And welcome to the first blog post of 2016. I know it’s quite a bit late but I may or may not have stumbled upon the greatest journey I’ve been on so far. After a month of cold exterior shoots, sleep deprivation, laughter and unforgettable moments we could finally say;
THAT’S A WRAP!
It has been one crazy ride this year and one I never expected in a million years. So here's the story:
A couple of years ago I fell in love with a web series called ”Caledonia” which follows recent divorcee DI Leah Bishop, a folklorist and police officer, who gets recruited into the Glasgow branch of Caledonia Interpol. Little does she know that the monsters she has been studying are real and she is the only human around. The concept intrigued me and the world was so different to anything I had seen before that I wanted to learn more.
Actually, I wanted to be in it. So when the third installment ”Burns Night” was announced I promptly sent an email to the producer Amy Hoff and many months of nail-biting later I had the honor and pleasure of becoming a member of the Cult Classic Pictures, a group of the most humble, kind, passionate and amazing people I’ve ever met.
I originally joined the film as a faerie administrator at the Caledonia Interpol, little did I know that soon I would be taking on my literary role model Detective Inspector Leah Bishop. This character is flawed and perfect at the same time, an alcoholic with a "fuck-it" attitude that only comes through fragility. Her journey is inspiring as she finds her home in the most unlikely place she's ever stumbled upon. And it is unlikely, not just as in Glasgow or an all-monsters-are-real kind of thing, but also in its natural diversity. In a previously predominantly male-dominated geek world a female-lead fantasy horror show which incorporates cultures and folklore from all around the world without making it a big deal feels like a breath of fresh air and a step in the right direction. It is an important conversation and one that I will continue as our journey over the next couple of months and years takes us into the festival and convention circuit.
I guess one can say that Leah Bishop is a little bit like the Doctor and James Bond, although I must admit my objectivity and love for her makes me think she's much much more. But she does share the actor/accent-change with them. Taking on a role previously played beautifully by two other actresses was daunting and terrifying and exhilarating at the same time. Getting the part so late in the production process meant that I knew I would never get the Scottish accent Vharri and Allison had and it also meant discovering her scene by scene, interacting with the other characters, both friends and strangers, which told me more about her than words ever could. It became a very instinctive process on set while I went home every night frantically reading and re-reading the book and re-watching the show to learn about where she came from so I could be confident with the canon while still making the character mine own. I say it was terrifying, but I loved every second of that challenge! And I couldn't have done it without the patience and support of our director and writer Amy Hoff and the rest of the cast and crew.
We may have wrapped production but the adventure has only just started as post-production is well underway and we now head out to promote our film.
The picture above is a link to the website where you can find the first two seasons already released.
At the end of February we were guests at the Capital Sci-Fi Con in Edinburgh (my very first convention, eek!) and we will also attend Asylum 16 in Birmingham in May and TV and Movie fest II in Peterborough in September to name but a few. Check out the rest of my website or the official Burns Night Facebook page for regular updates.
Isle of Islay, filming location.
Photo: Maria Jones
I am so blessed to have been part of "Burns Night" and I can't wait to share the rest of the adventure with you! Here's a song from season 2 to listen to in the meantime:
"Caledonia" - Dougie MacLean: https://youtu.be/wP8A9rtg0iI