Beneath the Loch is a multimedia heritage show I wrote and animated for a visitor attraction in the Scottish Highlands. At the time, I was working for a company called Farmer Studios – the whole project was an intensely collaborative affair using the team’s amazing talents.
The show used triptych video, surround-sound and animatronics to tell the story of a young otter who embarks on a quest into the depths of Loch Lomond to find the lost village of Camstradden. On the way, the otter plunges through a whirlpool of history and myth, finally discovering the Guardian of the Loch, who collects “all the stories that run down the glens and into the loch”. The video I’ve posted here was put together during the show’s set-up phase, so there are a few rough edges. You’re also missing out on the amazing six-channel surround-sound. But it gives you a taste.
The script for Beneath the Loch was the result of a lot of research and many, many different drafts. I spent months gathering material about Scottish history and folklore, trying out different combinations until finally hitting on a story that worked.
The animation was a real labour of love. For the technically-minded among you, I used 3DStudioMax for both the 3D and 2D work, assembling it all with Adobe Premiere. The process was made infinitely more complex by the need to create a separate, fully synchronised video for each of the three projectors.
My contribution was just a part of the whole. The award-winning Farmer Studios team included: Nick Farmer, Steve Pearce, Pip Greasley, Jim Bishop, Simon Mitchell, Simon Hearn, John Pargeter, Peter Moulton, Dan Tippetts, Dean Weal, Benny Ball … plus of course all the other talented designers, sculptors and engineers too numerous to mention.