Love Cake screening Aberdeen Film Festival

Love Cake - Katherine Stark (photo by Stephen Robinson)Love Cake has its next screening on 11th October as part of ‘Best of the Edinburgh Short Film Festival’ at the Aberdeen Film Festival.

It’s screening at the mighty Cineworld.

More info on the programme here.

Violet’s neighbour does not approve…….

Love Cake at Edinburgh Short Film Festival

ESFF Official Selection 2014  LAUREL WREATHHurrah, Love Cake had another screening at Edinburgh Short Film Festival in June.

It’s a boutique fest, with a lovely warm atmosphere, and although there were a couple technical problems at the screening (hey, sh*t happens!), our film was well received, and no-one asked any difficult questions when Director Eleanor Yule and myself were interviewed on stage afterwards, phew.

One audience member did say the film got him a little hot under the collar, and then expressed great excitement about there being a feature – that’s one ticket sold for Masterbaker when it eventually makes it to the big screen….. !

Here’s a chat we had with festival director, Paul Bruce about the inspiration behind, and making of Love Cake – thanks for the support ESFF!

EIFF the aftermath

IMAG0791Edinburgh International Film festival flew by, and then I emerged blinking into the real world. Feels like a bit of a blur now, but memories linger of the good times, great chats, boiling weather (!), and especially of some of the amazing films I saw – including Uncertain Terms, and the beautifully crafted I Believe In Unicorns.

IMG_20130717_211517My favourite of the fest though was the stylish and gorgeously shot Set Fire To The Stars starring Elijah Wood and a standout performance from Celyn Jones as eponymous poet and raconteur Dylan Thomas. I was lucky enough to attend an interview with Elijah Woods, who fielded lots of ‘difficult’ but heartfelt questions from Lord Of The Rings fans (and revealed his love of vinyl and swearing) – stardom on his level is a definite double-edged sword – but was sorry he didn’t get more time to discuss the film. SFTTS also features a bit of a scene-stealer from Shirley Henderson, and has shades of Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Wolf, but not perhaps, in the way you imagine…. but no more info in case of spoilers!

Since then I’ve been editing a feature script as it garnered a bit of interest at the EIFF (which is nice) and needs to go out for a few reads, and been invited along for some writerly brainstorming at a production company. Other things too, including a new(ish) project that may become a feature; it’s very influenced by the landscape and changeable weather and feels quite tentative but exciting at the moment.

Already missing the comforting EIFF film hub and constant presence of film-minded folk in every bar and cafe. EIFF 2014 was definitely a good one!


Edinburgh International Film Festival 2014

IMAG0757Kicked off my attendance at the Edinburgh International Film Festival 2014 (EIFF) today. Actually I sort of started on Wednesday but it’s not a festival until the official lanyard is donned!

Wednesday saw the first Scottish Film Summit which brought all kinds of film folk together at Edinburgh College of Art to discuss and debate the future of film, especially in light of the approaching independence referendum. I joined the Screenwriters discussions which were chaired by Andrea Gibb of the Writers Guild, and also a working screenwriter. Here’s The Scotsman’s take on things. It was a pretty positive if a little tentative day, but it was also a little bit challenging as (unusually for Scotland) it was hotter than the gates of hell in the art college.

It was heartening to see Creative Scotland’s presence, and in particular to hear from their Chief Executive, Janet Archer. Here’s their sum-up of the day.

I think the most positive aspect of the sweaty 7 hours was that a film agency is being touted for the future. Maybe a little glimmer of hope to help interconnect all our disparate talents and link us together to make strong, creative projects in the future. Here’s hoping.

My proper EIFF experience began today with a brilliant hour listening to the talented screenwriter and playwright Moira Buffini. More when I type up my notes – but suffice to say her positivity and enthusiasm really captured the audience.

Saw my first film, Snowpiercer, starring (an almost unrecognisable) Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton, Ed Harris, Jamie Bell and John Hurt. Certainly one of the most surprising films I’ve seen. It has its issues, but its very entertaining, original and actually a little bit mind-blowing. Not for the squeamish though.

And had a great meeting with a couple of producers I admire. Tomorrow – more films and perhaps a ceilidh!


Crossover Scotland Creative Lab

Earlier in March I attended the Crossover Scotland Creative Lab.

It’s part of a programme of events and professional training supported by Creative Scotland and Creative Skillset’s TV Skills Fund that aims to enhance the development, vision, connectivity and ambitions of Scotland’s creative practitioners.

I applied because not only did it include some incredible learning/mentoring opportunities across media boundaries, but it also offered the chance to expand my contacts and hopefully find some new collaborators for the future – always a good thing. All within a dedicated 4 days residential. foyerThe fact that it was at the uber-stylish Malmaison in Edinburgh didn’t hurt either!

It was also a much-needed chance for me to step outside my comfort zone and work on my pitching skills.

Turns out I was right on all counts. We discussed lots of things inside and outside traditional media boundaries, with visiting professionals and commissioners that included the National Theatre of Scotland,   Channel 4, Gaming companies and others. subject post-itsOne of the great discoveries of the week for me was Vine but I’m definitely still a beginner.

We were challenged with new groups of collaborators every day, forming and then pitching our newly created projects. BUT crucially, this sometimes meant summoning enthusiasm for ideas that weren’t our own or that we’d have chosen. And this was genius in my opinion as it proved to me that as long as you’ve done your research and know your project, you CAN pitch it enthusiastically and with some success.

I’m not really a natural pitcher – it’s anxiety-provoking for most of us let’s face it, but it can be done. The more you do it, the less traumatic it is.

b&w crossover commissioning (me)

Here we are on a commissioning exercise, (pic by Grant Keir/Faction North) trying but not managing to be serious.

Definitely worth the time and effort, and I’d recommend it to any creative looking to broaden their industry experience especially concerning the current digital landscape. Job done.


**Here’s a more official round-up of the Crossover Scotland Creative Lab 2014


Creative Futures Lab – Digital Storytelling


Back from an inspiring weekend up in Perthshire looking at “Digital Storytelling… for a Change”, part of Creative Futures, a Creative Scotland talent development programme.

It proved to be a really worthwhile, productive and challenging couple of days which encompassed lots of areas including how screenwriting (and other forms of writing) can be used for and within concept development for all kinds of interactive entertainment. Lots of thinking time and development work needed now!

The Last Guest performed at the Village Pub Theatre

ImageThe Last Guest, a short play I’ve been working on, was performed ‘script in hand’ along with 5 others at the Village Pub Theatre’s Halloween event in Edinburgh.

Great performances from Belle Jones, Sam Watson, Alan McKenzie and Jenny Hulse, resulted in an enthusuastic reception from the audience who also enjoyed some spooky home-backed treats. Masterful direction and prop-handling from Caitlin Skinner.

Great to see it come to life! Preview article about the event here.