Here’s more about how we worked with people who had stories to tell about what the heritage of the Rhondda Valleys in Wales means to them in Valleys Kids’ Rhondda Lives project. This post follows a question from Cheryl Colan:
“…Did the individual storytellers work with and direct the video editor? If they spent only 2 hours doing so, I imagine the editor did a reasonable amount of preparatory work, getting clips to choose from lined up, prior to this work session?…”
There were many days of preparatory work in researching, finding, selecting, rights-clearing, digitising, etc. the clips. Lona Wharton and Gareth Morris did this at the BBC and Dafydd Pritchard did this at the National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales.
During the actual week of the workshop, before the individual two-hour sessions began, Katrina Kirkwood of Valleys Kids had spent time with each individual, showing what was available and logging individuals’ choices of which footage was relevant to their story.
Yes, in the initial BBC-facilitated workshop, we were lucky to be able to get BBC video editor Carwyn Jones to work with us. He’s a community-oriented, sympathetic, skilled, professional video editor. Because this was our pilot workshop, to reduce the number of variables, I decided that individual storytellers would work one-on-one with the editor. The storytellers actually took on the role of ‘director’ of their own movie.
Katrina developed the model throughout the life of Rhondda Lives and she sometimes encouraged storyteller to get a lot more hands-on, as far as the editing was concerned.
I think this model would work splendidly for Cheryl Colan’s local Historical Society Museum. Good luck if you decide to go for it.
Written and first published by Gareth Morlais on 15 July 2009