The Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod (LIME) DVD project has been worked on since September 2009. It has been a long but interesting learning and practicing process for me. Liaising with the staff from L.I.M.E., planning, interviewing, storyboard, filming, editing & copyright and so on are the valuable skills and experience I learned from this practical video production. During the process, we met many difficulties and luckily in the end we managed to make a decent video.
What we wanted to focus was to acknowledge the thousands of hours volunteers have contributed to the LIME.
Strapline – From Nothing to Everything
The six-day festival relies heavily on the contribution from its volunteers. From repairing of the pavilion to flower setting on the stage, to seat leading, to the office work, volunteers appear everywhere of the festival. Without them, the eisteddfod is nothing. The first trip to Llangollen, we saw the empty stage in the pavilion, while in my mind I had took it for granted that when then festival starts, the stage is full of delicately set flowers and colourful lights. The two different scenes made a sharp comparison in my mind so we decided to use “From Nothing to Everything” as our tagline. It shows the importance of volunteers and it’s simple and very easy to remember.
The beginning of the video has three scenes as a brief introduction to what the video is about: overlook of Llangollen with traditional song; fast slideshow of volunteers with fast music background; quick video clips showing the empty stage and the full one as the transition to the next part.
We’d like to choose a traditional song rather than pop because we want to give people the idea that it is something classical and traditional happening in Wales immediately after they hear the music.
The main body contains five scenes to interpret the brief shows in the last slide. By showing various things volunteers doing we want to express that how earnest when they are doing their job and more importantly that to be a volunteer does not have to have special skills or knowledge, instead they could do anything that they think may be useful to the festival even picking up rubbishes, which is also an important part of the festival.
Using clips of volunteers’ lives after working is to show the vivid experience of volunteers in Llangollen. It is not just about working and contribution but also personal developments and joyful time.
Comments on volunteers either from competitors or audience or staff of LIME are all meant to give credit to their dedication demonstrating how broadly their hard work has influenced.
We wanted to shoot a touching scene of volunteers saying goodbye to each other as the eisteddfod finished to imply the ending of the video. Taking a quick look at the wonderful work they have done symbolised as the nice stage with people dancing and singing on it happily. The last scene is the landscape of the small but beautiful town, Llangollen, with the same Welsh traditional song to echo the beginning.
As we knew more about the LIME and some of the volunteers’ stories, we revised the original storyboard. We found two volunteers who have served the festival for decades, which is so touching and impressive but meanwhile, the festival needs more young volunteers and as one of them said, the lack of IT skills is a big problem.
Therefore, the purpose of the video then slightly changed to appreciate them and to appeal more young volunteers to be involved, especially those with technical skills. We then tried to add some interviews of young volunteers telling their unique stories and what they obtained from the experience.
Also from the former president’s introduction, we noticed another key benefit for being a volunteer, which is career development. The president used to be a young volunteer and he has developed it to a life-long career.
In addition, we planned to use a narrator or voice-over to introduce the roles of volunteers and to explain and lead to other scenes so it would give viewers a clear clue. However, due to several limits, we replaced it by succinct subtitles.