Black Summer Bushfires – Online Documentary Short
Lions Club International / Good Eye Deer
(Dir. Olivia Olley / DOP. Gavin Banks
Sound recordist.

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The Black Summer Bushfires devastated the east coast of Australia during the summer of 2019 - 2020. This documentary short was commissioned by Lions Club International to help with their fundraising efforts for disaster relief.

Literally standing in the ruins of peoples homes and listening to their stories was intense to say the least. The RFS fire chief talked about running on two hours of sleep every night for months on end, at one point going 72 hours straight with no sleep, taking hundreds of phone calls a day to co-ordinate fighters while fighting the fires himself. It was so hot the sweat in their helmets would boil and leave a burn mark across their foreheads. A local fighter told us about fighting to save a home from the flames that reached 100m above the tree lines, screaming like a jet engine, as his own home burned to the ground behind him.

It goes without saying that it required a high level of respect and know-how to work with the victims of this tragic event. Having recorded with trauma survivors and many untrained talents across the world, I was able to capture clear, crisp sound and am thankful for having the privilege of doing so.