THERE’S a happy ending for an amateur film adaptation of Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre which has taken four years to make – the finished movie screens this weekend.
The film, Celtic Jane, sees the story of Jane Eyre adapted by writer and director Clive Malcouronne from Cabrich near Kirkhill and filmed over weekends.
His version is set in the 1920s here in the Highlands and features a local, mainly amateur cast – apart from professional actress Imogen Boorman who plays Jane. As well as taking four years working at weekends the film is pretty lengthy too.
"It’s got the exact same running time as an earlier film epic – Gone With The Wind!" he said. "Celtic Jane is also three hours and 58 minutes long!"
Auditions for the film began in 2012, but when funding hopes came to nothing, Clive was forced to delay filming and some of his cast had to drop out of the production.
But when local estates and homeowners volunteered properties and props to allow filming to go ahead, Clive got on with the business of making the movie.
Volunteers have helped with everything – including wardrobe, set design, sound, lighting, continuity, make-up, artwork and model making.
And Clive says: "The film has been created mostly for home TV viewing, so don’t come expecting anything as magnificent as Outlander – which I love – but Celtic Jane will be a lot better than a home movie!"
Clive and the Great Glen Film Arts group – which worked with him on the film – also want to make clear that the film is unsuitable for children under 10 and those a little older should be accompanied by an adult.
For Clive – though there are many changes from the original Jane Eyre – the heart of the story is intact.
"I remember first reading Jane Eyre and Jane never felt like a fictional character for me. She seems so real and she sets an example for all of us because however many challenges she faces – from losing her parents on the Titanic in our version, to the aunt she then lives with who hates her and the tough school she survives – Jane never becomes bitter or angry. She has courage and trusts the love in her own heart and doesn’t become disillusioned by people."
The film will be shown free three times this weekend at Moniack Castle – scene of many internal and external scenes in the film.
The screenings will begin at 6.30pm from Friday to Sunday and Save The Children collectors will be taking a suggested donation of £5 on the door.
In 2010 Clive’s first film Broken Angel, Christmas Star was shown over two nights at the Ironworks, also to raise money for Save the Children.
He is already planning his next film Life Tides: The Theory Of Us – a "timeslip film" set back in the time of Jesus which he will be writing next year.