In Dumbarton there’s an estate called Overtoun famous for its bridge where hundreds of dogs have jumped for their deaths since the 50’s. This phenomenon made the news several times and the myths and legends surrounding it grew fast. We intend with this documentary to tell the whole story of this place, to give a better perspective to the viewer of this mysterious estate and its history.
The main focus then will be the myths and folklore that people created to explain this strange dog “suicides”. Why do we as a society tend to fabricate explanations to strange happenings? Myths, despite all our scientific progress, are still an important social practice, maybe one of the few that are truly universal and timeless.
This unique and contemporary urban legend will help us understand a bit more about that level of the Human mind below the tip of the “iceberg”.
After a simple search on Google looking for the strangest places on Earth, we came across the Overtoun bridge in Scotland. Since we live in this country we decided to check a bit more about this mysterious phenomenon. Is it possible that all this dogs were trying to kill themselves? For what reason? Why on this bridge?
Right away we came across a dozen of different theories to explain what was happening in this estate, each one more mystical and far-fetched than the other. Then we found some tests that a BBC journalist made with dogs trying to debunk the urban legends surrounding Overtoun. He concluded that the smell of the mink living underneath the bridge was so powerful that impelled the dogs to jump the wall on the bridge, unaware of the fall they would take.
This seemed to be the most logical explanation but a bit more research let us know that mink is spread everywhere in the U.K. and this Victorian bridge in Overtoun is replicated all over the country as well. So that did not explain why, in the whole world, this happened here. And more bizarre, some of the dogs that jumped and survived the fall would eventually later on try to jump again.
At this point we got really intrigued and we decided to visit this estate and try to find out for ourselves what was going on. As we studied the history of the estate and (started to) spoke with the locals we started to see a lot of connections and coincidences that creeped us out. But at a certain point we realized that the information about this place is very scarce and dispersed all over the internet.
This subject deserves a proper approach and study to truly try do understand not only why hundreds of dogs for decades have been jumping this bridge but also, and perhaps even more captivating, to try to understand this part of all of us that is still overwhelmed and confused like a child when we hear about this stories and places.
Some parts of the reality that we all share are obscure and unexplained but we all feel it, fear it and gaze at it trying to build up myths and legends that can fill in the blanks.
So this is our project, a definitive documentary about the Overtoun estate: the stories, the history, the local people and specialist that can help us grasp the meaning of this kind of social phenomena is propagated and believed for generations.
Who We Are
Samuel Horta (Writing, Producing, Directing and Editing) and Mario Neves (Producing and Editing) are the production team of this documentary through MFN Productions. They grew up in the same neighbourhood in Portugal and have been making amateur movies since they were kids. Filmmaking was always a dream that they took very seriously, trying to perfect their craft with every new production. Now in the University they want to make the jump to the professional world and this project is the perfect way to start.
They are working in collaboration with Perth University in Scotland (Co- Producers) and other students will join them in this effort. Amongst them is Damaris Fuentes who will be co- directing the film and making the art work and production design. Petr Stark and Lukas Kuba who will be recording, mixing and making the sound design and Martyna Szmigiero composing and performing the original soundtrack for the movie. Everyone is working for no pay, moved by their deep interest in this story, passion for the art, to get experience and build up the portfolios.
What We Have
Most of the equipment necessary for the film it's going to be borrowed from Perth University or it's owned by the production team. The University is going to supply the editing and recording facilities for sound and the main editing it's going to be made in Mario's home studio.
So, the money we are asking for is essentially for everything we cannot get for free or borrow.
We Need Your Help For:
Travelling expenses (car rentals, car insurance, gas);
Food for crew and participants in the film;
Fees for festivals submissions.
Filming is scheduled to start in the second week of April but, because the whole team involved in the making of the film are students with a day job, the rest of the filming will have to be spread between April and June.
The plan is to film the Overtoun estate, interviews with local people, with local historians, with owners of the dogs that jumped the bridge, experts in mythology, social psychology, paranormal activity, animal behaviour, anthropology, the mission headed by Reverend Bob Hill (the current occupiers of the house of the estate), etc.
Production should end in July so that we can start post-production and that will take us three to four months because an original soundtrack will be made for the movie. An optimistic prediction for the completion of the documentary is beginning of 2014.
A Big Thank You for all your support
Risks and challenges
Like many documentaries, the story we want to tell may not necessarily be the story we find in location. It may be even better!
Everyone in the team is working on this project with no remuneration and between school and work. So the completion of the film may take longer than predicted but we will do all our best to deliver the movie earlier than expected.
We will make on this site constant updates of the progress of our project and we will provide a balance of our budget stating what and when we used the money raised with your pledges.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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