Shake It Up Australia launches emotive campaign to raise awareness for young onset Parkinson’s

Parkinson’s disease research organisation Shake It Up Australia has launched a new campaign, leading up the annual Pause 4 Parkinson’s fundraiser in April.

The television spot features Parkinson’s suffers sharing their stories to raise awareness for young onset Parkinson’s disease.

At the face of the campaign is Nikki Blackwood, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s at the age of 35.

Ben Kumanovski, the producer and director of the spot from Fussy Films, explained: “We wanted to break away from the popular belief that Parkinson’s is only an older person’s disease.”

“We also wanted to debunk the stereotype that it was mainly men who are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, hence the range of women in the ad.”

In Australia there are about 20,000 people currently diagnosed with young onset Parkinson’s disease.

Nikki Blackwood, a Young Onset Parkinson’s disease sufferer, is the face of the campaign

The advertisement takes on an emotive tone, executed through a range of production design techniques used by Fussy Films.

Kumanovski explained: “The atmosphere we’ve created conveys a larger part of the story. For example, the deteriorating warehouse is a symbol of the effect the neuro-disease is having on the nervous system, while the emptiness of the space represents the isolation many patients feel as they juggle their daily lives around what they can no-longer physically do, and the perception outsiders have of them.”

Fussy Films produced the campaign pro-bono after Kumanovski learned that Shake It Up Australia works strictly on a not-for-profit basis.

“I liked that the organisation put 100% of funds raised back into Parkinson’s research. Parkinson’s is more common than most people think. Many of our crew who volunteered to be a part of the project had a relative or new someone who is affected by the disease. I think knowing that the foundation puts 100% of the funds they raise into research was a major motivator for so many professional and talented people to give up their time to work on this film,” stated Kumanovski.

The campaign will be executed across free-to-air TV, outdoor media and radio.


Brand: Shake It Up Foundation Australia
Client: Vicki Miller
Production Company: Fussy Films
Producer/Director: Ben Kumanovski
DOP: Drew Bontoft
1AC: Ken Butti
Gaffer: Storm Ashwood
Best Boy: Aaron Ashwood
Grip: Richard Hoskins
Hair and Makeup Artist: Georgie Fox
Art Director: Melissa Kumanovski
Location Sound Recordist: Luke Stacey
Editor/Colourist: Ben Kumanovski
Music Composer: Paul Zulli
Post Production Sound: John Hresc
Male Voiceover by Abes Audio
Filmed at Sydney Props Studios


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