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‘It’s a wrap’ are words that Scots-Canadian duo Tom Gentle and Rupert Clague feared they might never say about their latest project, In the Fall – an adaptation of the classic short story by acclaimed Canadian writer Alistair Macleod. However, thanks to the help of some friends, including leading salmon grower Scottish Sea Farms, filming has just finished on Orkney.
Originally the team had intended to film the story, which is set in the 19th century on a smallholding in rural Scotland and stars young Hamilton actor Lewis McGowan, along the west coast, successfully crowdfunding the £15,000 required to do so.
However, when researching locations, they learned of Orkney’s iconic Rackwick Bothy on Hoy and immediately knew they couldn’t shoot anywhere else.
To do so would require them to raise a further £5,000 – a figure which later increased to £8,000 when one of their original sponsors had to pull out at the eleventh hour due to unforeseen circumstances.
Says director Tom Gentle: “To say that filming looked in jeopardy would be no understatement. But then we heard about Scottish Sea Farms who run an initiative called Heart of the Community providing support to local causes and they immediately saw the benefit that filming would bring to the island. Thanks to their generosity and quick response, filming has just wrapped and we’re heading back to Glasgow to start editing.”
This latest Heart of the Community award brings the total number of grants that Scottish Sea Farms has given to Orkney causes to 50, amounting to a total investment of £200,336 in the eight years that the initiative has been up and running.
Coordinating applications on behalf of the company is Georgie Mackenzie, who says: “This is exactly the sort of project that Heart of the Community is here to help. In the short-term, it has brought crew and cast by flight and ferry to the island, all of whom have required accommodation, food and fuel, meaning additional spend for local businesses at an otherwise quiet time of year in terms of tourism. In the longer-term, In the Fall could help put Orkney on the map as a potential film location.”
Indeed, Tom and Rupert plan to enter In the Fall into major international festivals including Toronto, Sundance, Berlin and Venice, along with the UK’s top film festivals including Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness, Leeds and London.
Amongst those rooting for the film to do well will be Orkney locals Eilidh Fisher and Rachael Batty. After reading about the production in the local newspaper, The Orcadian, they applied to work on the production, securing roles within the costume and art departments for a behind-the-scenes insight into some of the roles that exist in the film sector.
Further insights will be shared later this month with Gentle Giant Productions planning on returning to Orkney to talk to schools and community groups about the filming process.
Says Tom: “The support and backing for the project has been overwhelming: from all those who contributed right back at the start, to Scottish Sea Farms coming to our rescue to ensure filming still went ahead; and from the Orkney businesses that supplied us with everything from hot food to horse and chicken hire, to the islanders themselves who were so welcoming. We look forward to returning soon.”
To find out more about Scottish Sea Farms’ Heart of the Community initiative, click here or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.