One of Tasmania's most iconic annual events is Sheffield's Steamfest. For years, thousands have arrived in the small town to witness the old steam engines, vintage outfits, market stalls, food and entertainment. In 2020, the event took place only a week before the full scope of Covid was realised in Australia and the lockdowns began. So when the 2021 time was coming around, the Steamfest committee had a fight to let the event go ahead safely and within the state's guidelines.
Thankfully, they succeeded! In a true show of Aussie community spirit the event went ahead. In previous years, when Andrew and I have been in Tasmania we've always volunteered for the festival. Working in the kitchen with the catering for the whole staff of volunteers. This year was different, as ahead of the festival we were asked to provide a series of videos for social media. Leading up to the event, and over the course of the three day weekend, we created 13 seperate videos! It was a challenge but one full of exploration, as we met and heard from some truly good Aussies!
The series was designed for the Steamfest Facebook page, and you can see the entirety of it here too
Our first video was created as a bit of a test for the festival. The engagement rate on social media was so high, that an agreement for a series was quickly reached:
As Steamfest neared, we had the honour of a sit-down interview with two gentlemen that are iconic in the local steam community:
Not many people know (we didn't) that the oldest tractor in the world is in Sheffield, Tasmania. Three tractors were built as an experiment of a new technology. One is here in Tasmania, one is in the UK, and the last is long gone for scrap metal. Tractors are now used the world over, but their dawn is here in Sheffield:
The local council sponsored the creation of these videos, and the generosity had to be respected with this little look at the stunning little township of Sheffield:
Steamfest weekend finally came. Over the course of the event we made 9 videos in total, filmed, edited, and delivered! We opened with a look at the vibe:
Then came the pleasure of riding in the town's stunning little locomotive. I got to pull the whistle and I'll never forget it:
One of our favourite interviews we've filmed. Ever. We had a good laugh all together during this one:
Our good friends Sam and Sarah presented their work to us for this video. We love these two and have looked forward to seeing them at these events for several years. Drone shots were provided by our mate Jed, a member of the Tasmanian Lighthouse:
Every year that we're at Steamfest, we have a chat and a laugh with Gordon. Immaculately dressed and forever entertaining:
The slightly incongruous sight at every Steamfest event are these pre-steam era knights:
As filmmakers, a chance to look at the history of cinema couldn't be missed:
A truly decent Australian gentleman. We didn't expect making a video on old farming techniques could get us such a selection of nuggets of wisdom on history, tradition and honouring our past:
And finally, the day after the festival we released a special video. The festival only happens because a lot of locals that love their town and their history come together to bring it to life. The volunteers of Steamfest are great reminders that there is still community spirit and family love going on in the world:
Thanks for watching! Hopefully Andrew and I will be able to create series like this for more festivals and events. The chance to focus on real people and their stories, is a celebration we'd happily do again!