The road less travelled

Lachlan Hayes in a scene from the documentary.
Lachlan Hayes in a scene from the documentary.

Capturing the highs and lows of the whole experience, a group of Kingsley residents has created a documentary that explores the world of driving from the teenagers’ perspective.

Filmed across two years, the idea first came about when Jane and Andrew Struthers and friend Anne McKenzie realised that though their driving experience spanned across three decades, teaching their teenage children how to drive was another ball game.

The entertaining and often humorous four-part documentary is scheduled to hit screens this Saturday, broadcast across four consecutive weeks on West TV.

With Ms McKenzie’s degree in film and script writing, the parents decided to film their efforts with a focus on the teens’ point of view.

‘We knew from the start we didn’t want an adult-driven view; that view is already well known,’ Ms McKenzie, who directed it, said.

‘This is why the story follows the teens more than the parents; their world is full of wonder and fun, even when they are taking things very seriously.’

With the help of young professional filmmaker Kim Smitherman, who offered his services for free, filming first took place in the Struthers household.

‘It started on a very hot Australia Day. Jane and Andrew’s daughter, Elli, agreed to be filmed while Andrew gave her a lesson,’ Ms McKenzie said.

‘The lesson went well until Jane had the idea of Elli driving home via a dual carriageway. With Jane and Elli in the car and the film crew following, a moment was captured where Elli unexpectedly veered off the road and nearly hit a pole.’

While all adults present were shocked by the experience, young Elli thought the lesson went better than expected.

‘This is when we realised how different the teen world and the parent world is and I’m On The Road emerged. We threw ourselves into making something that we had no idea how to do. In fact, it was only because we didn’t know how to do it that we decided that we could do it in the first place.,’ Mr Struthers said.

‘It has been great watching the teens grow up during the making of the show, going from barely teens with squeaky voices, braces and spots to confident young people with something to say, a will to say it and I’m proud that we have provided a vehicle, pardon the pun, to have their views out there in the world.’

The documentary follows the journeys of four teenagers ” Kingsley’s Liam Trenwith, Canning Vale resident Lachlan Hayes, Kingsley resident Elli Struthers and Bicton resident Madison Boot ” with narration by Marangaroo resident Rohan D’Souza.

‘We had over 170 people involved in the making of I’m On The Road and had 90 teens and young people participate both as cast and crew,’ producer Jane Struthers said.

Episode one airs on West TV, Saturday, September 20 at 7.30pm with an encore episode Sunday, September 28 at 1pm.