Having spent 7 months travelling all over Scotland to shoot my new film, Ancient Scotland, I’ve never been prouder to call this country home.
The film was shot at 21 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 – collectively garnering over two million views and achieving a hattrick of prestigious Vimeo Staff Picks, I wanted to continue the progression of theme. My first film, Beautiful Scotland, was a collection of shots designed to showcase the country’s beauty. My second, Wild Scotland, embraced the wild nature of the country, featuring many of our wild animals. So for this third instalment I had to look closely at what defines Scotland for me. It soon dawned on me that Scotland has such a rich history, not just in terms of architecture but ancient geology (a field of study which has its roots in Scotland). 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 previously shot two aerial films in Scotland, I’d already picked the low hanging fruit of the country’s more accessible locations; so the logistics of reaching and completing this film were definitely more challenging. Each shot involved some kind of adventure, often physically demanding: notable examples include a 4-day round trip to Shetland to capture 10 seconds of footage, and weathering eight hours of miserable weather in a bivvy bag on a ridge in Skye, just to be there for sunrise.
Was it worth it? Absolutely!
The process of filming Ancient Scotland led to personal experiences which will stay with me forever: not least the simple, awe-inspiring moments on top of a mountain, surrounded by silence as the sun rose over the horizon.
Scotland truly is a country made for those who love the outdoors. Get out and explore it.
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