Producing a Video for the Installation
Lockdown restrictions had caused the cancellation of public access to the gardens at Silverburn Park in Leven and the only way to deliver a lantern festival was through an online event. To bring a more live feel to the event, the video was filmed and edited within 48hrs then broadcast on Facebook for Blue Monday. The advantage of this, rather than ‘live-streaming' was that a documentary could be shot showing the logistics of a big event and capturing the set-up of elements such as the lanterns and theatre lights being positioned around the gardens. Being so close to the coast meant we also filmed great footage of the beach. There was also the need to interview the organisers and participants to get a flavour of the location, the ambition of Silverburn Park and the importance of ‘Blue Monday’ and peoples' struggles with mental health issues during Covid.
Of course filming during a pandemic brought with it many challenges. Like many businesses across the UK, Glass Bullet Media had to postpone many shoots in 2020 and 2021, but we were still able to work for essential services like charities (while sticking to the Covid regulations of course). During filming we had to keep our distance from the participants and this made filming interviews quite challenging. Normally we mic up the interviewees but we had to ask them to do this themselves, santising the equipment after each interview.
We carried out the daylight filming over two days but as it was January the light was fading from mid-afternoon. The most important and critical filming was still to come - the 4hrs of shooting in total darkness to film the switch-on of the lights, the viewing by selected guests and the all important aerial drone filming.
We had a 4-person evening crew armed with 4K cameras, steadicams and a drone. Total darkness fell, the lanterns lit up beautifully, the drone took off and our cameras captured the magic.
Within an hour of the shoot wrapping, the footage was in the hands of our editor and she worked her own special magic. With the event taking place just days before Blue Monday, we were editing to very tight deadlines. The edit had to be ready on the Sunday night in time for the Monday launch, so this meant sifting through 2 days of footage from the set up to the actual switching on of lights. Glass Bullet Media have worked to very tight deadlines in the past, but an online countdown to the Facebook premiere made this deadline even more urgent. 24hrs later the public was able to view the whole festival online and the many people who could not attend were able to view and and reflect on an important event in the Fife calendar, which without modern technology would have been cancelled.