Brett Currie's Immerse documentary follows Norma MacLeod's ocean swimming as a coping mechanism in the face of cancer diagnosis.
Short film Immerse
Immerse is a short documentary that chronicles the story of an inspirational woman Norma Macleod, who in early 2020, quit a careen in cardiac nursing to pursue her dream of becoming an outdoor swimming instructor. A few months later, in the midst of a global pandemic, she was diagnosed with cancer. This film explores Norma’s thoughts, emotions and worries during this uncertain time and how she used her passion for outdoor swimming as a coping mechanism when faced with cancer. It was filmed on location in the dramatic Isle of Lewis, Scotland, in October 2021. It has won Best Cinematography at Little Wing Film Festival 2022 as well as being an official selection at Kendal Mountain Festival, Sunderland Shorts Film Festival, World of Film International Festival Glasgow and Yellowknife Film Festival, all in 2022.
The film's director, Brett Currie contacted us recently about the story, and to thank us for the helpfulness of the Outex products in making it happen. Our own company founder is an accomplished swimmer (World Champion and Olympic finalist), and was thrilled to hear about the serendipity of the touching story.
Norma's story has been featured in various publications as well, including Outdoor Swimmer Magazine, The Press & Journal Scottish Daily, and many others.
Norma MacLeod's story
As the Scottish newspaper reported, the 46-year-old initially ignored warning signs, believing these may stem back to a cyst she experienced earlier in her life. It wasn’t until after a subsequent check that she realized how lucky she was to receive an early diagnosis.
Now, Mrs MacLeod encourages others get checked. "Because I am a nurse, I thought I knew better. There was lots of wee things I put off and thought ‘it will be ok’. I didn’t think I had any risk factors for it and yet it did turn out to be breast cancer.”
Swimming was her coping mechanism. It gave her motivation, a sense of purpose, given her leadership of a peer group, and wholistic relief, both physical and mental. In her words; "I feel it's quite meditative - you think of nothing else. It makes you feel connected."
"It was an absolute privilege to be able to tell Norma’s story. From first hearing about her journey, I was impressed with her determination, resilience and positivity during what was a very difficult time. I felt it was a story that had to be told and I’m incredibly grateful she was happy and willing for me to."
Equipment used and experience with Outex
In addition to a DJI Magic 2 Pro drone, Brett's primary camera for the film was a Sony A1 mirrorless body and a couple of different lenses, including a Sony 35mm GM f/1.4 and a Sigma Art f/1.4. In his words; "When planning the documentary an underwater camera housing was a requirement. I wanted something that would deliver professional imaging quality, worked with more than one cameras & lenses, and didn't 'break my budget'.
After some research Outex was the obvious choice. It combined performance, flexibility, and a lightweight design at an affordable price. It maintained access to all of my settings and controls so it was easy to use. Being new to underwater filming, it was strange submerging my equipment for the first time and came with a little apprehension. But this was immediately dispersed as I saw how well it worked. During the time of filming, it performed incredibly well in difficult conditions without a steep learning curve. It’s tough, durable and easy to set up and dismantle. I’m delighted with the footage I was able to capture and would certainly recommend it. It would have been impossible to make the film without it. But it also drove my desire to explore more outdoor & underwater opportunities. I'm encouraged by the modularity of the Outex system, and plan to add to my kit as I've been impressed with it."
Brett Currie @brettccurrie is a filmmaker based in Edinburgh, Scotland, working worldwide. He provides film and video production services with an emphasis on cinematic storytelling. His passion lies in capturing people and the environment and what links them together. Visit Brett's website here; https://www.brettcurrie.com/