Thursday, 21 June 2018


Well, that was a first; no blog last week! In my defence it has been a crazy week as I race to clear the decks before month end.

My film academy is just four weeks away, and to say I'm mildly terrified is probably a vast understatement. It seems my to do list grows bigger, not shorter. But things are easing off ever so slightly, as we now have enough youngsters signed up to run it successfully.

This past two weeks has seen a slight shift in the original idea, which has created the need for a larger team. Double in size to be precise, and I am little daunted at the way my role has become much more responsible.

That said, credit where credit is due, and in true collaborative filmmaking style I couldn't have got this far, or deliver what is ahead, without the immensely talented group of people onboard, who share the same vision as myself. What is very humbling is everyone's keenness to be involved.

I wont bore you with the details, but the two summer schools have taken an inordinate amount of work, which in no way seems to match what will be delivered. For nine weeks I have been just a few days short of seven days a week, which is largely because of all the bureaucracy that it takes in forming a new company, at the same time as delivering on my other work commitments.

And it is the other work commitments that have filled every space, but that is coming to an end very shortly, thankfully.

The word is getting out there as well. During the past couple of weeks the Edinburgh Evening News ran a very encouraging article on the Film Academy, which was closely followed, at great surprise, by MSP Gordon Macdonald reading out a motion in the Scottish Parliament all about my vision, seconded by nine other MSPs.

That was a fall-off-the-chair moment!

In Edinburgh the 2018 International Film festival has begun, and for the first time I feel a strong connection to the industry, on the cusp of possibly creating the next Scottish filmmaker. What a thing it would be to book tickets to see a film made by a former student.

One of our team is Shauna Macdonald, a Scottish actress with an impressive career to date and without doubt a draw to our academy. In turn I have been privileged to work with her very own youth theatre in my local area of Portobello, and together with very talented youngsters we have created two films that premier tomorrow night locally.

After years of championing filmmaking for kids for many other organisations, I am keeping my fingers and toes crossed that this plan works out for the long term.

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