Nightwish is immensely popular around the world. During the past year, Nightwish fans from nearly 50 countries have been involved in making To Nightwish with Love -documentary, which will premiere in August.
The band's album Endless Forms Most Beautiful rose to top of the charts in 12 countries immediately after release in March 2015. Until end of the year the band's videos were watched 500 million times, and the world tour that is coming to an end gathers 1.5 million viewers.
In autumn 2015 we asked Nightwish fans through fan clubs (yes, they still exist!) and forums, whether Nightwish has changed their lives. We asked fans to send us a two-minute video, in which they tell about their relationship with the band.
We received hundreds of videos from almost fifty countries.
It was clear that the plan for a global fan document To Nightwish with Love would materialize.
Crowdsourced documentary was directed through social media
We wanted to make a documentary that would tell about fandom and the connecting power of music. We wondered what Mexico's, Germany's and Australia's metalheads have in common.
Based on the videos we chose around sixty Nightwish fans to make the documentary. They were given weekly assignments for nearly four months. Tell about the world of Nightwish. Show us your hometown. What do you think about the band's lyrics, what is the band's next album going to be like?
The method was quite experimental. Directors' and screenwriters' job during the filming is to create the big picture, to give filming instructions, to encourage and show the way. All guidance happened via e-mail, WhatsApp, Telegram and Facebook's secret group. In order to get to sleep at night, a message to Serbia: "Uroš, go to sleep" often had to be written on chat. Fans can be very intensive.
The youngest fan was 11-year-old Canadian, Laura. We got a separate permission video from her mother. The oldest of the fans again was 60-year-old Dieter from Germany, whose daughter filmed everything we needed.
Videos filmed by amateurs convey the authentic emotion
All the time we got new ideas of what we could do by crowdsourcing. Fans wanted to play covers. Yeah, why not! The movie needs music.
Or we might ask: "Would you like to participate in making animations?" Yes, yes! And the band's history, why to write it ourselves if we have 58 experts, who are better than us, involved in the project. And is there anybody here who knows Portuguese or Georgian?
To Nightwish with Love is a project in which people around the world are inspired to work towards a common goal. The power of crowdsourcing is in the fact that nothing needs to be done alone.
By filming themselves fans gave us a unique material of fan culture around the world to use.
Some of the fans filmed with mobile phones, while others had access to cameras and external microphones. The picture quality varied from the best possible to low, but the emotion conveyed from the material, the main characters' sincerity and how they threw themselves into it were the strength of the obtained material.
An earthquake, heat and winter darkness were experienced during filming
The fans filming the project live on four continents. They speak twenty languages and their daily life is varying.
Venezuela, for example, has had a tough year. The authority shakes, and the situation in Caracas is unstable. This resulted in Diego having difficulties to film outside.
Taiwanese Lu again lost the filming equipment at the beginning of the year in a fierce earthquake. Three hours after the quake, when the aftershocks still hit the country, there came a message from Lu: "Hello! I might send you my video late. There was a serious earthquake in my hometown today. The camera and everything else that was on my desk got broken."
In Brazil it rained exceptionally much in November. At the same time, the Norwegian Olaug waded through winter darkness and tried to generate even a small light source to her yard. We were amused.
While fans seemed to be everywhere, it was not possible to attend the project from some places. Contact with Syrian Nightwish fan was lost after the first e-mail.
Fans participated in making the documentary as a gratitude towards the band
In December 2015 Nightwish reached a milestone in its career, which none of the Finnish bands have previously been able to achieve: a gig at the legendary Wembley Arena.
Each fan going to Wembley had the opportunity to participate in making the documentary. We asked the public to take a selfie during the show and send it to us. A couple of hundred pictures arrived.
In addition to Wembley, we have implemented other open material collections. Fans have sent us photographs and drawn fan-art.
It has become very clear for us how great and passionate feelings are channeled to Nightwish. Fans experience receiving from the band a huge amount of joy and comfort to their lives. Through To Nightwish -project they have had the opportunity to show their gratitude.
The end result is a four-hour package about fandom and the power of music
And gratitude has been shown! We received about 200 hours of video footage. There are 20 languages and even more video formats.
Two persons watched everything through and commented each clip. Media assistant organized it and translators did firsthand translations to help.
This was followed by editing. Three editors, three graphic designers, sound design and mixing, color grading.
Fractured clips were searched for storylines, they were trimmed and additional shots were asked for. In the darkness of editing room scenes were watched again and again and we wished, that someone had time for Russian or Chinese courses. Sounds were harvested from the noise and colors found their place.
Nearly four-hour package was created during the five months: 18-part web series, animation of the band's history and one hour documentary.
When watching it as whole, it touches. You see more than a hundred human's workmanship. Many have sacrificed months of their lives for this. And all of it because of the love of Nightwish.
- To Nightwish with Love documentary will be shown on Yle Teema 08/28/2016.
- Web series will be available worldwide online on 08/20/2016.
- To Nightwish project was started with the name Fellow Imagineers.
- Read more about it HERE.