Waipawa the star


Waipawa School’s Room 3 was full of film stars and award­win­ning pro­duc­tion crew last week af­ter win­ning sec­ond place in the Fair Go Kids Ad Awards.

The win­ners were an­nounced on TVNZ last Mon­day evening on Fair Go’s last episode of the year.

Room 3 teacher John David­son — Mr D — says most of the stu­dents watched the episode on the Mon­day evening and the class was buzzing about the win on Tues­day.

“So we watched it again in class on Tues­day so all the kids got to en­joy the thrill.”

The idea to en­ter had come ear­lier in the year when the class was study­ing tu­ran­gawae­wae — “you are who you are be­cause of where you stand.”

They were look­ing at what makes Waipawa spe­cial, when Fair Go an­nounced that this year’s Kids Ad Awards would be ask­ing school kids to sell their spe­cial slice of New Zealand in tourism ad­verts.

“The rest is his­tory,” says Mr D.

“I showed the class Fair Go’s video re­quest­ing en­tries and they thought it was a great idea.”

The stu­dents brain­stormed ideas, chose what they be­lieved was spe­cial to them, planned and story boarded the ideas. They chose lead ac­tors by vote and when they filmed the ads — they made two — all 26 trooped into Waipawa to be in­volved.

The script was a game of hide and seek, where lead ac­tor Malachy Baker ”found” his class­mates en­joy­ing Waipawa places and ac­tiv­i­ties.

“Ev­ery­one had in­put into the process,” says Mr D. “We have a great re­la­tion­ship with the com­mu­nity and ev­ery­one had fun.”

The best part, says Malachy, was film­ing in a lo­cal cafe.

“It took five takes to film ‘found you hav­ing a cof­fee’. It was ter­ri­fy­ing be­cause I’d never done it be­fore and I was afraid I was go­ing to muck it up.”

Malachy did just fine, but dur­ing pro­cess­ing the voice and ac­tion wouldn’t synch prop­erly, so the voice-over had to be re-recorded — just as Malachy was off school sick.

“Noah Waite stepped up and did the voice-over,” says Mr D, “So we have Malachy as the face of the ad and Noah as the voice.

“We try to get real life ex­pe­ri­ences into the chil­dren’s learn­ing and this project, while fun, also taught them a lot about team­work and com­mu­ni­ca­tion. They learned con­flict res­o­lu­tion, be­cause they didn’t al­ways agree, and it in­volved a lot of reading, writ­ing and plan­ning.”

Prin­ci­pal Paul Jamieson says the kids were proud to show Waipawa off, and mak­ing the ad gave pur­pose to what they were learn­ing in class “and that’s what we’re all about”.

While the buzz of the win was still in the air last week, the ac­tors were get­ting a bit of recog­ni­tion and one or two were toy­ing with a ca­reer in film, their teacher says they mostly stayed grounded.

“They’re a good bunch of kids, en­thu­si­as­tic and ea­ger to learn.”

Sec­ond place prize was $500 and a Canon dig­i­tal video cam­era — handy as sev­eral classes are now keen to en­ter next year’s awards.

Ac­tion he­roes — The film stars and pro­duc­tion crew of Room 3 Waipawa School with their teacher Mr D.

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