The Isle of My Heart - A Blasket island childhood (Ireland).
The Isle of My Heart - A Blasket island childhood (Ireland).
16mm re creation of my family's life on the now uninhabited Blasket island, Ireland, which touches also on original Islanders' culture.
16mm re creation of my family's life on the now uninhabited Blasket island, Ireland, which touches also on original Islanders' culture. Read more
About this project
Update: This can only get made if we reach our target - please have a look at the lovely rewards and support us - Thank you so much!
This is a unique film project which will involve the re creation of my family's life on the beautiful Great Blasket Island, where they lived for four years as practically the only residents. It is a unique island in Ireland, full of wild beauty. My brother and I have a set of remarkable first memories of the Blasket Island, a place which is now uninhabited.
Our life on the island was very traditional, as there was no electricity or roads to transport anything. We lived on what the Islanders used to live on - a diet of fish, crab, lobster, seaweed, seagul eggs, as well as our home grown produce and milk from our goats.
It was a remarkable first home for me, and my memories of it are very profound. My brother and I used to visit a seasonal resident who was an original Islander's son, living in one of the very old houses. This, and other truly evocative and unique memories are what we wish to re create in this film.
An Bhlascaoid Mhóir, The Great Blasket Island settlement has been considered for World Heritage Site status - it is now on the list for tentative sites. It is my intention that with this project the scale of the Islanders' village, consisting of over fifty homes which now lie abandoned, will be documented in a more significant way than it has been so far on film. I want to capture the sense of what its like when you are in this special space: it is a very privileged feeling to be there and it is very much just as the people who lived there left it, but for the wind, the weather, and this makes it a very profound, rare experience. The island is still undisturbed and unspoiled. I have a real passion to communicate this sensitively in my film. As well as Super 8, I plan to use 16 mm film which has the perfect aesthetic and resonance for the themes of the island. I will form two, twenty minute narrative films, for one will have an Irish narration. The Blasket island is one of the most important places, if not the most important, for the Irish language, as it survived here in its pure form up until relatively recently.
I have already made one film on the Blasket island, and the film was well received. It was selected to go to the 'New Designers' Exhibition in London, and appeared at Kewsick Cinema as a precursor to their annual Film Festival.
The reason for my making a second film on the Blasket Island is that there is such a story to tell here.
Crew member Tom Kirkman's brilliant Black & White 16 mm work is here:http://vimeo.com/user2218223
If you support us we will keep you updated on each day of the film shoot, with spectacular digital photography like you see below. We will use high definition photography as a way of documenting the 4 week film shoot experience for you! Please see the blog we have created as an example of this here :http://blasketislandblog.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/we-will-keep-you-updated-on-each-day-of.html
'The Isle of My Youth' The successful Kickstarter project with a budget of £850: http://www.kicktraq.com/projects/1855475746/the-isle-of-my-youth-0/
The Blasket Islands are one of the best places in Europe to watch whales. Choughs, peregrine falcons, manx shearwater, and puffins are also common sights. The Island has a large colony of seal, eight hundred of which were filmed in the last Blasket island film I made! The beautiful and abundant wildlife and marine life is something we would also like to film, especially the puffin near the island of Inis Mhic Aoibhleáin.
I will spend a good few weeks on the island re-encountering the places that were significant for the Islanders, and for my own family. The places where the Islanders sang and danced above the shore, where they hunted for puffin on the wild, high mountain slopes, will all be given a unique, accurate portrayal from someone who knows the Blasket island extremely well. I have also written a book about my family's four year life on the island during the 1970's and 1980's. There are some truly remarkable stories, such as getting stormbound as children, with very little food, meeting Islanders, and this book is one of the many rewards you can select here.
We plan to enter the film into specific international film festivals, and a version with a narration in the Irish language will be submitted to the Dingle Film Festival in Ireland and the Celtic Film Festival also. The Galway Fleadh in Ireland will also be contacted should the kickstarter project be successful.
Costs/ Your Support
We have cameras, however, your support is vitally needed so that we can, as a minimum crew of three, travel to and stay on the island for a significant amount of time, long enough to record the island in all its splendor. The chief costs will be some flight costs, accommodation costs, transport costs for equipment, editing costs (post production), 16 mm and Super 8 film reels purchases (quite expensive, but worth every penny!), processing costs of film, and other production considerations such as submissions to festivals, and some extra batteries for lights and cameras. The rewards we send you must also be considered of course.
We are confident we can make a truly outstanding film so please consider supporting us - Thank you so much!
Go raibh míle maith agat go mór!
Thanks to Dominic Thorn. Thanks also to Jared Jones, Tom Kirkman and Isaac Livingstone.
Have a look at the great rewards.
Risks and challenges
Simon knows this island extremely well - having lived there as a boy and for over 10 months as an adult, and having already made one film there. The weather is the one thing which can disrupt a film shoot such as this. The risk of bad weather affecting the shoot can be minimized very significantly in two ways: choosing the most seasonable months such as June, July and August, and having a long film shoot window such as 3 - 4 weeks. Knowing the logistics of the island these are the well considered, carefully thought out ways to avoid the risk of bad weather affecting the filming.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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