The Fisherman is a short film whose style attempts to match the character of Pat Walker. Our challenge was to keep this film simple and modern. There is no irony here, and there is no twist.
We gathered our images at dawn and at dusk following the natural rhythms of a fisherman's life. We filmed the sea in a variety of conditions and moods, always trying to make our camera see what it is that Pat sees when he looks out on the water and decides if it is safe to go out.
The depth and complexity of Pat's relationship with the water is not easily given expression in words.
Pat Walker is a man of the sea, a fisherman, the peaks and troughs of his face like a map of his beloved Atlantic sea. His story is a story for the generations, the generations who did what their fathers did, who inherited a passion for a job, unasked for but taken without words.
This story evolved with the passing of Pat’s father Pake but having let us cast a light on his life, he honoured his father by letting us witness his return to Bull na Mór following his father's death.
Pat Walker has a beautiful heart and his love of the sea is only surpassed by his love of family. In the going out. In the coming home. We were privileged to walk with him.
Once I met Pat Walker I knew that like The Fisherman in WB Yeats poem of that name, he was ‘a wise and simple man’. Pat lost his father Pake and mother Sally during the time we spent with him. It was a great privilege to be welcomed into his life with such grace, at such a difficult time. People told us that the sea is so much a part of Pat’s life, that he sways on land. What we learned was that his character is unswayable.
The sound and images that Tom and Patrick captured of the sea - from the fishing boat, the shore, the cliffs and the harbour - inspired much of the music I wrote for The Fisherman. The sound of the motor as they travelled out to the fishing grounds, of rope straining against the pull of the boats in the harbour, the continual hum of the sea that can be heard at all times around the peninsula - many of these sounds found their way into the music itself. The overall tone is drawn from the scale and unpredictability of the sea and the very personal (and at times melancholic) relationship that Pat Walker shares with it as he comes to terms with the recent death of his father.