Village says: watch out Hollywood!
Movie-making Dalavich residents star in a make their third film
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