Sunday, 15 March 2009
Last night we were in Glasgow for the BAFTA Scotland new talent awards ceremony. Claire was nominated a few weeks ago for Best Director with Echo Wall. Claire was chuffed to bits to get the nomination and both of us were really happy to see a film from the small world of climbing making it into the glam limelight of the mainstream film and television industry.
But we both convinced ourselves totally that this would be as far as it went, and that the other three nominees for Best Director, with an obviously closer involvement in the film industry would have a better chance.
I sat with Claire while she was briefed along with the other nominees (including the likes of Limmy) about which red carpet to walk down if their name was called out to come and receive an award. I thought it was nice to be invited to spend an evening in such company and see one of these ceremonies ‘in the flesh’. Loud music was played, presenters cracked jokes and announced winners. There was punching the air, shaky hands and tears from winners, and whoops and rapturous applause from a packed grand hall.
Claire’s Echo Wall was up against the directors of the thriller The Dead Outside, urban drama Running in Traffic and the documentary Ballads of the Book featuring contributions from Ian Rankin. We watched the nominees clips play including Echo Wall and then the presenter opened an envelope and announced the winner was Claire MacLeod.
Claire’s face was indeed a picture.
Neither of us can still believe that Claire won this award. The feedback we had from BAFTA’s jurors was that apart from the practical challenge of shooting a film like this single handedly and the seriousness of what Claire filmed (her other half risking neck), they liked the personal nature of the film and the appreciation shown of the beauty of the Lochaber in the shooting.
The impact of it in the ‘outside world’ of film was summed up by one of the other nominees. He asked Claire about the clip that played from Echo Wall of me saying:
“If I make a mistake on the climb, the consequences could not be higher for me, or for Claire.”
He asked if I was meaning we’d have to re-shoot the whole climb if I failed.
Claire explained, “No, he was meaning he would hit the ground and die with his wife filming if he made a mistake.”
This week, Echo Wall also won the Best Scottish Film award at the Fort William Mountain Festival, and Best Film at Glasgow Mountain Film Festival.