About the Film


"Why They Left" is in production now, and the hoped-for completion date is late 2018 to early 2019. A local screening is hoped for around Burns Night, late January of 2019. This historical documentary film is planned to be around 40 to 45 minutes.


The writer and producer of this documentary, Ellen Hamilton, is a designer. Her studio, Yellow Dot Designs, produces video, printed materials and websites for local businesses and associations. Yellow Dot has been in business for ten years in Alexandria, Virginia. Ellen is interested in history, and has been involved in the Alexandria archaeology community for a number of years.


Ellen's full maiden name is Ellen MacCaskill Johnson. After marrying a Scot from the Glasgow area, Ellen discovered that she has ancestors from Greenock, Scotland. She and her husband travel regularly to Scotland. A friend gave Ellen the book, "Renfrewshire, A Scottish County's Hidden Past". After burying herself in that book for about a year, Ellen realized that since most Scots live in the Lowlands of Scotland, most Americans of Scottish descent probably emigrated from that area. After quite a bit of research and reading, this turned out to be the case. Ellen felt that most Americans of Scottish descent, like herself, probably don't think about their Scottish heritage that much. So, somehow, this project got started.


As a new documentary film maker, Ellen Hamilton is doing much of the videography. She hired the production studio Mallard Productions of Glasgow. Old Town Productions is helping with equipment and consulting. Tisara Photography is helping with studio backgrounds and lighting.


Ellen was in Scotland this Summer, 2017, where she conducted an interview with the author of the Renfrewshire book, Derek Alexander, in Port Glasgow. Derek is also head of the archaeology department for the National Trust of Scotland. Mallard Productions did the videography there and at Newark Castle on the shore of the River Clyde. Ellen shot footage in locations near the River Clyde.