Our School, Princes Hill

Film Direction
Esme Capp, Princes Hill Principal
Keith McNiell, Princes Hill Vice Principal
Hannah McVean, Bellwether Studio
Natalie Bartley, Copywriter
Kate Pullen, Illustrator
Eddie Perfect, Voice-over

The doors to Princes Hill opened in 1889, but the school’s teaching method is firmly positioned in the 21st century. Quite refreshingly, the school believes in partnering with students on their life-long journey of learning and discovery — so that they may participate meaningfully and with purpose in a world they are already helping to shape.

To inspire current or prospective families about the benefits of receiving an education using the Princes Hill model, I was engaged by Bellwether Studio to help direct and assemble a team to create a captivating storytelling tool that could speak to the experiences of students and teachers at the school.

Collaborating directly with Princes Hill and Bellwether Studio, I spent time discussing the strategy and aims behind the animation — crafting the campaign’s messaging and designing an approach that would resonate with the target audience. This process incorporated strong concept ideas and strategic thinking about how best to integrate the animation across the brand. I worked closely with Bellwether Studio to create a visual storyboard and engaged a copywriter and an illustrator before diving in myself to bring the concept to life through animation. The finishing touch was a wonderfully warm and reassuring voiceover by actor Eddie Perfect — himself a Princes Hill parent.

“Change your opinions, keep to your principals. Change your leaves, keep intact your roots.”  — Victor Hugo.

Using tree roots as a metaphor for where we begin our education and the growth of plants and branches as a symbol of development, we planted Princes Hill in an ever-growing garden. The school’s students are illustrated as organic shapes and assorted colours to create an enigmatic representation of the Princes Hill student — one that all can feel represented by.

Throughout the story, students journey through the garden as it provides them with opportunities to engage in deep thinking activities, tackle considerable challenges, and discover what’s beyond their own backyard. No matter the child, where they’re from or what obstacles they face, families can feel reassured that their children are encouraged at Princes Hill.

© Tina Victoria Afshar 2022

I acknowledge the Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture.