Hunter film-makers win US award for road safety video

Good Eye Deer is a video production company based in Newcastle. They have won awards in the US for their films about road safety for young drivers. Gavin Banks, left and Olivia Olley, right. Picture by Brock Perks
Good Eye Deer is a video production company based in Newcastle. They have won awards in the US for their films about road safety for young drivers. Gavin Banks, left and Olivia Olley, right. Picture by Brock Perks

OLIVIA Olley and Gavin Banks say they are ‘‘humbled’’ to be internationally recognised for their long running efforts to reduce fatalities on NSW roads.

The pair is the producer and creative director at Newcastle based production company Good Eye Deer, which spent almost 12 months creating a compelling series of videos for the Police Citizens Youth Clubs (PCYC) to show at its Traffic Offenders Intervention Program.

The series has won first place in the prestigious US International Film and Video Festival’s Education (Personal Growth and Development) category and is a nominee for the Best of Festival award, to be announced on June 23.

‘‘We’re over the moon,’’ Mr Banks said.

‘‘We put a lot of work into this because we knew it had such potential to change lives.

‘‘Our motto is ‘Tell me and I will forget, show me and I may remember, involve me and I’ll understand’.

‘‘Our videos appeal to people intellectually and emotionally.’’

Magistrates can refer drivers found guilty of a traffic offence to complete the seven week Traffic Offenders Intervention Program, which aims to increase the understanding of the factors associated with illegal and dangerous driving behaviours.

Good Eye Deer’s moving videos used raw and confronting interviews with offenders, victims, lawyers, police, paramedics and other emergency services personnel, to show the consequences – and human cost – of making poor driving decisions.

The videos also followed the stories of a man who took a cocktail of alcohol and drugs and a woman who tried to ‘‘sleep off’’ her intoxication, before each were involved in car crashes that killed others.

Each served time in jail and are now using their experiences to contribute to society and warn others about driving unsafely.

‘‘We had a recurring theme in the video, your keys, your choice, your consequences,’’ Mr Banks said.

‘‘We wanted to drive home the reality of the small choices we make that have big consequences.

‘‘We wanted to show what it was like to go through the legal system, to go to jail and end up in a living hell.’’

More than 350 people die every year on NSW roads.