Here Comes Rona

Today was the big day on Raasay Distillery social media channels: name reveal day! Back last year, we got an interesting delivery at the Distillery- a beautiful old Volkswagen Type 2 Campervan for use in festivals and marketing.

She is a beautiful example of a Westfalia-spec campervan, with a big pop top roof, beds, cooker and hob, fridge- everything you’d need to take your hipster vanlife on the road. She was first registered in 1971, which also might explain why this century old vehicle turned up on here on the back of a lorry!

Our cofounder Bill had driven her up from Edinburgh, but on the way down the road suffered a broken fan belt. I guess without a pair of tights to fix it, we had to resort getting it towed here. Probably for the best, and very reminiscent of how I got my own campervan home! After a few attempts at getting her started and running, we realised that a few drops of oil and a new belt wouldn’t really cut things. She was spluttering and failing, and the choke seemed non-existent (I hadn’t realised these things have an automatic choke- very fancy! My 89′ camper isn’t that lucky). It seems the engine needed a serious service, so we asked the local on-island mechanical wizard Paul Camili to give it a go. I’m sure the prospect of adding “fixing undefined problems on an ancient campervan” to his list of jobs was probably the last thing he needed, but on his blog you can see the amazing work he did at completely overhauling the engine. Seeing it before & after is quite shocking- the engine is probably the cleanest, shiniest part of the whole vehicle now!

The doesn’t mean the guys are any better at keeping it running, however…

Once she was back with us in working order however it was time for the main event- naming her! We had made up a poll on the websitr with a contest to name her. I had complied a list of nearly 100 suggestions from social media (excluding duplicates and the dozens of suggestions that spelt Calum with two l’s) and then shorted it down to 5 to vote for-

  • Duncan (the Dun Caan Campervan)
  • Rona (because she’s always be off of Raasay)
  • Mrs MacLeod of Raasay (after the song)
  • RDT2 (geddit?)
  • The Malt Mobile!

Almost instantly, Rona pulled ahead along with The Malt Mobile, but only a couple weeks in it was pretty obvious Rona was a shoo-in. So with the winner chosen, I then got to work putting on the decal on the door and preparing how we were going to announce it. I had initially wanted to do a A-Team style montage of us fixing her up, applying the decal, painting her and then having the big reveal at the end, but it was a few days before the Christmas break and I really only had one day left to do anything. So, with camera in hand and Ross, Iain and Joseph cracking the usual jokes on the ridiculousness of my job, I sold them my idea and we made this:

As part of my on going effort to get better at forward planning, I had written and planned out each shot, music element story beat ona . running script. However, the best bit, by far, is the final shot where Ross shares a tender moment with Joseph, who doesn’t exactly reciprocate. That was entirely their suggestion, and it was so perfect I couldn’t imagine the video without it. My only wish would have been if I could have extended the shot previous so there was just a little bit more ‘run-in’ time on the gag since it immediately follows the reveal of them ‘pushing’ the van out and away. They also suggested they do a high five at the end, which works only so well as an alternate cut because of this how well they failed at it, have a look below:

I was lucky enough to get the chance to ‘premiere’ the video at the staff party only a few hours later, and it got a pretty great reception (No doubt helped by the fact everyone had had a fair few drinks as well!). We had to leave the video a few weeks however until after Christmas so we had to time to plan the release, but yesterday, after a long wait, we finally got to post it online. Seems to have done very well.

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