Navigating a foreign country can be pretty daunting sometimes, especially if you’re travelling from a completely different culture and don’t speak much of the language. But can you imagine how much more of a challenge that would be if you were also legally blind? How would this affect the way in which you experience new places? For young Japanese Paralympian Yusuke Takeuchi, these challenges are a regular occurrence.
Through his Paralympic success, Yusuke was able to bag himself a scholarship to study English in the UK (high five, chap!). Unafraid of the task ahead, and clearly no stranger to pushing his own limits, he decided to study in Wales at the Celtic English Academy. In the capable hands of the CEA, Yuuyo was given the opportunity to travel the length and breadth of the country, throwing himself into new cultural and physical experiences.
If there was ever a good opportunity to tell an amazing story and develop it into a kick-ass piece of brand content, this was it. Before Yusuke set off on his explorative expedition, the Celtic English Academy enlisted us to be his cinematic entourage. Our task was to follow Yusuke and create an emotive documentary piece, demonstrating that there’s something for everyone to experience here in Wales, no matter how many senses you have.
Amidst the worst winter to hit the UK in decades, we geared up and headed out across Wales, north to south, from castles to falconry centres to cheese tastings, giving delicate thought to the way in which we would shoot every location, and more importantly, how we would shoot Yusuke’s interaction with them. Over several days we grew fond of Yusuke’s positive and adventurous attitude—he really did prove that courage and determination can transcend cultural and linguistic barriers.
Such was the impact of the final film that it even brought a tear to producer Charlotte’s eye, which really says a lot considering she had the unenviable job of writing up risk assessments for every experience, including letting Yusuke ride Europe’s highest and longest zip wire…