In this still frame from “Burrulaa,” indiginous tour guide Renata explains and demonstrates the earliest form of Australian artwork, ground sand paintings. Here, she is showing the representation for ‘male’: the ‘U’ shape for a human bottom, a line on the right representaing a spear, and a curved line on the left representing a boomerang.
Skaneateles Skaneateles High School senior and aspiring filmmaker Adam Osiecki recently won a silver award for his short film “Burrulaa” in the Savannah College of Art and Design 2011 film competition.
Osiecki made the film while living this past summer for 21 days in the Australian outback, rainforest and reef areas as part of a National Geographic Student Expeditions summer camp, during which he studied and practiced the art of filmmaking.
“Burrulaa” (which is an aboriginal word for “stories/documentaries”) is a brief documentary that considers “how the art is influenced by geography from different regions of Australia,” Osiecki said.
He worked with two other students from the camp and interviewed a total of eight people for the documentary, although they only used three in the film.
Those three people — a biologist and wildlife artist, a musician and theater director, and an indiginous tour guide — describe how Australian art originated and continues to thrive as a part of its environment.
“Describe the outback in one word? Awe,” says biogist and wildlife artist Christopher Montero in the film’s opening scene.
The original version was about six-and-a-half minutes long, but to submit it to the SCAD competition it had to be edited down to four minutes.
It was a great experience in learning how to interview and direct people, Osiecki said.
“I learned so much this summer … I can do such better work now,” he said recently, looking back specifically to the film he submitted to gain admission to National Geographic camp.
That film he made in 2010, when he was a junior at Skaneateles High School, to assist the school PRIDE Committee put together a video about their efforts to help students in Appalachia (in a school in Kentucky) and in Peru so they might have a better chance at education.