A documentary produced by Diploma of Animation (Advanced) student Lila Gibbens has unexpectedly gone viral.

The film - in which high school students from East Christchurch share the highs and lows of living where they do – has been picked up by CTV - Canterbury Television, The Press and The Star, as well as shared  all over social media.

“I’ve been blown away by the reaction it’s got! I just thought it would get a few likes, shares and views on Facebook but after the promo was released it really blew up,” says Lila.

“It’s so cool seeing my work being shared out to such a wide range of people and on different media channels.”

The project is the brainchild of Aranui High School student and Youth MP Beth Walters, who wants to change the negative view many have towards Christchurch’s eastside. For Lila, it was a great opportunity to work on a meaningful project, and put into practice all the skills she’s been learning in the classroom.

“I was keen to get some work experience or an internship, and the employment advisor at ACG Yoobee Christchurch put me in touch with Beth. Beth had all the questions ready, and it was up to me to film and record while she was interviewing people, and then produce the film.”

Filming took place at three different high schools across a three week timeframe, and it took Lila another couple of weeks to edit it.

“The process taught me so much about exposure, colour and light balance, setting up equipment and positions, and adjusting camera settings for different environments.  I gained confidence and learnt a lot about how to communicate effectively with a client, as well as shortcuts and techniques in Premiere Pro and file management, which is extremely important. Whenever I got stuck I had my tutors at Yoobee to go to for help and advice which was cool.”

The positive reaction the film has generated could well open doors for the talented 21 year old, who has already been invited back to one of the East Christchurch schools to deliver a class to their film studies students. An internship opportunity with another organisation is also currently under discussion.

“It’s the first documentary I’ve ever made – I think I did a pretty good job for my first time. I’m delighted!”

Lila – who hails from Hokitika – kicked off her ACG Yoobee studies with Certificate in Digital Media (iCreate) course, before gaining her Diploma in Digital Film and Animation and then staircasing onto the Advanced Animation course.  She graduates in February 2017 – although is already considering staying on to gain her Diploma of Digital Filmmaking (Advanced)!

Check out what the hype is about here: