• Matthew Keenan was asked to commentate budding filmmaker Priya Simons' awesome Paris-Roubaix stop-motion movie. How could he say no? (Supplied)Source: Supplied
Matthew Keenan was asked by a mate to commentate this awesome stop-motion movie made by 13-year-old Priya Simons, inspired by Paris-Roubaix. How could he say no? He didn't.
Matthew Keenan

24 Apr 2020 - 3:27 PM  UPDATED 24 Apr 2020 - 9:26 PM

It’s long been said that necessity is the mother of invention. The coronavirus restrictions have seen boredom become the necessity that has brought out great creativity in many people.

My TikTok favourite is the ScoMo press conference by Sally Coleman and Erica Mallett. “Andrew, I’m sorry but you don’t run the press conference, ok. So let’s just keep it civil. I’m going to other questions of members of the group. Andrew….. Catherine”. Insert funky beats.

Roger Federer has even joined the party with his hat wearing wall volley challenge.

But my absolute favourite is Priya Simons, a 13-year-old from Melbourne, and her stop-motion movie 'Priya’s Roubaix: The Hell of Balwyn North.'

Last week I got a text message from a friend, Simon Matheson. “A mate of mine’s daughter has done this Roubaix video. Any chance you can do some commentary for it?”

Who in their right mind would say no?

It was part of a Year 7 project (my ego really hopes she gets top marks) but it was more than that. It was a family affair driven by a great love of cycling and story telling.

“I love making iMovies so I first made a time lapse video of putting makeup on mum”, Priya said.

“I enjoyed this so I tried to think of ideas to do with my little sister.

“Indra is always riding her bike around the back yard, as she misses riding cyclocross and track with Mr Pink at Brunswick, so I thought it would be good to make a video of her cycling."

“I first did the story board of her doing the Roubaix. Then I moved on to making props with my dad and sister. We made things such as the Jelly Belly team car, the stand for the bike, and the signs and clouds. We also gathered things from around the house to use as props.

“We rehearsed for one day with the whole family. We also picked out our costumes. Mum was the spectator so she had lots of costume changes.

“Filming took two and a half days as stop motion is a very slow way to make a video."

"We had to move everything a tiny bit for each frame, so we had to be very patient and review what we had done one bit at a time.”

What a fantastic effort. This is a family that has set the benchmark for homeschooling.

The good news is, encouraged by the response, Priya is probably just getting started.

“I feel happy that so many people like the movie, it was fun to make and now I'm thinking of ideas for my next movie project,” she said.