Jaimen Hudson’s aerial whale and dolphin imagery are stunning. His spectacular photographs and videos reach hundreds of millions of people online and he has been interviewed by media organisations across the world. Unbeknown to most he is confined to a wheelchair. Jaimen has an ambition to take his talents to a new level and pursue childhood dream of filming underwater. Embarking on the greatest challenge of his life, Jaimen begins his quest to become the world’s first underwater cinematographer with quadriplegia. Struggling against the constraints of his disability and the concerns of those around him, Jaimen sets out to prove to himself and the world that nothing will keep him from achieving his dreams. This is his story.
A short summary of the issue the documentary is addressing
In documentaries, characters with disability are often portrayed as unrealistically brave and
inspirational. Paradoxically they are also drawn as incapable of living productive, fulfilling or
lucrative lives. ‘From Sky to Sea’ will be a normalised portrait and focus instead on the
complex mix of circumstances, emotions and ambition that drive Jaimen Hudson to
push himself as a cinematographer, artist and father-to-be.
What is the impact vision statement of the documentary?
We aim to create change by substituting the sentimentality and patronising usually found in disability-themed documentaries with authenticity, comedy and the awe-inspiring power of the ocean. Most importantly it will be a driver of an important social impact goal - raising discussion and breaking down misconceptions around disability. In the long term we hope ‘From Sky to Sea’ will help to change social attitudes and behaviour - or at the least focus the conversation around these misconceptions
What outcomes does the project hope to achieve from making this documentary?
The outcomes we hope to achieve by making this film are for Jaimen to realise his dream and help him attain his goals, ultimately, assisting him to prove to the world that because of his status as a quadriplegic, he should not be denied the same opportunities as able-bodied persons. More outcomes are to show other people who have disabilities that attaining your dreams is possible. Other outcomes are to educate the audience and wider community about people with disabilities by showing the day to day struggles they face, the challenges they face - both physically and mentally, and how people with disabilities can successfully achieve their goals. The final outcome is for Jaimen’s story to stimulate debate, expand boundaries, inspire change, educate and surprise.
How will this documentary achieve its outcomes?
After seeing the film we want our audience to be involved in change. Firstly, mental attitudes need to be changed and we hope the film stimulates discussion and participation to achieve this. Secondly, doctorial and philosophical changes by documenting attitudes and writing/recording and disseminating our changed thoughts and publishing/broadcasting these changes to the world. Third and final is physical change – helping to facilitate people with disability to achieve their goals in whatever way possible – building better access, building better self-drive vehicles, new prosthetics to allow dependency, more service and carer support etc. All of the above can be facilitated by hosted screenings and live panel discussions of the film, by associated organisations, special interest groups, educational institutions, individuals and by using extra-curricular materials generated to support the educational aspect of the film.
How will partnerships with this project help inform the project development?
Our Key Talent and Associate Producer - Jaimen Hudson has many partnerships with disability groups in Western Australia. This includes sitting as an advisor on a panel for the Disability Commission Board of WA. Association with the Quadriplegic Centre Perth and the Department of Communities – Disability Services Commission. Jaimen is a board member for Tourism Esperance. He has also has won many awards with the Western Australian Young Achiever of the Year Awards. All these organisations will be approached to be involved in the film and help with financial and/or in-kind resources. Writer and Disability Advocate Fiona Tuomy is based in Melbourne and she also has many associations with organisations in the disability and arts sector and she will reach out to approach these organisations for financial or in-kind resources for the film.
Audience Engagement and Social Impact
What actions does this project hope for its viewers after seeing this film?
Our Call to Action will be coordinated with support from various organisations affiliated with the film, will involve a number of measures that will include becoming involved in campaigns for change. The film’s website will have a Call to Action page where interested viewers can sign a petition to support change for people with disabality, to increase support and carer services and access for people with disability.
Through our Cinema on Demand partner people can host their own screening of the film and invite key disability participants to talk and share their views on the film and the processes and action for change.
Educational material produced in association with ATOM will be disseminated to schools to use in conjunction with viewing the film. People with disability will be invited to talk to students after a screening. Students can go to the website to sign the petition for change and register their interest in on going campaigns to support change for people with disability.
Measurement and Evaluation
What is the projects indicators for success?
The impact of the film will be measured in a number of ways. Importantly, by the experience that Jaimen receives and his exposure to professional film-making and how attaining his goals changes him personally – physically, mentally and professionally. Traditional ways of measuring impact on the audience will be by the associated study guide and support campaign with ATOM and how many users utilise the materials. Social media usage statistics, online forums, email, feedback, comments etc. Media monitoring and tracking. Broadcast program sales, press and news coverage of the film and its release. Subsequent community engagement and interaction through films screenings, talks and presentations. Numbers of people that subscribe and register with the Call to Action on the film’s website.