County Mayo is a beautiful area of Ireland set on the west coast and home to the world renowned 'Wild Atlantic Way.' Through their partnership with Visit Ireland we were approached to develop and produce a series of films and 30 second TV spots to promote the region with a particular focus on the wild and rugged scenery that comes hand in hand with the Irish coastline.
There was a particular interest shown on the client side in the potential to include some local people in the films and from our own perspective our experience shows that with tourism work the most honest, credible content comes from those who truly love the location/country/destination that they are focussing on. While it can be effective to recruit a specific 'talent' to promote a destination, often the most beautiful and engaging stories come from the locals.
With that in mind we began with a focus on creating a series of films that could truly represent the county, landscape and culture. Researching both local people, stories, location and music. This was quickly followed by a short recce trip to locations and to meet some of the potential characters for the films. Following that trip the #Wild Mayo campaign was born.
In the end the first series will consist of 5 films, however we started with production on 3 clips, each telling the story of a different athlete that represents the outdoor, wild landscape and culture of Mayo. Shooting was for 2 days per film plus an interview/VO recording for each.
The first film was with Kitesurfer and local hostel owner Francois Colussi. A frenchman who has found his home in Mayo. Francois is amazing to work with, a bundle of enthusiasm for life and in particular Ireland and it's culture. Filming Francois (and his Kitesurfing skills) offered us the perfect opportunity to show the beauty of the Wild Atlantic coastline and although logistically it was a bit of a challenge with the wind and wet, having tools such as a jetski and boat at our disposal made life easier (and fun!).
The second clip is based around the local hero of the Irish community, the GAA football stars Aiden O'Shea, Leeroy Keegan and Colm Boyle. I can't emphasise enough how huge Gaelic football is in Ireland, with players always representing their local team these guys are not only a huge draw for the Irish audience but they have such a strong affiliation with Mayo that telling their story was a must.
Finally Con Doherty, a junior international triathlete medalist who lives and trains against the backdrop of Mayo. Con (as you will tell by the film) is so strongly passionate about his homeland but also has a beautiful way with words. We really wanted to adopt a more poetic approach to one of these films and after meeting with Con we were so excited to collaborate on a script that represents his relationship with the landscape and coastline of Mayo. The sport of triathlon offered us the potential to capture a wide variety of locations from in the (very very cold) ocean, the roads of the Wild Atlantic Way and also the infamous 'Reek' mountain that is such a draw in the region. The combination of Con's script, the epic landscape visuals and the haunting, beautiful music of local pianist Connor Walsh has resulted in an extremely powerful piece of film.
Con's film will be released on 20th June so check back soon!
All the films are (or will be) available on our YouTube channel, Mayo.ie along with 30 sec TV spots which will be playing out from June.