Vil­lage says: watch out Hol­ly­wood!

Movie-mak­ing Dalavich res­i­dents star in a make their third film

The Oban Times - - FRONT PAGE - By Kathie Grif­fiths kgrif­fiths@oban­times.co.uk

Vil­lagers in re­mote Dalavich have thrown down a gaunt­let to Hol­ly­wood by set­ting up their own film en­ter­prise.

The tiny vil­lage is now work­ing on its third film, hav­ing al­ready pro­duced two movies, both of which were well re­ceived when they were screened in pub­lic.

Watch out Hol­ly­wood – you have got com­pe­ti­tion.

While Hol­ly­wood is home to A-list celebri­ties and big film stu­dios, the small Ar­gyll vil­lage of Dalavich has movie-mak­ers and bud­ding stars of its own.

The com­mu­nity has al­ready made and screened its first two films – An­gelic Crea­tures and Witches – and now is work­ing on its third.

Last week vil­lagers, in­clud­ing a re­tired civil ser­vant and ex-crofter from South Har­ris, turned film crew to start work on Some­thing Will Come.

The four-minute movie about two sis­ters film­ing from a win­dow was shot at the home of Gill Stolton, whose grand­daugh­ters got the lead­ing roles and came up with most of the script.

Rebecca Auty, who is 11, and her nine-year-old sis­ter, Eleanor, are spend­ing sum­mer with their ‘nanny’ while their mum and dad have to work back home in Ellesmere Port.

‘I told my friends at school I was go­ing to be in a film and they didn’t be­lieve me!’ said Rebecca.

The girls have also starred in the com­mu­nity’s pre­vi­ous two films. Ghost story An­gelic Crea­tures re­ceived a show­ing in 2016 at the Phoenix Cin­ema in Oban and there was stand­ing room only left at the back of the vil­lage hall when 120 seats sold out.

Witches had them fly­ing over Loch Awe and spir­it­ing up tricks on the lo­cals.

The man who started Dalavich Films is John Mackin­non, who came from Mus­sel­burgh and stum­bled upon Dalavich 12 years ago when he was look­ing for a place to keep his boat.

‘I found a place for my boat and for me. I never re­ally went home again,’ said Mr Mackin­non, who has a life­long in­ter­est in films af­ter start­ing out as a teenager get­ting in­volved in movie pro­duc­tion and fes­ti­vals help­ing be­hind the scenes and as a screen ex­tra.

‘I got the idea for Dalavich Films be­cause I thought it would be great if we had some­thing that could in­volve every­one in the vil­lage, no mat­ter how old they were. I al­ready had all the equip­ment, so that was a good start. When we made An­gelic Crea­tures, I can’t think of any­one who didn’t take part in some way,’ added Mr Mackin­non.

The in­for­mal com­mu­nity com­pany has also made pro­mo­tional films for lo­cal busi­nesses since and re­ceived fund­ing to make ‘Best of Dalavich’ DVDs fea­tur­ing still pho­tos and short film clips from the area, with a £5 price tag to boost vil­lage de­vel­op­ment funds.

Some­thing Will Come will be used as a short film to plug the gap be­tween other films made or shown by Dalavich Films and it will get its first screen­ing in the vil­lage soon.

Every­one will be there to see it on open­ing night – ex­cept for the other star of the film – a wood­pecker.

‘It’s a wood­pecker that fi­nally turns up for the girls to film from their win­dow. I ac­tu­ally filmed him two years ago in mid-win­ter so it’s a snowy scene – de­spite us shoot­ing the film in the height of sum­mer,’ said Mr Mackin­non.

Vil­lagers in Dalavich on the set of their next movie Some­thing Will Come. Left to right are John Mackin­non, Gor­don Wat­son, Gill Stolton, Rebecca Auty aged 11, Cath Trinder, Eleanor Auty aged nine, and Ron­nie Mc­Cord. 16_T32_­dalavich­films01

Lights, cam­era, ac­tion: the movie mak­ers get to work at Dalavich. 16_T32_­dalavich­films02

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