‘A girl, more eagle than human, must decide between a life on the wing and her humanity when a stranger arrives on the tide.’

In 2016, I won a commission by the Scottish Film Talent Network to create a short animated film. As part of the commission, I was guided and mentored to develop the story further and learn to write my first official screenplay. This process ran over several months and was hugely valuable. With the script ready to go and with a team ready to go, production started!

The project had to be created fairly simplistically due to time and budget constraints. So an animation technique was devised using a combination of 2D puppetry and keyframed animation. There were several challenges, including the flight of the birds using puppets as I wanted to retain a sense of a 3D space. This took a fair amount of experimentation to get right. I also wanted the performances of the characters to be emotive and believable.

The film was created by a small team, including myself as director and character animator, Anna Thomson as producer, Gavin Robertson and Mark Wagner creating additional background animation and Jamie Fraser as editor. We also had the wonderfully talented Mike Vass, create all the original music as well as John Cobban to create the soundscape.

The film premiered at the 71st Edinburgh International Film Festival and was also selected for competition at Anima Mundi in Brazil, the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival, Anim’est in Romania, Cinekid in Netherlands, the London Short Film Festival, as well as many other fabulous festivals around the world. It was also nominated to receive the Scottish BAFTA for Best Animation in 2017.