BRUNSWICK — The people and landscape of Mid-Coast Maine are often photographed or painted, but they rarely grace the silver screen.
Director D’Arcy Marsh’s films are an exception. Marsh spent six years bobbing in lobster boats, visiting artist’s studios and discovering private islands while filming both the human and natural elements of the area.
The result of his work, Between the Tides: 8 Short Films About Mid-Coast Maine, premiers next Thursday, Sept. 15 at the Frontier Cafe.
Marsh, who made the films with the backing of the Strand Theater in Rockland, said he tried to capture the diversity of the Mid-Coast in his films.
He followed Jamie Wyeth into his studio and filmed him painting with watercolors on cardboard. He filmed third- and fourth-graders studying civics on North Haven and accompanied them on a visit to Augusta with Hannah Pingree, former speaker of the Maine House of Representatives. And he devoted an entire film, albeit only four minutes long, to waves breaking in slow motion.
Marsh said he had a couple of ideas in mind when he started the project, but found that “every single film basically started out one way and evolved into something else.”
His 23-minute film, “An Island,” started with the idea of making a movie about a young lobsterman. But the lobsterman’s family wasn’t keen on the idea because they feared the film would showcase – and bring unwanted visitors to – their island, which had been in the family for 350 years. They only consented to being in the film, which centers around the family’s history and land, when Marsh promised not to identify the island or their family name.
Privacy is a theme that resurfaces elsewhere in Marsh’s films. It took him six persistent months before Jamie Wyeth agreed to meet him and show him his studio, and he needed another three months of regular meetings with the Brown family before they let him film their boat yard on North Haven.
But the lengthy getting-to-know-you-period didn’t bother Marsh.
“I don’t think you can make a good film unless you know what you’re talking about and if you’re making a film about people you have to know them and they have to know you,” he explained.
Marsh will be at Frontier on Sept. 15 to answer questions about his films. The show starts at 7 p.m. and tickets cost $10. For more information visit www.explorefrontier.com.
D’arcy Marsh, director of “Between the Tides,” scouts a film location in Wiscasset.