry collaboration.

“The Electoral Commission was able to tap into our vast expertise at Griffith University – from researchers in the School of Government and International Relations to marketing experts at Social Marketing and film talent at Griffith Film School’s LiveLab and Griffith Business School’s DigiLab.

“Industry partners like ECQ get access to our thought leaders, our distinctive inter-disciplinary experience and a pipeline of creative talent.

“Industry-relevant, community-focused projects like this are a win-win, providing positive outcomes for student employability.”