Categories
Interview Online TV

Young James Herriot week on ReelScotland

As well as covering a large amount Scottish films on ReelScotland, I also try to feature as much new television as I can.

Following articles on BBC Scotland’s The Field of Blood and Burnistoun, I was on the set of All Creatures Great and Small prequel, Young James Herriot, in July.

Starring Iain De Caestecker, Amy Manson and Ben Lloyd-Hughes, the series is set in the 1930s and follows a young James Herriot as he becomes the accomplished vet we know from the books and original TV series.

I’ve decided to run interviews with the three leads and their co-star, Tony Curran, from Tuesday until Friday, with episode one showing on BBC One on Sunday evening.

I’m also dropping in some audio clips from the interviews alongside the text, making the interviews more interesting for fans. I’ll add links to the interviews on here during the week and also embed the audio below:

‘It’s about James Herriot becoming the character everyone knows’: Iain De Caestecker on Young James Herriot

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‘She just breezes through life’: Amy Manson on Young James Herriot

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Categories
Interview Online

Craig Armstrong interview for Park Circus

He’s written scores for films as diverse as Moulin Rouge, Plunkett and Macleane and The Incredible Hulk, but Glasgow-based composer, Craig Armstrong, has also collaborated with director Peter Mullan on all of his films since 1993’s Close.

To celebrate the release of Mullan’s first feature on DVD, 1998’s Orphans, I interviewed Armstrong for Park Circus’ blog. We discussed his close working relationship with Mullan and some of his other projects, including the latest Justin Timberlake sci-fi, In Time.

I was also recently able to interview film director/critic/scholar, Pierre Rissient, for the Park Circus blog, when we discussed his work on 1969’s La Piscine and his recommendations for forgotten classic films.

Here’s one of Armstrong’s best known tracks, ‘Escape’.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZhP6F-vxeZI]

Categories
Film Filming Interview Online

Interviewing Scottish documentary filmmakers

I’ve been focusing on documentaries over the past few weeks, spending some time looking at the work of Scottish filmmakers who are doing interesting things away from the multiplexes.

One part of the Creative Scotland project I’m producing is scottishfilms.com, a resource for Scottish filmmakers which allows them to have their short films uploaded to a password protected section and watched by film festivals around the world.

The blog is a recent addition to the site and I’m carrying out a series of interviews with filmmakers, finding out more about their work and giving an overview of the talent working in Scotland today.

As well as talking to the organiser of documentary festival, Edindocs, my first two video interviews are now online, one with documentary filmmaker, Martin Smith, and the second with You’ve Been Trumped director, Anthony Baxter.

For last week’s Edinburgh Evening News column, I spoke to the Scottish Documentary Institute, the Edinburgh-based research centre specialising in documentary training, production and distribution, about their work, while this week was the turn of Edindocs.

I have further videos waiting to be published, with more in the pipeline, and I’m hoping it builds into a useful resource for other filmmakers and anyone interested in Scottish cinema.

Categories
Film Interview Online YouTube

Interview with actress Melissa George

It was in June 2010 that I headed north to Muir of Ord, just outside Inverness, to interview the cast and crew of new British action thriller, A Lonely Place to Die.

Star Melissa George was there alongside director Julian Gilbey and co-stars Ed Speleers and Stephen McCole, but it was George who I managed to get a 15-minute chat with about her career – including Mulholland Drive, The Limey, In Treatment and Alias – and her Scottish roots.

The full interview is now up on the ReelScotland YouTube Channel and, although it is a lengthy one, it was preferable to a cut down version that you could find anywhere else. There’s also more on the film over at ReelScotland.

Categories
Interview Magazine

Tremors feature in SFX Magazine

A Graboid prepares for a scene Tremors
A Graboid prepares for a scene in Tremors

Pick up a copy of this month’s SFX Magazine, issue 213, turn to page 70, and you’ll be faced with a lovely looking four page article by yours truly on one of my favourite film series, Tremors.

SFX Issue 213
SFX Issue 213

It was during Christmas 2010 that I realised Tremors would celebrate its 21st anniversary in 2011 and decided to get in touch with co-creator/writer, SS Wilson. Thanks to his generosity with his time, we not only covered the first movie but also the three sequels, the spin-off TV series and the proposed fifth film, Thunder from Down Under.

Add to that some valuable input from Michael Gross, the only actor to appear in every incarnation of the franchise as Burt Gummer (or one of his ancestors), and you’ve got one of the most enjoyable articles I’ve ever had the pleasure to write.

SFX Magazine, which I’ve been subscribing to since issue one in the mid-90s, have done a great job of putting the feature together, and I hope it does Tremors justice.

Fans of the films might like these videos, the first is Kevin Bacon’s recognition of the movie that he’s disassociated himself from for many years, while the second is a clever bit of science about the Graboids…

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
Interview Newspaper Online Writing

Yuki 7 infiltrates the UK

Before I go any further, please turn your speakers up and press play on the trailer below – I’ll see you in 2 minutes 22 seconds:

How cool was that? As a spy fan, and someone who appreciates a decent homage, I was bowled over by Yuki 7 when I first heard about her. She’s the creation of US illustrator Kevin Dart, a man with a love of the movies and a finely tuned sense of humour (he likes Jim Henson, who I may have mentioned on this blog a few times).

After watching the trailer I got in touch with Kevin regarding the possibility of running a feature in my Edinburgh Evening News column, with an associated interview on the Reel Time blog. I’ve not read about Yuki 7 in any UK press up to know, so I’m not sure how widespread her fame is on this side of the pond.

For someone working on the release of his second high profile book, Looks That Kill, Kevin was generous with his time. The feature ran today in the paper and I duly tweeted about it, but it’s impossible to get across just how gorgeous this book is until you see it. With a bonkers, Avengers-ish, plot and some truly eye and mouthwatering illustrations, this is a book for anyone who misses those 60s spy movies that jumped on the Bondwagon back in the day.

Looks That Kill cover, courtesy Kevin Dart
Looks That Kill cover, courtesy Kevin Dart
Inside the pages of Looks That Kill, courtesy Kevin Dart
Inside the pages of Looks That Kill, courtesy Kevin Dart

I’m hoping a few more people now sample the world of Yuki 7 and the Gadget Girls and I can’t wait for the promised short film he mentions in the interview and the third book in the series. In the meantime, head over to the Yuki 7 website and find out what all the fuss is about.

Categories
Film Interview

Edinburgh International Film Festival 2011 round-up

Col Needham at the Edinburgh International Film Festival
Col Needham at the Edinburgh International Film Festival

It may have finished a week ago, but the memory of this year’s Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) still lingers around these parts.

That mainly has something do to with the fact that my most recent Edinburgh Evening News column was published in Thursday’s paper but took another 24 hours to make it online, so my thoughts, for what their worth, seem to be some of the last to be published on the EIFF.

Although it’s been a tough few years for the Festival, I think they had been on the right track and that scrapping everything for 2011 was a very bad move. I think there’s a chance that 2012 could see things revert to normal, hopefully with some fresh new ideas from an experienced Artistic Director, but if the current regime stick with this year’s vision then I suspect any goodwill will vanish from distributors, critics and anyone buying tickets.

On a happier note, part of my EIFF interview with IMDB CEO, Col Needham, is now online. I don’t actually say anything in this five minute excerpt, but did manage to get a few questions in there over the 90 minute chat. Click on the image below to take you through to the video:

Categories
Film Interview

EIFF 2011 interview with IMDb founder Col Needham

IMDbIt’s a big week here in Edinburgh, one which sees the launch of the 65th Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) and some major changes for the old girl in her 65th year. As part of the Festival, I’ll be carrying out an on-stage interview with the founder of the Internet Movie Database (IMDb), Col Needham, on Sunday.

As the EIFF’s focus shifts from being a showcase of films and filmmakers to being a celebration of film (at least I think that’s what’s happening, I raised a few questions in the Edinburgh Evening News on this very subject a few weeks ago), one side effect is that we have some of the great and the good of the online film world making their way to the city.

Col Needham founded IMDb over 20 years ago as a resource for a few film fans, before Amazon bought the site and helped turn it into something most of us have visited at least once – it now receives over 100 million unique visitors per month.

We’ll be discussing the rise of IMDb and how new technologies are helping film fans and filmmakers online, plus a few other topics suggested by the audience. If you have any questions you’d like me to ask Col, let me know in the comments below or via Twitter.

The event takes place on Sunday 19 June at 14.30 in the Teviot Row House Debating Hall.

Categories
Filming Interview Online YouTube

Volunteers’ Week videos for Volunteer Centre Edinburgh

Filming for Volunteer Centre Edinburgh

I first met the team at Volunteer Centre Edinburgh (VCE) a couple of years ago while putting together an article for the now-defunct Scottish Government website, scotlandistheplace.com. The article discussed how new arrivals in Edinburgh from abroad could make connections and build their CV by volunteering in the city.

I was struck by the fantastic work they did with few resources and it wasn’t too long after this that the digital agency I worked for took them on as a client.

Then, in January 2011, I spoke to VCE again for an article on also now-defunct (there’s a theme here) Guardian Edinburgh website and realised that there was a lot of potential for online promotion that wasn’t being tapped. This made me want to do more when I heard that Volunteers’ Week was coming up, running from 1 – 7 June.

On 17 May I headed along to Edinburgh City Chambers for the Inspiring Volunteering Awards ceremony, filming various award winners for some short videos. For the last few days I’ve been editing the clips and publishing them on the VCE website, teaming up with an ex-colleague, Scott Langley, to ensure the copy complements the videos.

I’ll embed all the videos on here: they’re also available on the VCE YouTube Channel.

Day One: Emily Dodd from Greener Leith

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XgSF1Ze_njg]

Day Two: Dominic Jules from Canongate Youth Project

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wi5KV3Puskw]