Archive for BBC Scotland

Clowning Around

Posted in FILM, Television with tags , , , , , , on February 12, 2009 by dcairns

vlcsnap-84124

My multi-award winning short film CRY FOR BOBO, is now online at BBC Film Network here, so UK residents can hopefully see it. Not sure about the rest of you — if somebody could check and let me know, that’d be great. I took it off YouTube while we were wooing the BBC (who helped pay for it, so didn’t need too much persuading, but did take a while) but maybe I’ll have to arrange some kind of foreign outlet for it…

vlcsnap-839979

Meanwhile, my new article in the Forgotten series is up at the Auteurs’ Notebook .

Leave comments on the article over there, and comments on the film over here.

Advertisements

“I am not a mung seed.”

Posted in FILM, literature, Theatre with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 3, 2008 by dcairns

A Scottish Kenneth Williams?

A treat for you! DIARY OF A MADMAN is a half-hour short directed by Morag McKinnon back in the ’90s, written by and starring Colin McLaren, based on the story by Nikolai Gogol. Morag, assisted by Travis Reeves has planted the thing on YouTube in three bite-sized morsels, to be enjoyed by all.

I edited the film! I don’t recall there being that much work involved in that — the long-take style employed meant that 90% of the work was done when I’d removed the clapperboards. But I had a good time with the sound effects, which I roughed in before Bronek Korda and Derek Livesey at BBC Scotland mixed things and thinned it down and took out all the distracting stuff I’d tried. Looking at it now the editing seems the weakest thing about it. As it goes on there are fewer match cuts and it gets better and better. My choice of when to dissolve or fade looks alarmingly random though.

The Scotsman newspaper rightly praised the film as a minimalist masterpiece and bemoaned the fact that the talents emerging from Edinburgh College of Art’s film department weren’t finding the financial support to create a new wave of Scottish cinema. That might be finally changing, with former E.C.A. students like Travis, Morag, Martin Radich and Sarah Gavron all making feature films recently. The idea that it takes the U.K. film industry ten years to spot new talent isn’t too encouraging, but at least it’s happening.

Madman McLaren, seen here in full flow, has scripted Morag’s forthcoming tragi-comic feature ROUNDING UP DONKEYS. Although almost pathologically sane, to quote Herzog, Colin has a rare handle on insanity in his writing that’s reminiscent of Spike Milligan. Here he deftly interweaves original gags with Gogol material. You can’t see the join!

I’m sorry that Colin hasn’t done more acting of late — I think Morag would like to tempt him back, but I don’t blame him from withdrawing — he did a bunch of student films, which must have been a bit tiresome at times, but he also had several theatrical triumphs, playing Hamlet, the M.C. in Cabaret and creating a theatrical version of MADMAN in which Morag appeared.

Colin’s work here is even more impressive here given that he had a cold during the three nights of filming. And swinging those shoes round his neck nearly sawed his head off.

I’m impressed all over by Kenneth Simpson’s 16mm photography. I recall we had one shot that was out of focus, which we ditched — the only out-take! I think it featured the conclusion of the Fat Patsy “sub-plot”. The rear projection worked great, and the long take at the end now seems… rather brave!

Apologies if the inter-titles are hard to read — they are on 16mm too!

“I’m not right glad the now.”

More Gogol madness soon!