Having spent the past seven months travelling all over Scotland to shoot my new film, ANCIENT SCOTLAND, I’ve never been more proud to call this country home.
Shot at twenty one stunning locations from as the far north as Muckle Flugga at the very top of Shetland to the prehistoric wonder of Britain’s highest sea stacks near St Kilda, some 40 miles west of the Outer Hebrides.
As the third in a series of Scottish aerial films, I wanted to continue the progression of theme. My first film, Beautiful Scotland, was really just a collection of beautiful shots. My second, Wild Scotland, embraced the wild theme of this country, featuring many of our wild animals. So for this third instalment I had to look deeper at what defines Scotland for me. It soon dawned on me that Scotland has so much of the ancient about it, not just in terms of architecture but far older geology (a field of study which has its roots here). This led to a shot list ranging from incredible, imposing castles through to totemic sea stacks and the looming presence of St Kilda, a citadel of rock standing proud amidst the crashing maelstrom of the Atlantic which was inhabited until the 1930s.
Having already shot two films in Scotland, I’d already picked the low hanging fruit of the more accessible locations so the logistics of reaching and filming this film were definitely more challenging. Each shot involved some kind of, often physically demanding, adventure. Notable examples include a four day round trip to Shetland to capture 10 seconds of footage; the challenge of getting to the wildly remote sea stacks near St Kilda; and weathering 8 hours of miserable weather in a bivvy bag on a ridge in Skye, just to be there for sunrise.
The process of filming this has led to personal experiences which defy superlatives, not least the simple, awe inspiring, moments surrounded by silence as the sun rises over the horizon. Being on top of a mountain when the sun rises is an experience you will never forget.
Scotland is truly a country made for those who love the outdoors in its wonder. Get out and explore it.