Finn Valley College pupils have stars in their eyes this week with the release of a music video filmed in the Stranorlar school.
The video idea was handpicked by Ed Sheeran to accompany the song ‘Magical’ on his acclaimed new album Autumn Variations.
The incredible opportunity arose from a call-out from Ed himself, who asked fans around the world to share their creative film ideas.
Finn Valley College teacher Edel Temple jumped at the chance and her idea was selected as Ireland’s entry from more than 4,000 music videos entered from 75 countries.
Ms Temple said: “Myself and my son are huge Ed fans and my son constantly puts on concerts singing Ed Sheeran songs… I am lucky to bear witness to the most magical students and knew it would be a chance in a million for our students – so I sent in an application to take part”.
Sheeran’s record company Warner Bros loved the idea and invited the school to collaborate on the project.
At this stage, Edel approached colleague Tina Garry for help. Tina, a former teacher of Media Studies, collaborated with the brilliant brains of FVC Transition Year students to write the pitch for the competition.
They devised the concept, planned the shot types and compiled a list of props to complement the narrative and music.
The Romeo & Juliet theme, where an unrequited teenage crush was harboured by two friends, was something the pupils were keen to explore, as Tina tells us, “It goes to show what our young people can achieve with the right support, budget and resources. They have shown how just innovative they can be – I am so proud of them!!”.
A love for drama and literature in a school setting was popular among the TY group who knew love and school life were things that could be related to by everyone. Plus, it perfectly suited the lyrics and melody of the beautiful love song called Magical.
Being chosen to actually film their pitch was a welcome surprise for the school and they set about making room for a small film crew in school. A team from The People We Meet Productions led by Dublin’s Dave Carroll arrived November 7th and another Donegal dimension was added with the addition of Producer Siobhan McGinley, a native of Falcarragh.
The first-time screen actors in the video are students and staff who gave up considerable time and energy to work with the production team. Students Leona Mc Ginty and Danny Mc Menamin were cast as the star-crossed lovers.
Ms Garry said: “Thanks to Dave, Evan, Finn and Siobhan for putting the pieces of the puzzle together creatively as well as staff colleagues in Finn Valley College for their support. And a special thanks goes to the stars of the show, our pupils, we are so proud of how they rose to the challenge, especially our leads, Danny & Leona!”
“We hope the magic of Finn Valley College is clear to the Ed Sheeran fans; the pupils are forever grateful to Ed and his team for making young dreams come true and for giving FVC pupils the chance to take part in something so exciting and indeed, so magical!”
About the videos, Ed commented, “I made Autumn Variations for the fans and I really wanted to bring them into the fold on this album. I was keen to see how they interpreted the music, so I decided to ask my fans from across the world to make videos for each album track. There were so many wonderful submissions and I’m very happy to announce that I’ll be launching all 14 fan-made videos over the coming weeks, kicking off with That’s On Me. I want to give special thanks to each and every fan who made these videos so special. I love them and hope you will too x”