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Filming for Sagas & Seascapes

In conversation with Craig Sinclair


As a child, aspiring to make films like his heroes Spielberg, Rietman, Zemeckis, I always enjoyed playing “making movies” with my family - hoping one day to “play” all the time on real movie sets. Alas, a self-shooting video producer is destined to work alone more often than not.

It was only when I was editing Sagas and Seascapes, 3 months later that I found my newest joy to film making - travelling. There’s something compelling about travelling. The opportunity to see something new, see something unexpected. But watching somewhere you’ve never seen before through the eyes of another is a whole new world unto itself. I find you learn more about what an individual is like as a person, based on how they react or how they describe the new environment they’re in.

Craig Sinclair & Orla Stevens filming at Broch of Gurness

Sometimes the look on their face says it all. This was the foundation I wanted to bring to Sagas and Seascapes; the foundation of storytelling. Katherine from Nordic Viola wanted to let Gemma, Lillie, Linda and Orla tell the story of their work. We had the characters for our story.

The more I thought about the project, the deeper the concept got. The story these talented musicians would be telling would end up being stories from the North Atlantic that inspired their music - and most of the stories involved travelling. Aud by Linda Buckley reflected on the journey of a Nordic matriarch, Aud the Deep-Minded, as it was told in The Orkneyinga Saga. Carry his Relics by Gemma McGregor tells the story of the pilgrim journey of St. Magnus’ remains to Kirkwall. And Elsewhen by Lillie Harris is an abstract insight into travelling back through time to an era when the relics and monuments of Orkney were new, yet never revealing their secrets. The whole film involved us travelling the rounded, emerald hills of Orkney, along the clash of ageing rock and Atlantic waves, to follow in the footsteps of the people who have been remembered to this day through music.

I don’t think I would’ve ever seen Orkney had it not been for the project, but I know now it won’t be the last time either.

Click here for more of Craigs work:

It's not long now until our performances in Edinburgh at the Scottish Storytelling Centre! We are so excited to screen the film with live music for the first time in Edinburgh and hope to welcome you there from 15th-17th August at 8:30pm.

You can book tickets here - Please note that tickets are selling fast, so please book in advance to avoid disappointment.

There will be a relaxed performance on 17th August which also has audio description and social distancing. If you can’t make it to Edinburgh, then the original digital show will screen from the Scottish Storytelling Centre’s website at 7pm on 18th August, followed by a zoom Q & A with the creators at 8:30pm.


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