Chris–a spirited but aimless young man in his early 20′s–has left the confines of the city to spend the winter alone on a secluded island in Maine.  Instead of being productive with his time off the grid, Chris prefers to goof around outdoors and do whatever he pleases–anything that will allow him to sidestep his thoughts of looming adulthood.  But as the outside world begins to unravel into a confusing and seemingly dangerous chaos, his haven begins to feel anything but safe.  Chris must quickly discover the inner strength to face an outside world growing darker by the day, or risk becoming consumed by the very real threats closing in all around him.

Director's Statement

Having spent the long winter of 2011 in a cabin on an island in Maine, I know firsthand how physically challenging northern winters can be—pipes freeze, cordwood needs to be endlessly chopped, and heavy snowfall can leave country roads impassable for weeks.  But it is the toll that the short days and seclusion have on the mind that pose the biggest challenge: frigid conditions force residents to spend most of their time indoors, and with nothing to do and not much of anywhere to go, the isolation can weigh heavily on the mind.  This is not a place for the delicate or weak-willed, which also just happens to make it the ideal place to drop Mainland’s protagonist, Chris.

Not only is Chris woefully unprepared to handle the physical hardships of a Maine winter, he is also ill-equipped to cope with the mental challenges that accompany extreme isolation.  It is important to me that my main character be challenged, and as the story unfolds we will indeed see Chris forced into a situation in which he sees no escape, and where the obstacles appear insurmountable.

I see Mainland’s setting itself as a kind of character.  It bares its teeth and menaces Chris at every turn, a constant reminder of how big and scary the world can be.  It is under these extreme circumstances that Chris’ true character will be revealed.

- Ian Bibby


Mainland was shot in January of 2013 in the towns Camden, Hope, and Lincolnville, Maine.  The majority of the film was shot outdoors, with the areas of Lake Megunticook and Norton Pond serving as the primary production locations.

Equipment (The Tech Specs)

Camera: Arri 416 Plus with Zeiss Ultra Prime lenses from Arri CSC in NJ.

Film: Super 16mm Fuji Eterna 250D 8663 and 500T.  This was last stock ever produced by Fuji.
Shot 3188 ft of 500T and 6186 250D, coming up to a grand total of 9374 ft

Processing: NFL Films in Mount Laurel, NJ.

Transfer: Apple ProRes 422
Final aspect ratio is 1:2.35. S16mm allows for 1:1.85, so we used a 2.35 ground glass when shooting and transferred full frame, which we cropped to 2.35 later in post-production.