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Film Interview Online

Bravely visiting the Highlands with Screen Machine

It’s been a while since I got to spend some time at my favourite cinema, the Screen Machine, the UK’s only mobile cinema, but it happened last week when I headed up to Eilean Donan Castle for a special screening of Disney-Pixar’s Brave.

Creative Scotland and VisitScotland wanted to take Brave to the village of Dornie following the LA, Edinburgh and Inverness premieres, offering local schoolchildren the opportunity to see the film a week before its Scottish release.

I took my video camera and iPhone along to film the event and to spread the word on social media channels, resulting in the following short film and around 100 photos over on the Facebook page (and soon the Flickr account).

[vimeo 46742612 w=500 h=281]

Brave Premiere at Eilean Donan Castle from Screen Machine on Vimeo.

I also published some interviews from the recent Brave press junket on ReelScotland, with Robbie Coltrane and Kevin McKidd featured in one and Kelly Macdonald in the other. There’s some audio from the latter interview in there as well, in which she corrects my abysmal attempt at saying ‘jings, crivvens, help ma boab’…thanks Kelly…

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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.

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Facebook Online Twitter Writing

Developing Screen Machine’s online presence

Screen Machine in a Highland scene
Screen Machine in a Highland scene

Along with my work for Park Circus which I mentioned last week, I’m also working on a major multi-website project for the national leader for Scotland’s arts, screen and creative industries, Creative Scotland. One strand of this sees me heavily involved in developing the online presence of Scotland’s only mobile cinema, Screen Machine.

Screen Machine is an 80-seat digital cinema which has been taking the latest films to remote and rural areas of Scotland since the 1990s. In my role of Web Producer, I’m tasked with managing the development of the main website and associated social media, including a fast growing Facebook page and a popular Twitter feed.

I’m also effectively looking after the press office for the cinema, with a series of press releases written and distributed to Scottish media over the last few weeks tying into the social media work.

The first major release centred on the arrival at the Screen Machine of a Grey African Parrot and its owner at a screening in Brodick on the Isle of Arran. I became aware of the story via a post on the Facebook page and followed it up with a press release, which was picked up by STV’s Entertainment website, in turn spawning a Twitter hashtag, #aparrotinacinema, which asked people to suggest bird-themed movie titles and which propagated the story around the web.

A hashtag frenzy on Twitter
A hashtag frenzy on Twitter

The last fortnight has seen the cinema pushed even further around the web thanks to a visit to Bettyhill, a village on the north coast of Scotland, which the cinema last visited almost a decade ago, just before a cinema opened in Thurso (which has now closed). News of the trip was picked up by BBC Online, The Northern Times and The John O’Groat Journal.

Screen Machine on BBC News Online
Screen Machine on BBC News Online

BBC Radio Scotland’s Movie Cafe also featured the story and I was interviewed by Inverness-based radio station, Moray Firth Radio, both of whom have loyal audiences around Scotland.

At a time when we’re constantly told how important online is for getting the message out to customers, it’s important to remember that old-fashioned print media still has a major place in the lives of readers, particularly in remote communities.

Getting this story into The Northern Times could mean that we’ve reached more people in Sutherland than a tweet or a Facebook update and, although I’ll be doing a lot of work to build our online presence, I’ll also be ensuring we keep Scotland’s print media and radio stations well informed of Screen Machine’s progress for the forseeable future.