|River Child wins 'best drama' award at Celtic Film Festival|
Like Katie in the film, I had a friend, incidentally called Janice, who although we were the same age, seemed to be a font of all knowledge and much more in tune with the world than I was.
|Sinead Carroll as 'Janice'|
On my first day at the Screen Academy, in the script class, we were told by our tutor Mark Grindle that we had to come up with an idea for a short film and pitch it to the group. I was sitting on Mark's right and I remember thinking if he goes left round the circle, I’ll have time to come up with something. If he goes right, I’m f***ed.
‘Okay, Lin,’ he said. ‘You go first.’
And suddenly the idea came. I’d heard this moving poem discussed on BBC4. It was written by a woman, who, one hot summer’s day as a child, had spotted what she thought was a football floating in a weir. When she investigated she discovered it was a toddler.
She pulled the child out and looked for its mother. Finding her on a nearby beach among other families, the mother didn’t really believe her story. Throughout her life she always thought of the little boy she’d rescued as her ‘river’ child.
That’s what I pitched, little thinking the script I then wrote would ever actually be filmed. After all it had water and a baby in it!
director Damian Wood to the smallest detail … even the sound of water lapping in Katie’s ear, the sun’s rays above her as she floats. The sight of the baby in the water.
Someone on YouTube asked about the baby in the film … those scenes were shot in Gourock outdoor heated swimming pool, with members of the mother and baby swimming club. Amazingly, that just happened to be the pool where I learned to swim myself, although it wasn’t heated back then.
The final shooting script was completed by Damian, myself and Mattias Karlsson, the producer, over a warm and sunny weekend in my home village of Carrbridge in the highlands, close to the River Dulnain, where I now swim.
River Child won a student BAFTA, and an award for best drama at the Celtic Film Festival. If you watch Damian’s realisation of the story, you’ll see why.