The vulnerable teenage years are often when mental health issues – such as anxiety, depression and Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) – first rear their ugly heads.
Choosing to tackle the topic of BPD, the students from Canberra Secondary School’s Digital Media in Visual Arts Club created a video entitled Scrambled, which centres on Helen, an adolescent girl who finds the courage to seek help for BPD with the support of her best friend Julia.
When it came to filming the video, however, luck was not on their side, according to team member Lokare Isha Sunil, 15. “We were fortunate enough to be able to join our seniors’ film production, so we could pick up tips from them on the technical side,” she said. “But we still faced many issues such as the microphones picking up background audio. We had to come up with creative solutions, like getting our juniors to help carry the LED lights instead of connecting them to the stands.”
Yagin John Julian Hernandez, 15, recounted how it seemed to rain whenever they had set up a scene for outdoor shooting. “The batteries always went down, too. There was one day where I had to go up and down between the first and fourth floors several times to get new batteries.” His teammate, 15-year-old Idryan Andika Bin Shannul, pointed out that the team was rusty after having missed out on two years of regular co-curricular activities, because of the COVID-19 pandemic – which took a toll in many ways. “Some people were unavailable on certain days, and we couldn’t be that productive,” he recalled. “I wasn’t feeling that well mentally myself, but I tried to be there to help my team members.”
Even so, the experience bore fruit for the team, who not only took home a Distinction award in the Media Category at the Infocomm Media Club Youth Awards, but also developed soft skills apart from honing their technical skills on the project.
Julian said that he felt more confident in getting his opinions heard, while Idryan reflected: “I learnt to be more open to people who are suffering, to listen to what their problems are and allow them to share what they’re feeling without any judgement.”