‘No Ordinary Day’ – Charlie’s Time at the ACTF


Charlie Ploughman
30 Sep 2018

I’m Charlie. I’m a 16 year old currently in Year 10, and when the opportunity arose to spend a week of work experience at the ACTF, I knew I had to sign up. I’m a big kid at heart. I’ve always had a passion for children’s television and music, and I hope to one day enter this industry myself. So receiving the offer to spend a week at the ACTF was an exciting moment for me.

My time at the ACTF has been an amazing experience. When you walk in each morning, you are greeted by the bright neon lights of the Wakadoo Cafe from the show Lift Off!. Everywhere you look, there is a piece of ACTF history. There are bright and colourful posters everywhere, animation cells from programs such as Li’l Elvis Jones and The Truckstoppers and costumes like Wolf from Lift Off! Live. There are always people bustling about undertaking all kinds of different jobs, and there’s always something to do.

I’ve come to learn that there is no such thing as an ordinary day at the ACTF. There is always something different and exciting going on. I’ve spent my time completing a mixture of work over my week. My first job was mailing out more than 900 certificates and posters to primary schools across Australia who entered this year’s My Place Competition.

I had the privilege of helping to document more than 30 years of ACTF history. I was focussed on the show Noah and Saskia, and my job was to sort through all of the slides and photos relating to the 13 episodes to find the best photos to be sent off to be digitised. The process can be long, but it is rewarding. I was shown some beautiful stills from a couple of earlier ACTF films, which were taken by three photographers who are famous for their work in their respective fields.

The ACTF’s Photo Digitisation Project

It was on this same day that I met Peter Wilson. You may not know his name, but you may know of his characters. He was the puppeteer behind the puppets ‘EC’ and ‘Lonely’ from Lift Off!. It was amazing to see EC come to life once more, and it is a memory that I will hold on to for a long time.

EC, Charlie and Peter Wilson

I’m going to miss the spontaneity of each day, and sitting at my desk doing work while green monster puppets and giant chickens watch over me. But most of all, all of the cheerful and smiling faces around the office. I have gained a greater appreciation for all of the work everyone here does for children and adults across Australia.

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