A video expertly simplifying the divisive Voice referendum has lit up social media just one day after it launched, where it’s attracting a wave of both support and slander.
‘Far Enough – Vote Yes’ was directed by Australian filmmaker Nash Edgerton – whose brother is actor Joel Edgerton – and stars popular Indigenous musician Adam Briggs, the latter of whom developed the concept of the video.
It was written by comedians Jenna Owen and Vic Zerbst, who star in the clip as two casually biased women airing all-too-familiar arguments against a Voice to Parliament – that it’s “confusing”, “doesn’t go far enough” yet “goes too far”, and finally, that “Indigenous people don’t even want it.”
It’s highly likely you’ve already seen the witty video on your social feed, with Hollywood powerhouse Jason Momoa bolstering its viewership by sharing it to his 17 million followers, alongside New Zealand director Taika Waititi.
While it’s been widely applauded since it launched, the video has also attracted a wave of backlash from the No camp, with some accusing the team behind it of being paid by the Labor government.
Edgerton, 50, debunked this suggestion, affirming the independent people involved did it for free and of their own accord because “we believe in this thing.”
“No one got paid. No one commissioned this. It was just us wanting to do something about it,” Edgerton told news.com.au.
He continued: “Look, there’s going to be people that aren’t going to be swayed no matter what we do. That’s not who this is necessarily targeting.
“It’s more targeting people that are indifferent to it, or haven’t bothered to look into it, or don’t think it really affects them.
“There’s always going to be negativity no matter what. I’m fine with the negative. It sparks conversation.
“I care about this thing. Anything that it can do to get this over the line I think is a better future for Australia.”
Lauded for his work directing Foxtel crime series Mr Inbetween, and the star-studded 2018 action film Gringo, Edgerton got involved after receiving a call from Briggs who wanted him to direct his idea for a short film – a no-nonsense endorsement of the Yes vote.
It was a no-brainer. Edgerton immediately said yes, before wrangling a film crew while Briggs, Owen and Zerbst finetuned the script.
Their goal was simple: Produce the facts with casual ease.
“We were trying to figure out, ‘How do we speak to people that are on the fence?’,” Edgerton said of developing the concept.
“We wanted it to feel open, and like the conversations that we were hearing and the kind of things that people were commenting on. And trying to not be attacking of anyone.
“But to me, it just feels like the right thing to do. It just feels like a no-brainer. There is just so much negativity from the No campaign, and we just wanted to cut through the confusion.”
The three-minute video, which was shot in half a day and turned around within a week, shows Briggs talking to two women [played by Zerbst and Owen] about the upcoming Voice referendum.
The trio are chatting over drinks at a pub, where the women unwittingly echo sentiments from the No campaign based on a clear lack of research on the topic.
“80 per cent of us do [want it],” Briggs calmly states. “Have you Googled it? The proposal. The referendum, Have you Googled it?”
The women laugh, saying they’ve “not had heaps of time”, because, you know, “Life.”
Briggs laughs along with them, before adding, “Have you got your phone? Let’s see what you do have time for,” he says as he opens up the woman’s search history. “‘Did Aaron leave Love Island 13 because he had gonorrhoea?’ Big questions,” Briggs jokes.
He then Googles the proposal and lands on the government website in seconds, as he asks the women to read out the basic explainer. They come to discover the Voice is simply an advisory board that carries no legislative power, but presents important issues among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to a parliamentary platform.
“OK, well, that is quite clear, I’d just vote yes to that?” she adds. “How did you find that? You went on Google, and it’s, the first result? OK, well you need to tell people about that Google thing.”
A message flashes onscreen, ‘Vote Yes to that referendum thing.’
On YouTube alone it had 64,000 views within 24 hours. Briggs’ Facebook post of the video had 63,000 views as of Friday afternoon.
As for what Edgerton hopes the video achieves, he simply said, “As many ‘Yes’ votes as possible.”
Australians will officially hit the ballots on October 14 to vote on the Voice referendum.