TEAMING up with iconic band Skipinnish, Calmac have launched an innovative new film exploring its enduring role at the heart of Scotland’s west coast, as part of the launch of their new Your West Coast campaign
The three-and-a-half minute long video shows stunning imagery from the 1944 David MacBrayne film ‘Islands of Youth’ and other new CalMac footage physically projected onto west coast landmarks and scenery.
Calmac say the inventive clip highlights both a modern sea change for the iconic ferry company, as well as the reassuring and enduring stability born of its 165 years’ of service to Scotland’s west coast.
The Your West Coast campaign is also hoping to inspire islanders and travellers alike to share their memories and stories about what Scotland’s western seaboard means to them, creating a unique record of first-hand accounts and tales captured in the individual voices of those who rely on these much-loved ferries – whether travelling fleetingly or regularly, from the Clyde to the Hebrides.
Featuring a haunting soundtrack by festival regulars Skipinnish and their rendition of Home on the Sea, Your West Coast was filmed at almost 30 locations by specialist Edinburgh projection company Double Take over 12 nights in the summer.
High-powered projectors beamed images on to an incredible array of subjects from entire mountains, ancient castles and a cathedral, to rowing boats, harbours and a bothy. Each projection was recorded using timelapse cameras and the film was created from this footage.
In the film, massive scale projections of campers roasting marshmallows light up the side of Duart Castle on Mull and the full height of Ardnamurchan Lighthouse suddenly transforms in to a highlander dancing a fling while Mingary Castle flickers with images of surfers running towards the waves.
Barrels are pounded in to shape on the elevation of Castle Stalker, a CalMac ferry dances with the tides in Oban Harbour and grainy footage of a woman casting a line shimmers on a rocky outcrop at Burg on Mull, while the company’s MV Loch Seaforth glides across the world-famous walls of Dunvegan Castle on Skye.
Footage captured on Islay, Cumbrae and Eigg also features.
The company say the film encapsulates the importance of the ferries as lifeblood for the communities of the Clyde and Hebrides at work and at play; imagery and music tap into the special lure of the area as archival footage finds a comfortable home alongside bang-up- to-date clips of the modern isles and today’s life and pursuits.
CalMac’s Managing Director Martin Dorchester said: “We are a progressive, modern company.
“But we are also proud of our heritage and this film combines old and new seamlessly as we look ahead with great pride to the future.
“The state-of- the-art projection technology captures much of the essence of Scotland’s western islands and Highlands, as those who live there go about their daily lives. CalMac is part of those lives – past, present and future.
“There is a really special quality to the film and we are delighted with the result and its celebration of the very people and places which form the beating heart of the Clyde and Hebrides.”
Skipinnish’s Angus Macphail is pleased with how the film turned out: “Skipinnish have so many good memories of CalMac journeys over the years and the feeling of getting on the ferry still makes me excited.
“I hope our positive feelings towards the ferries, the shore staff, and the crew come across in the song. The video really captures the magic of CalMac and the West Coast of Scotland – it makes me want to jump on a ferry and head for the Hebrides!”
• To join the converation and contribute your memories and tales of Scotland’s west coast, tag @CalMacFerries or use the hashtag #YourWestCoast – with your stories about the ferries themselves, the towns or villages, islands or mainland, sea or shore, people or places that come together to make the west coast so special.