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  • Writer's pictureGillyB

The Muckle Stane (The Big Stone)

This is a wall of paper cut cast and characters and locations for The Muckle Stane a short film made in collaboration with Jenny Sturgeon and Jen Hadfield.

The offer of the collaboration came fortuitously whilst we were renting a large studio space in Alesund, our studio space was so large that I could have a whole room for my paper cut characters that did not impact on anyone else and I could cover the walls with Ravens and oldest women and clouds and barking dogs.

Jenny Sturgeon is a Shetland based singer, song writer, musician and sound recordist (she had recently finished her album, The Living Mountain, an absolutely beautiful piece of music, inspired by the book of the same name by Nan Shepherd)

Jen Hadield is a Shetland based award winning poet and writer, who was about to publish her fourth book, The stone age.

Stones, or in the Shetland dialect 'stanes' were much on her mind, inspired by a trip to The Faroes, The Muckle Stane evolved.

The film was commissioned as part of 'Refresh Now' by Shetland Arts and Creative Scotland, a series of new works to be made during lockdown and shared via online performances and socially distant screenings in Shetland.

I borrowed the screen, tripod and parasol bases from Norwegian friends and my husband became my technical adviser and puppeteer, as I directed the action and filmed it on my ipad.

We had a short window of time to work in, from initial chats in November through to the film having to be completed by March, there was no time to refine or rework or struggle with doubt, we all had to just get on and make it happen,through sharing files and chats on Zoom, we were all working separately, because I was in Norway and Jenny and Jen were in lockdown in Shetland.

I really had no idea how it would all come together, but we had Sam Wisternoff, music video director, who took my visuals, Jenny's music and recording of Jen's beautiul narration of her words and turned it into our little film.

You can watch our film on YouTube, just put 'The Muckle Stane' in search.

We had some really lovely reviews, but, I enjoyed most the photos of children and dogs watching our film. That's a fabulously broad reach.

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