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Broadcasting Film Radio

Launching Screen Machine’s 15th anniversary

Screen Machine, Scotland's mobile cinema, visits Edinburgh

I spent last Thursday beside the Scottish Parliament with Screen Machine, Scotland’s mobile cinema, as it made a rare visit to the capital for its 15th anniversary launch.

As Project Coordinator for the anniversary, I’ve been working for the last few months on a programme of activities around the Highlands, Argyll & Bute, North Ayrshire and Western Isles, with a series of special screenings and one day film festivals currently being prepared.

As well as showing some independent and short films, the cinema will visit a number of new islands, including Eigg and Rum, and will make a return visit to the Orkney islands of Sanday, Stronsay, Westray and Hoy.

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/39558063]

News of our first anniversary film, We Are Northern Lights, the crowdsourced documentary, hit the papers at the start of last week, while our Parliament visit saw Michael Russell, Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning, help launch our new programme. Children from Bruntsfield Primary came along to watch some short films on the cinema.

I was on the BBC Culture Studio today to discuss the project and there should be more in the national and local press as the year goes on.

Head over to www.screenmachine.co.uk/sm15 to find out more.

Categories
Broadcasting Film Interview Radio

New BBC Culture Studio reports

Jason Isaacs

Last November I was sent by BBC Radio Scotland to North Queensferry, on the outskirts of Edinburgh, to attend filming of the second season of detective drama, Case Histories.

My interview with actor Jason Isaacs was transmitted today on the BBC Culture Studio – you can hear the segment from around 1 hour and two minutes in.

I was also on the show yesterday with a report from the Palais des Festivals in Cannes, the building where the great and the good gather each year for the Cannes Film Festival. You can hear my interview with Philippe Octo from around 9 minutes in.

I was in Cannes back in January while compiling my Côte d’Azur Film Traveller blog, which I’m still publishing at the rate of one blog post per week.

Categories
Broadcasting Film Interview Radio

Film Appreciation in Edinburgh

A quick plug for my appearance on last week’s BBC Movie Café, in which I interview members of an Edinburgh adult education course who attend a monthly film screening at the city’s Cameo cinema.

The group, mainly comprised of retired film fans, have been meeting for the last 15 years and after featuring the story on my own site, ReelScotland, I pitched the story to BBC Radio Scotland, who sent me along to a screening of Argo.

I interviewed a handful of members, edited it and passed it onto the producer a few weeks ago – it’ll be on the iPlayer for another few days (it starts around 25 minutes into the programme).

 

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Broadcasting Film Filming Interview Radio

Glasgow Film Festival coverage

Joss Whedon at Glasgow Film Festival
Joss Whedon at Glasgow Film Festival

The 2013 Glasgow Film Festival finished a week ago, eleven days of premieres and special events which brought filmmakers and film fans to the Glasgow Film Theatre and other venues around the city.

This year found me covering the event for the BBC Movie Café, interviewing actors such as James D’Arcy for Cloud Atlas and Gemma Arteron and Saoirse Ronan for Byzantium, while writer/director Joss Whedon was in town to promote his low-budget adaptation of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing.

My overview of the Festival aired last Thursday on BBC Radio Scotland – it’s on iPlayer for the next few days.

I also visited the brand new BFI Mediatheque at Bridgeton Library, a resource which houses thousands of hours of film and TV which would otherwise be unavailable. I took my iPhone along and recorded a video interview with Mediatheque curator, Simon McCallum for ReelScotland.

Categories
Broadcasting Interview

Terence Stamp on BBC Movie Cafe

Terence Stamp for BBC Movie Cafe

A few weeks ago I had an opportunity to interview the legendary British actor, Terence Stamp, for the BBC Movie Cafe.

Terence was in Edinburgh to promote his latest film, low budget drama Song for Marion, in which he stars alongside Vanessa Redgrave as a man trying to come to terms with his wife’s ailing health and decision to join a local choir.

The interview is up on the BBC iPlayer, with an extra question, not used in the final radio feature, now on Audioboo.

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Categories
Broadcasting Film Interview Newspaper Writing

An epic end to the year

BBC Movie Cafe discusses The Hobbit
BBC Movie Cafe discusses The Hobbit

The world has once more gone Middle Earth mad, with the release this week of Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit in cinemas, nine years after his last visit to The Shire.

I was asked by the BBC Movie Cafe and the Edinburgh Evening News to head along to Edinburgh’s Cameo Cinema last weekend for a special screening of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, a 10 hour endurance test involving Orcs, Dwarves and people dressed as Hobbits.

The radio segment can be heard over on BBC iPlayer for another few days, while I’ve reproduced the Evening News column below:

With The Hobbit arriving in cinemas tomorrow, it seemed like a good idea last Sunday to head to the Cameo to watch The Lord of the Rings trilogy on the big screen.

At around 10 hours in duration, this was no ordinary film screening, meaning I had to be prepared for all eventualities. Forget the lembas bread wrapped in leaves favoured by Frodo and Sam, I went for some ham sandwiches and too much coffee.

The films were a joy to revisit, with Peter Jackson’s vision of Middle Earth, a dark and brooding place with the occasional glimpse of light as our heroes made their way to Mordor, looking suitably epic in the original 35mm prints.

Leaving the screening on a high, I hoped The Hobbit would prove to be as exhilarating, as Jackson returned to his world with a new Bilbo Baggins in the shape of Martin Freeman alongside Sir Ian McKellan as Gandalf.

The director has embraced a pioneering new technology which doubles the normal frame rate of the film, 48 fps (frames per second) instead of 24. Jackson claims this is a more immersive experience and that all films will go this way.

Rather than looking as big and bold as Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit looks more like it’s shot on the set of a 1980s soap opera. While landscapes look lush and rich, close-ups of the actors bring you closer to them, making the heavy prosthetics and make-up more obvious.

Most importantly, the thin story doesn’t justify the three-hour length, with not much really happening apart from some fights, lots of running around and the appearance of Gollum.

With two more films to come, it looks like it’s going to be a slog to get to the end of this particular journey.

Categories
Broadcasting Film Interview

Explaining the Film Explainer

I was back on the BBC Radio Scotland Movie Cafe again today, this time interviewing Andy Cannon, Scotland’s only Film Explainer, ahead of a performance at the Inverness Film Festival this weekend.

The Film Explainer was a common sight in cinemas in early part of the 20th Century, when the literacy skills of film-goers meant they often couldn’t read the intertitles of silent films. In Japan, the Explainers helped patrons understand cultural differences in films made in the West.

Although I spoke to Andy for ReelScotland earlier this year, this new interview also included his collaborators, Wendy Weatherby and Frank McLaughlin.

The item starts at around 24 minutes in to this week’s show and will be on iPlayer for 7 days.

The Lost Art of the Film Explainer can be seen at the Inverness Film Festival this Sunday at 5pm.

Categories
Broadcasting

Bond on the BBC

Meeting the first Bond Girl, Eunice Gayson
Meeting the first Bond Girl, Eunice Gayson

I was sent on a Top Secret mission by the BBC a few weeks ago, my task to infiltrate a gold-plated briefcase containing 22 James Bond Blu-rays that had been dispatched from Eilean Donan Castle on its way to the small Argyll town of Lochgilphead as part of 007 Days of Bond.

Luckily it wasn’t quite so Top Secret that I couldn’t tweet the odd photo and record and edit a package for BBC Radio Scotland’s Movie Cafe.

I flew in a helicopter (here’s some footage captured on my iPhone), visited a location that doubled for the Adriatic in 1963’s From Russia With Love, met the original Bond Girl, the now 84-year-old Eunice Gayson, and got soaked in the process on a wet Argyll afternoon, but it was still a fantastic day for a 007 nut like myself.

Eunice Gayson and the Aston Martin
Eunice Gayson and the Aston Martin

The segment can be heard over on iPlayer for the next few days:

My 50th anniversary Blu-ray set arrived in the post a few days later, here’s the trailer if you haven’t ordered yours yet:

Categories
Broadcasting Film Interview

ReelScotland and Screen Machine on BBC Radio Scotland

Senior Screen Machine operator, Iain MacColl, in action
Senior Screen Machine operator, Iain MacColl, in action

The team at BBC Radio Scotland invited me back on the Movie Cafe today to discuss a couple of my current projects, Screen Machine and ReelScotland.

First we talked about Scotland’s mobile cinema, Screen Machine, a project I’m currently working on for Creative Scotland. The cinema’s senior operator, Iain MacColl, was on the line to Janice Forsyth to talk about his long-time involvement with the cinema, before some interviews I took on Arran a few weeks back were broadcast. I  then added some thoughts on the importance of cinema to communities in rural areas.

Part of the Arran visit was to shoot some video of the Screen Machine for the YouTube channel, but while that continues to be edited here’s a shorter version I cut for ReelScotland’s YouTube channel:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXwT3hkAEA0]

The other reason for me being there was to talk about ReelScotland’s recent placement in The List magazine’s Best Scottish Websites feature, coming 10th out 30 sites, more recognition for the site which is doing well in its second year and which I’m developing some new ideas for.

The show is available on BBC iPlayer until Thursday 18 August and the above segments begin at around the 26 minute mark.

 

Categories
Broadcasting Online

The Latest Radio Show

I was back on BBC Radio Scotland’s Movie Café this past week, discussing the re-release of Peter Bogdanovich’s 1971 film, The Last Picture Show.

As I said on the programme a few times, I thought the film was fantastic and deserves its status as a classic. It’s back in cinemas now and I’d recommend trying to catch it if you can. You can listen to my section at around 35 minutes in. In the meantime here’s the trailer:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YQomR5xJ_Y]