Mary and the Seal

Misadventures on route to making the short film
'The Fisherman's Daughter'

Rest in Mu. // Chishu Ryu visiting the grave of Ozu in Tokyo-ga.


Rest in Mu. // Chishu Ryu visiting the grave of Ozu in Tokyo-ga.


Hello to the few people that follow this blog - and most of you probably did it because I followed you - I wanted to let you know that this blog is dead. It is my primary blog account as I started it first and now whenever I follow anyone I come up as Mary and the Seal…so it has actually been dead for a while.

So if anyone is following me and genuinely wants to get some blogging action from Tom Chick - the one to follow is . 

Sorry to everyone also.

Oh and if anyone wants to see Mary and the Seal - aka The Fisherman’s Daughter - it will be going online soonish - and if you can’t wait till then email me and I’ll send you a hidden link.

Love to all.

The Last Post

I’m going to close this blog as this film is not generating a lot of news.

Some sad news first off. Cathy Adam who played one of the gossiping ‘Old Crows’ in the film and was 94 when we shot, sadly died last month. She came to the Mull screening of the film in March, and during that weekend I filmed her along with Euphi and Maimie, the other women featured in the film, talking about stories from their childhood. I am very very slowly piecing this together and apologies to everyone on Mull for how long this is taking. Here she is in ‘The Fisherman’s Daughter’ (on the right).

She was one of the most amazing, witty and inspiring people I have met, with stories and memories in every bone. Spending time with her, along with Euphi and Maimie, was reason enough for me to make this film and I am very grateful we had the chance to meet.

Here is a link to a short piece of her talking from the footage I shot back in March.


I realise I haven’t written at all about the screening we had in March. We showed the film in a hall just outside Fionnphort, I made a short film programme of themed short films and clips, we borrowed the primary schools projector and PA system. My family came, as did a lot of Cathy, Mamie, and Euphi’s children and grandchildren and it was really lovely night and I felt proud for having put it on. I did so whilst always on the brink of disaster, with ill humour and a lack of gratitude, but it still went well so some of that should be forgiven. 

More news: the film has been rejected by almost every festival I sent it to, but has been accepted to a Scottish short film festival in a city whose name starts with the letter G. and possibly to a small, but surely lovely, festival in America. After that I think I’ll put the finished film online. Apologies to everyone involved that I haven’t tried harder with festivals.

General News: I have for the last three months or so been making a new short film called ‘Death in a Nut’; it was made with a production company called Digicult and with Creative Scotland funding. It has been quite hard and emotional work and I am out of steam and sick of it, but it is nearly finished. It will be much better than ‘The Fisherman’s Daughter’ and should be because it cost four times as much to make. There are some obtuse visual updates on the film on my other blog.

That’s it! If there’s any more news about festivals or screenings that happen I will tweet it. Otherwise the nine of you that are following this blog should probably stop and thank you very much for your time, and for your work on the film too, as most of you did.

My other blog is a bit more regular, though really I don’t have much interesting to say at the best of times so why I broadcast it is anyone’s guess. 

Much love to you all,

Tom Chick

Me as part of writing symposium billed as ‘4 of UK’s most interesting contemporary writers & film makers’ 
HA! - now you know

Me as part of writing symposium billed as ‘4 of UK’s most interesting contemporary writers & film makers’ 

HA! - now you know

A couple of mentions

'…. The final couple that night, Tom Chick’s The Fisherman’s Daughter and Heleri Saarik’s A Tale of a Nixie both dealt with maritime fables. Chick’s film, the only UK offering, combined hazy monochrome cinematography with minimal animation to beguiling effect… All of the films screened dodged the fatal flaw of some shorts - the too-obvious desire to be stretched to feature length.’

'Later the same evening, ‘Realms of the Unreal’ returned to live-action films, but with often unsettling themes of ritual and superstition. The Fisherman’s Daughter by young Edinburgh-based director Tom Chick featured some subtle performances in its tale of a selchie, or man-seal, in a remote Scottish island…'

The Edinburgh Film Festival

The Edinburgh Film Festival has just finished. ‘The Fisherman’s Daughter’ was shown to 280 high school students as part of a study day, some of which came from Boroughmuir, my old school, and was met with silence. I then spoke about it and filmmaking…which was also met with silence. 

The film was then shown to a handful of 17-18 year olds as part of a series of events for young Scottish folk interested who already have some filmmaking experience. Some of which came from SKAMM (Scottish Kids Are Making Movies) a filmmaking charity which I went to along with my friend Rory. We spoke about our filmmaking expereince with some other young filmmakers from Australia, who had made a film of the children’s book ‘THERE’S A HIPPOPOTAMUS ON OUR ROOF EATING CAKE’

On Thursday the film was shown publicly to a half filled cinema largely full of family and friends…most exciting Kenna Barrow, who plays Mary, was there with some of her family, as was Linda Williamson, Duncan Williamson’s widow, and David Campbell, a great storyteller and friend to both. 

Many thanks to all my friends and family who came along.

I was also asked last minute to talk at a couple of other events.


One of which was a ‘Filmmakers in Focus’ talk where I spoke with Anna Parsons & Jason Van Genderen, and another was a writing symposium where amongst people I spoke with Steve Aylett, who was fantastic and who’s book ‘Lint’ is on its way to my shelves. 

That’s about it…I am looking for some new festivals to send the film to and will let you know how it gets on. 

I think Hawaiian shirts for talks is a good look, next time I’ll be wearing sunglasses too with cocktails in each hand.