The brief for Scotica's latest project was to create an all-encompassing brand film for multi-disciplinary adventure collective OceanVertical, showcasing both the beauty of the Scottish landscape and their chosen methods of traversal: mountaineering, climbing, coasteering and paddleboarding. The challenge, therefore, lay in combining these four very different experiences into a single unified journey.
In taking the film from brief to reality, then, we focussed in on the ideas and feelings common to each of these experiences. A love of the landscape in all its variety, in particular a need for wilderness for its own sake. An itch to continually challenge oneself physically and mentally in new contexts. A passion for sharing these experiences with others. An appreciation of, and indeed a need for, time and space completely removed from everyday life, where the distractions of work, home and society, if only for a moment, disappear.
Something we latched onto in particular was that in all our ways of exploring in the outdoors, there are moments of intense motion, of sensory overload and a physical and emotional strenuousness - and yet there are equally, and indeed often simultaneously, moments of inner peace, stillness and quiet. On our first shooting day, we found ourselves on the Tarmachan Ridge in a blizzard, the biting wind whipping cold across our faces, a whirlwind of snow endlessly filling every pocket and fold in our gear. There was seldom time to stop or communicate as we hurried across frozen lochans and eased ourselves down precarious slopes. And yet, as anyone who has experienced a white-out will attest to, even in this scenario there come moments of individual detachment, where time seems to slow and the world around us becomes both extremely close and very distant.
Such is the case when making difficult manoeuvres on a sheer rock face, or freefalling from a precipice into the crashing waves below - one finds oneself, amidst an almost infinitesimal moment of incredible senses, feelings and speed, in a meditative state, where thoughts give way to simply being. This was what we intended to capture and bring to life in this film: the transitory experience of being in a beautiful place, pushing ourselves to reach new heights within ourselves in moments of extremities, and there of all places finding, however fleeting, a sense of peace.
Watch the OceanVertical 2020 Promo here.
On Wednesday August 26th 2020, Scotica Film officially launches publicly. Our journey to this point has been long and beset with challenges, but here we stand at last. Over the next few weeks I'll be posting from here about the projects that have taken us to this point, where we are now, and what we want the future to look like - for Scotica and for Scotland.
It may seem to some unfortunate or poor timing to launch a film production company amidst a global pandemic and a national recession. However, I believe it is now more than ever that we as a population need our wild spaces, our landscapes and our wildlife, just as much as they need us. In a time where more than ever people are being pushed out of the claustrophobia of the cities and returning to nature, the businesses and organisations that facilitate our relationship with that nature need to be present and responsive.
Ecological trusts, national parks, mountain guides, sportspeople, agriculturalists and yes, film production companies, need to come together at this critical time and do everything in our power to support a recovery that puts the environment around us at the centre of our vision. Scotica intends to play its part in extending an understanding of, and a connection to, this recovery to the UK public.
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