‘Welcome back to villages’ film is a hit
A video telling people that Dunkeld and Birnam is reopening for business has been spread far and wide on the web.
The cheery short film shows around 30 local people, members of the 80-strong Dunkeld and Birnam Tourist Association, waving from their doorsteps and shop windows at a pair of passing cyclists.
Shop signs turn from closed to open and small business owners are seen doing finishing touches to their appealing displays.
The message is clear - the two pretty Highland Perthshire villages that sit side by side on the banks of the Tay are waking up from the lockdown and are welcoming the return of visitors to their accommodation, food outlets and bike hire shops.
Strathtay councillor Anne Jarvis praised the film: “The Coming Together Again video is a message of hope and portrays what a great community Dunkeld and Birnam is. It is a fantastic film to watch.”
Chair of Dunkeld and Birnam Tourist Association Adrian Blundell told the PA over 2000 people had viewed the film within 24 hours of it going up online.
He said: “We were a tourism association with money in the bank and everyone agreed the time to use it had come, we should work together and give Dunkeld and Birnam a push.
“If you want to pull yourself out of a bad situation like the coronavirus put us all in, you have to be brave.
“With our own funds and £500 additional help from the community council, we got the short made.
“With Coming Together Again we wanted to get a good news message out about businesses being welcoming and at the ready to receive everybody back through the door safely and responsibly.
“And it needed to go out and be seen before the restrictions were lifted, July 15 is a key date for hotels.
“We used Steve Rawson of Lettoch Films in Killiecrankie to do it. He perfectly understood how fast we needed it all turned around.
“In all, it took three weeks from agreeing the idea to seeing it go live on screen.
“The sunny weather came just at the right time.
“A real bonus was getting comedian farmer Jim Smith to came on board for the film.
“It came about because his parents have a B&B. My wife Sheila and I actually stayed with the Smiths years ago before moving to Dunkeld, so I dared to just phone up and ask, and Jim kindly agreed.”
Adrian, who runs the Shiam Cottage B&B, admitted these had been very hard months for everybody.
“Just when we thought we’d got our marketing right and people said they loved what we’d got and wanted to come back, coronavirus came. We’ve had to more or less write off 2020 as a season.”
He said he was working with Perthshire North MSP John Swinney to try and ensure some local businesses that had not met the criteria for grants received help.
Adrian appeared in the film too, “once in a red shirt walking, once in a black top playing golf!”
The video was very carefully conceived to ensure no one business got special branding profile.
“It was not about personal branding opportunities, getting shop signs in vision, it was about a community message that we all stood on the same positive side, together,” Adrian added.
He reported that the community enterprise had been a success with at least a dozen members of the association recording a noticeable response from potential visitors who had seen the video showcasing Dunkeld and Birnam.
It is up to view and share at https://youtu.be/ YWUN0q90RbY