OTTUMWA — The phone call was received by Larry Gawronski, executive director of Bridge View Center in February 2012 — Don Sullivan, a concert promoter with Jam Productions in Chicago, wanted to know about the possibility of a Mumford and Sons annual summer music festival happening in Ottumwa.
In three days, he had assembled a response package to questions on accessibility, conveniences available, RV and general parking, space for the outdoor concert and other information. The return call was made to Sullivan by Ottumwa's city administrator Joe Helfenberger. Sullivan was impressed that the city had rallied so quickly.
But the concert went to Dixon, Ill., that summer. In 2013, the band decided to bypass the Heartland in favor of Oklahoma and Ohio. Now Gawronski is putting on a full-court press to the band and the promoter.
"I decided that a music video was the way to their hearts," Gawronski said. "I set about organizing the details of a music video shoot using on of Mumford and Sons' most famous recordings, 'I Will Wait.' The music and lyrics spoke right to me, but even more, I thought of changing the refrain from 'I will wait' to 'We can't wait,' illustrating our community's want and desire to have them play in Ottumwa."
Gawronski organized the camera operator and editor, created a storyboard and met with community leaders on a Thursday. Three days of shooting video footage followed that next Monday through Wednesday.
"We tried to include as much of the flavor and passion of Ottumwa into the video mix as we could," he said. "Before we knew it, we had Ottumwa High School, Indian Hills Community College, Cardinal Elementary School in Eldon and the American Gothic House on board — we were ready to roll."
Gawronski and his camera operator and editor, Chris Connolly from another VenuWorks building in Texas, ended up shooting 6 1/2 hours of footage, including aerial footage, and then edited it down to a 4 1/2 minute music video.