Shane Williams got involved in the baking world by chance. He was working on media content for TAFE when he came across the world of competitive baking and was introduced to Dean Gibson.
“I saw all the amazing things these guys were doing, and I just went ‘Holy Hell! How come nobody knows about this stuff?’” Shane says.
“These guys are competing worldwide, and they’re doing really well! And you never see it on the TV, you never see anything mentioned about it.”
Over the course of the last 10 years of their relationship, Shane and Dean, along with industrial designer Jon Pryer, have worked hard to raise more awareness around the industry and the amazing things that people are creating
Their collaboration took Dean and Jon through several world records and saw the creation of many amazing chocolate sculptures, with Shane documenting the whole process, and culminated in the creation of their most ambitious chocolate sculpture yet—The Iron Shark.
Now, his recent short film, Skills for Trades, has started to shine a light on the highly skilled artisans in the baking profession and the need to foster creative endeavour within the profession in order for professionals to expand their skillsets.
The film itself came together quickly for Shane and his wife Vanessa, who works alongside him creating media content.
“I went, ‘Oh, I’ve got all this stuff that I could create a story with. And I saw the Australian film festival Flickerfest coming up, and it was due in two weeks,” Shane says.
So he put together footage from the 10 years that he had been working with Dean Gibson and created a 35-minute short film about the baking industry to enter into the competition.
“I wasn’t allowed to show it anywhere until the judgment came. So it sat there for three months and then didn’t get through!”
This didn’t deter Shane, who went on to perform successfully in not one but two international film awards with Skills for Trades, at the ARFF Paris Around Films International Film Festival, where it won the Best Trailer & Audience Award, and the Lift-Off Film Maker Sessions by Lift-Off Global Network, where it is currently a finalist.
He has hopes that the film will be able to provide viewers with an insight into the realities of the baking and patisserie world, as well as the artistry behind the work and the importance of passing it on to the next generation.
“I put that together… to [show] how important it is to do creative projects outside of work, to get your skill level up as high as the likes of Dean and Jon. In essence, it was also about… showing how young people have got opportunities to travel, and they can get into competition,” Shane says.
“If we don’t have the skilled workforce, there’s not going to be a business.”
Image: Fivespice Creative