Last Year at Sabhal Mor Ostaig

I  am packing up my bike and off to the hills at  Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, on the  Isle of Skye for the weekend. I am taking  part in the Script Development workshops  for the FilmG short Gaelic Film competition. The event is sponsored by Scotland’s  Gaelic  digital TV station, MG Alba, and developed by Canan.

I will be working on the screen outlines of about 25 new writers who want to develop ideas for Gaelic Shorts in a number of different categories. The sessions I run work by simply asking the writers to pitch their ideas to a small group, and then collectively we explore the possibilities in an honest, supportive way. Each of the ideas is given about 15-20 minutes for discussion and development, and there is ample time for follow up and have a bit of craic  afterwards. All this in the majestic environs of Sabhal Mor Ostaig in Sleat on my favourite Scottish Island, Skye. It’s a helluva job but someone’s got to do it.

I took part in  this last year along with colleagues from the UWS, and it was an exhausting but exhilarating event. What was a  truly  amazing (and humbling) experience  was pitching up “Kilted and Booted” at the Awards Ceremony at Eden Court in Inverness to see the realisations of the ideas on the big screen at .

It is too rare in this business that we get to see the fruits of our labours so soon after the development and discussion process takes place, and so I relish the opportunity to be part of a creative process which has such a short lead in time and clear outcomes.

I should point out that not  only are there workshops on script development(  which I am leading ) but you also get advice on  production, directing, camera work, sound recording and basic editing – all  led by industry professionals such as my colleague Michael Hines (producer/director: Still Game).

You can get more details of all the workshops  here.

You can also find details here  of the innovative new programme in Contemporary Screen Acting which I am leading up with Michael Hines and Scottish Writer, Actor and Director  Martin McCardie at the UWS this year. We will be using many of the same techniques developed on Skye and at other workshops to create new and innovative screenworks which we are sure are going to provide a real impact on the development of education for the contemporary Creative Industries.

Ill report back next week on how we got on in Skye  and what Gaelic  shorts to look out for as they go into production in the Autumn.