Set and filmed in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland, Mara is a series of stories inspired by folklore of the sea.
Our first film is Mara: The Seal Wife,
a tragic romance inspired by Selkie legends.
In legend the Selkie live in the sea in the form of a seal and occasionally come ashore shedding their seal skins to assume their human form.
Many stories tell the tale of a man who steals the skin of a female Selkie thus preventing her from returning to the sea. The man keeps the skin hidden and marries the Selkie.
The story doesn’t usually have a happy ending…
Mara has been a passion project for writer/director Uisdean Murray for many years. Starting life out as a feature film project in the early 00s but unable to secure finance to develop it further Uisdean has returned to his story between other projects. It became clear that there was more than one story worth telling so Uisdean decided to write a short film in the same world as his feature film.
After a few attempts at chasing funding Uisdean brought fellow islander and producer Adam Keltie onto the project and decided to try their hand at crowdfunding. One positive aspect of this approach is that they would be able to keep control of their production and shoot it their own way, important due to the ambitious nature of the story and the logistics of shooting in the remote Outer Hebrides of Scotland.
In 2016 a small cast and crew of five spent a weekend in Machrihanish on the west coast of Scotland shooting a teaser trailer.
The trailer included several landscape shots from the Isle of North Uist in the Outer Hebrides to help give a feel of what the eventual film was going to look like.
The crowdfunding platform of choice was IndieGoGo and the first campaign for Mara: The Seal Wife
was launched in 2017
We were thrilled to receive so much support online and find many fans and supporters for our film. We ended our campaign reaching 96% of our goal.
Article on Indie Activity
Article on BTG Lifestyle
Our production for the film started in the Summer of 2018 with a shoot in May and July. Both shoots were very successful despite tough weather conditions forcing us to adapt the script, change locations and move scenes to later in the year.
We decided that a second crowdfunding campaign was needed to help maintain our production value for our final major shoot in September and to help finance our post production costs such as composing an original score.