Vilte Vaitkute – nominated at the Royal Television Society Awards 2016 for Best Post-Production: Editing
We’re so proud of Vilte as one of three editors nominated in her category, one of the only women nominated in a technical category, and one of few women under 30 up for an award.
Vilte’s nominated for her work on The Wee Govan Pipers/Pìobairean Beaga Bhaile Ghobhainn for MG ALBA and The Golden Road for Scotland’s Commissioner for Children and Young People.
Here Vilte talks about her work on the films.
Tell us a bit about the films you were nominated for
The Wee Govan Pipers/Pìobairean Beaga Bhaile Ghobhainn is a one-hour feature documentary for BBC MG ALBA following the Govan Schools Pipe Band. The tutors are from the award-winning Greater Glasgow Police Pipe Band, and it follows the stories of the group of kids as they prepare for the Scottish Schools Pipe Band Championships.
The Golden Road is a six-minute video demonstrating how Scotland’s Commissioner for Children and Young People’s 7 Golden Rules for participation can work in the special school environment with non-verbal children and young people.
They’re two very different films then?
They’re really different, yes. They couldn’t be more different actually. But they do have a couple of things in common. I think they both capture the human element. It would have been easy to present the Govan Schools Pipe Band as young pipers set on winning the competition but they’re also 10 and 11 year-old kids, and it was really important to focus on that. I wanted to show that they’re a group of kids from Govan schools with families and homes and busy school lives, doing the stuff that kids do, as well as learning piping. The tutor was very important too. He really cared about the band giving it their best shot. These human elements really help the audience connect with the film’s key issues of inequality of access to piping in schools, and the opportunity and potential the instrument can offer young people.
In the same way, with The Golden Road, I focused on the very supportive and caring environment in the school and the lovely relationships that exist between the teachers and pupils. I really wanted to show the pupils, again as children not as subjects, as active participants in school life with their own opinions and choices. Again, I think this human angle engages the audience in really getting what the 7 Golden Rules are really all about and what difference they can make to children in this setting.
And how did the two edits compare?
Well, with the Wee Govan Pipers I had around 140 hours of film that had been shot over 18 months. Filming was still going on while the edit had started and the story was developing along the way. I had footage from multi-camera and single-camera observational shoots, amateur home movies, archive shots – both video and stills, and vox pops shot in the street by children. Quite a lot going on.
The Golden Road was shot in a single day with one camera. There’s narrative from the teachers, and although the children are non-verbal, I wanted to highlight the communication going on. The result is a slow-paced short with space to observe the 7 Golden Rules in action.
What was your biggest ambition with the films?
It’s what I mentioned before. With the Wee Govan Pipers, I wanted to show the pipers as kids. It was funny, emotional and unusual and I wanted to get across those human elements. With The Golden Rules, I wanted to bring the subject to life and I did this I think by focusing on the supportive relationships and communication between the teachers and pupils in encouraging participation.
Also, I’m proud to have been nominated for these two films that might usually be overseen by broadcasters. MG ALBA is always striving to make more dynamic films, and I think we achieved that with The Wee Govan Pipers – it was one of MG ALBA’s most popular programmes on iplayer. The Golden Road is an educational film made for a public body, and so I’m really pleased to be able to focus attention on the importance of the types of short films we also make here at media co-op.
Watch The Golden Road. The Wee Govan Pipers isn’t currently on iplayer.