There was an unexpectedly romantic thriller in Screen 2 at Mareel on Saturday night – but not because of the film.
Brian Spence had chosen the cinematic setting to propose to his girlfriend Helena Kovacevic, in the company of a group of his friends and other unsuspecting members of the audience.
It was a proposal with a difference: film-maker Brian had made a special “trailer” in advance of his proposal.
Once the adverts and the regular trailers had finished, the audience – and in particular Helena – were amazed to see Brian’s “Yellywood Films” logo on the big screen, followed by a three-minute history of his relationship with Helena, whom he met in Croatia in 2010.
A series of images showing the couple in various European cities (and in Shetland) followed, with their favourite song providing the soundtrack.
When this ended Brian proposed to Helena. And it was a tale with a happy ending: she said, “yes”, the audience cheered, and Shetland Arts staff came in with flowers for Helena and a glass of bubbly for everyone in the auditorium.
Brian had been planning the special occasion for months, and with the co-operation of the staff at Mareel was able to give Helena and all his specially invited friends the surprise of their lives. He was relieved everything went smoothly on the night.
He said: “It’s been a bit of a blur to be honest. I’m not normally one for public displays like this, but thought it was worth it to surprise Helena, and the friends we had in attendance. I can’t thank all the staff at Mareel enough for their help with planning this, and for keeping everything top secret.”
Shetland Arts head of development Kathy Hubbard said the organisation had been thrilled to join in with Brian’s plans.
She said: “Brian approached us some weeks ago with his idea of proposing on-screen and it was such a great idea that we were only too happy to do what we could to make it happen.
“Brian made the film, the staff at here at Mareel transformed it into a format that could be shown on the screen, and the technicians slotted it into the regular programme.
“It was fantastic – nobody except Brian and the staff had any idea it was going to happen, and everyone was thrilled, especially Helena. It was a wonderful moment.”