Behind the Scenes

'What you say matters' was developed by hip-hop artist Brothablack together with the cast, who are all students at James Meehan High School in south-western Sydney.  The students workshopped the scenes based on real-life experiences and the issues that are important to them. James Meehan is one of the most culturally diverse schools in the state and cultural identity is a big issue for many of the students. This is reflected in the video. For example, Cassie (who receives the text message in the quadrangle) and Adam (who is bumped in the bus queue) are both Indigenous. A theme of both scenes is that you can't always tell someone's cultural identity by the way they look. 

Thanks to Brothablack (writer and performer); Brendan Fletcher (director); MediaRock and Think Tank (producers); Zuni (digital consultants); and to the staff and students of James Meehan High School who made this project possible. Special thanks to student cast members Sarah-Lee, Saraya, Adam, Reynold, Cassandra, Alexia, Alicia, Lofty and Matthew.

'What you say matters' was developed with funding from the Department of Families, Housing, Communities and Indigenous Affairs.

1. The ideas for the video were workshopped by the students of James Meehan High School

Group of students posing and laughing in front of the camera

2.  Brothablack wrote and recorded the track

Brothablak performing in front of a film crew

3. The crew get to work on setting up equipment

A man directing in front of a camera

4. Student Adam King rehearses a scene with director Brendan Fletcher

Student talking to director with a film crew in the background

5. Close-up on racism online with student Cassandra King

Student holds phone as camera crew film

6. It's a wrap! Last scene of the day, starring students Lofty Moors and Matthew Voss

Students on a sports field look at each other while the camera crew setup

Photography by Joanna Kelly

Australian Government - Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs