You are currently browsing the monthly archive for January 2011.

Linda Campbell of Write Camera Action brings news of the latest WCA Creative Networking  initiative. If you are based in West Of Scotland and you are passionate about film, WCA is for you . Here are details of some of the latest activities planned. …..

WCA/CCA Networking Night:   Passionate about film? Interested in producing your own? Or acting in it? Directing it? How do you source ideas, script, cast, crew, equipment or locations? Come to a screenings & networking night with groups housed in CCA & learn what we do and how we can help you to produce your ownscripts. PLUS the WINNER of the first ever WCA Short Script Competition is announced and selected runners up scripts analysed. Bring your ideas along and quiz the hosts at the Q & A. Networking at CCA bar afterwards. Sat 29th Jan. 7– 9.30 p.m. CCA £5/£3 cons. tickets only on the night but limited so please reserve your name for door list via WCA.

 PLUS I’d put this in the diary dates but it’ll likely be sold out by then = GFF screening of Submarine on Friday 18 February(20.30) will be introduced in person by director Richard Ayoade (Moss fromThe IT Crowd) and lead actors Craig Roberts and Yasmin Paige. This entertaining and refreshing film is the feature debut of Ayoade, better known for his comedic turns in classic British series such as The Mighty BooshGarth Marenghi’s DarkplaceMan to Man with Dean Leaner and the aforementionedThe IT Crowd.


 Sounds Of The Suburbs Is  Back!!! A Message from Alan Hendry 
My programme of gigs for this year is underway and below I have noted the dates for those acts already booked.
As you will see its the usual eclectic mix of indie, folk and country with Sounds regulars and new exciting acts, (not that I wish to imply that the regulars aren’t exciting, quite the opposite!) so please come along and support live music. The first Sounds gig will be at Brel on the 22nd of February and features a great new band from San Franciso, making their UK debut called Or, the Whale
However before then I’d really like to draw your attention to a gig for motor neuron disease being put on by my friend and regular Sounds performer Scott MacDonald at the ABC2 in Sauchiehall Street on Sunday the 30th of January and features a stellar cast iuncluding:-

The McCluskey Bothers
Martin Stephenson
The Moonshiners
Lorna Brooks
Scott Macdonald
Bruce Morton 
to compere
Tickets are from
Please come out an support this very worthwhile gig.
Then on…..

Tuesday 22nd February Or, the Whale at Brel, Ashton Lane, Doors at 8.00 Tickets £10
Saturday 26th Feb New Fangled Folk (Yvonne Lyon, Kim Edgar David Ferard) at Woodend Bowling and Tennis Club Doors at 8.00 Tickets £10
Sunday 6th March Three Wise Men (Martin Stephenson, Bruce Morton and Roberto Cassani) at O’ran Mor 8.30 £10
Friday 11th March Vic Godard and the Subway Sect plus the S/Objects at the Accies Club Glasgow Doors at 8.00 Tickets £10
Saturday 12th March Vic Godard and the Subway Sect plus the S/Objects at the Citrus Club Edinburgh Doors at 7.30 Tickets £10 advance £12 on the door
Thursday 31st March John Miller and His Country Casuals  at Woodend Bowling and Tennis Club Doors at 8.00 Tickets £10
Wednesday 27th April Rebecca Pronsky and Lorna Brooks  at Woodend Bowling and Tennis Club Doors at 8.00 Tickets £10

Plus the regular Martin Stephenson solo and Daintees gigs at Christmas, details to follow.
Alan 0780 4447511

Come along to

The “Reading Allowed” Reading   at the

Su Casa Coffee House

Lorne Arcade

115 High Street


KA7 1QL  07530 685129 

Friday 28th January 2011, 8.00 pm


Catherine Czerkawska, Sheila Templeton, 

David Manderson, Alan Riach plus guests 

Live music by Jim Gilbert

All Welcome

Stuart Hepburn

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I spent Thursday being transported  round the stunning countryside of Dumfries and Galloway by my colleague Joan Scott of the University Of The West Of Scotland Business School. 
We were speaking to local businesses who  who are interested in the innovative idea of allowing  teams of UWS Contemporary Screen Acting students to create  original digital material for their websites in order  to spread the good news about their companies. 

This is a classic Knowledge Transfer Partnership between Education and Business,  created with the support of Eva Milroy at   South Of Scotland Business Solutions . 
These local D&G  businesses  have  established their need for promotion and marketing, and at the UWS Skillset Media Academy we have the knowledge and  creativity   to fulfill their requirements.

I spoke to three  Dumfries and Galloway  SMEs : ABC Recruitment,  Applied Care & Development, and Cream O’ Galloway. 

First off was a visit to visit Wilma at  Cream O’ Galloway, a  family run Organic Farm and Ice Cream manufacturer who are at the cutting edge of sustainability and the  progressive treatment of animals.
They welcome  60,000 patrons  a year to their amazing Visitors Centre on the shores of Wigton Bay. 
Amongst their plans are a 1.8 million pound state of the art milking barn for their herd of organically reared  cows and calves, and we are exploring the possibility of our students creating a web based video advertising their facilities. 

Clive Rumbold at ABC Recruitment Services offers  professional, personal service  offering recruitment services across Dumfries and Galloway in South West Scotland, Carlisle, Cumbria and the North of England. Discussions with Clive are at an advanced stage and we plan to use our Green Screen technology at our  television studios in  UWS Ayr to create a bespoke training video for his  company. 

Finally we visited Pam and Sean at  Applied Care and Development, . ACAD are a residential care company who…. “Use innovation and flexibility to offer specialist care and development to children and young people. ” We discussed the possibility of setting up an improvised drama telling the good story about the life-changing work that ACAD  provides for the  young people in their care. 

All of these projects will be considered for funding by South Of Scotland Business Solutions, and if they get the go ahead, we will see the fruits of our labours being produced by our students by  April of this year. 
I will keep you informed of developments.

I’ve been blogging since September about the Law At Work KTP training video which Chris Young has directed for us at the UWS Skillset Screen Academy 
I am delighted to report that the final edit is now locked off and we will be delivering the finished product next week   to  our Partners Law At Work 
We will be planning a launch of the video in the near future so look out for news. 
Below you can see theChris giving the thumbs up to the  production team including actors from our Contemporary Screen Acting Programme at the UWS  Skillset Media Academy at the University Of The West Of Scotland
For more information on Knowledge Transfer Partnerships clck here.

So pull your socks up, shake off those January blues and let’s all dive into 2011 like we mean it – those movies aren’t going to make themselves now are they!


‘The guests who appear on the show don’t feel like they’re on some rarefied plane that we’ll never reach. They’re just like us, and as such are an inspiration to try and emulate what they have achieved. Empowering is an apt word for the series so far.’
Andy Robinson

‘Chatting to other film-makers, watching the fantastic interviews and generally feeling like part of a wider community has really made me feel that ‘I can do it’.’
Andrew Elias -    Thursday, January 20th

7.30pm GMT

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13th January 2011





Announcing the UNTITLED Screenwriting Competition




The Jameson Dublin International Film Festival (JDIFF) in partnership with Bord Scannán na hÉireann/The Irish Film Board (IFB) are delighted to present UNTITLED: a unique comedy screenwriting competition where writers can win €12,000 towards the development of their film. 

The competition will take place during the festival and follows 2010’s Give Me Direction comedy-themed screenwriting conference. Writers are invited to submit a one page summary for a comedy feature film by Monday January 31st. A shortlist of five entries will be announced at the opening ceremony of the festival. Each of the shortlisted writers will be invited to write the first few scenes of the script over the course of the festival. They will then take part in a public interview, presenting their screenplay to an independent panel of industry professionals. The panel will select the winning project which will be announced at the Closing Gala of the festival.

To be in with a chance of being the UNTITLED winner you must complete the following:

1. ENTRY: Submit a one-page summary of your comedy film along with acompleted entry form and your CV to by MONDAY JANUARY 31st 2011.

2. SCRIPT: Five shortlisted projects will be announced at the opening night of the 2011 Jameson Dublin International Film Festival on THURSDAY FEBRUARY 17th. The successful applicants will be invited to write the first scenes of the screenplay (up to 25 pages in industry standard format) by FRIDAY FEBRUARY 25th. The five shortlisted projects will be selected by IFB and JDIFF representatives along with an independent assessor.

3. INTERVIEW: The five shortlisted writers (or teams of writers) will take part in a public interview with an independent panel of industry professionals (tba) on SUNDAY FEBRUARY 27th. The winner will be announced at the festival Closing Gala.

The winning project will receive a First Draft development loan of €12,000 (€16,000 for a writing team) from the IFB. The four runners-up will win a season pass to Jameson Dublin International Film Festival 2012. The competition is open to writers or teams of writers. 

UNTITLED is a continuation of the successful 2010 Give Me Direction comedy screenwriting conference, presented by the IFB, in partnership with JDIFF. The conference was curated by Lenny Abrahamson (Garage), Sharon Horgan (Pulling) and Pat McCabe (Breakfast on Pluto) and featured major US filmmakers Bobby Farrelly (Dumb & Dumber) and Nicole Holofcener (Please Give). 

The competition is subject to terms and conditions which are outlined on the entry form which can be downloaded from the Irish Film Board website.

For more information please contact Sarah Dillon or Joanne O’Hagan  

The Irish Film Board is a proud sponsor and industry partner of the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival.



CREW CALL: BAFTA Scotland New Talent Award Nominated Glasgow based film company Stepping Stone Films is looking for crew for an Asian sitcom pilot project to be filmed in Glasgow between 24th Jan and 14th Feb (tbc) and aimed at the massive Cable TV Asian audiences. 

REQUIRED: Cameraman with experience on Z1s and Z5s. Having own camera would be perfect
Makeup artist. Sound Artist to record on location sound for us. Having own mic would be great of not then one will be provided. Lights-person (Lights will be provided) Runners (help out with equipment and chores on the shoot days) A professional and relaxed attitude

SEND US: Please send CVs, portfolio, experience level and availability to Sarmed at . Food will be provided including transport or help toward travel costs. 

Come onboard and help us make this show :) Many thanks in advance Sarmed

Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, President of Tunisia

Taxi For Ben Ali

The Jasmine Revolution: A Personal View.

My family and I holidayed in Tunisia 18 years ago in 1992. We stayed in the holiday town of Hammamet and I  was considering  comibining work with leisure  by  visiting Tunis. I had been toying with the idea of writing a screenplay about the middle east conflict, and  by chance heard that Yasser Arafat, Chariman of the PLO  was due to make a major speech on the chances of the PLO returning to the West Bank.  I never went to Tunis, the script remained unwritten, and  I spent the time on the beach, and in the souk, with my family, as one does. A highlight of the holiday was stumbling upon one of the most beautiful houses I had ever seen, Sebastian’s Villa designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. You might have spotted in the  Fred Schepsi  Movie  ”Plenty”. Anyway, that’s not the story I want to tell.

We were sitting in one of the town’s excellent  fish restaurants one sultry evening having enjoyed an exquisite meal of sea bass baked in salt , when a scruffy  little Tunisian boy of about 9 approached our table. He  was holding out small bundled nosegays made up of jasmine flowers threaded through slivers of reeds, and asked me if I wanted to buy one of them for my wife. Being a typical romantic Scotsman, I shooed him away, in much the same way as one tells those rose sellers where to go with their unwanted wares. However, the kid was obviously used to rejection from cynical  Scots holidaymakers. He  persisted, and asked me to smell the profferred bundle of tiny flower heads. I was cornered, with nowhere to go, and so smelt them. I swear I have never smelt anything so beautiful in my life. So I shelled out the massive sum of about 50p for one of the bundles,  and the little boy left, smiling and happy.
About an hour later we were strolling through the dark silent streets back to our hotel, when we heard the sound of singing coming from the road behind us. I looked back, and there was the little boy, sitting on the handlebars of a bike being ridden by a raggedy-sandalled  boy of about 15. Our little jasmine seller was on his way home, presumably  with his big brother.
As he passed, he spotted us, and I waved at him. He waved back, and then told the older boy to stop pedalling. He jumped off the moving bike, and ran across to us. To my shame, I thought, “Oh here we go, he’s going to try to sell us another one.”
That’s not what happened. He had one small bunch of jasmine flowers left clutched in his fist. He smiled a huge grin and offered  them to my 4 year old daughter  who was standing beside me,holding my hand . “For the little girl.” he said. Before I could say a word, she took them,  he smiled, and then ran back to the bike. He jumped back on to the handlebars  and the pair wobbled,  off with him singing his song as they disappeared down the road. I was stunned.  It was , quite simply, one of the most moving acts of random kindness I have ever had the honour of benefitting from. Even now, 18 years later, it still affects me  me as I write. The next day, we  went in to the souk and bought a wonderful hand woven carpet in the design of thousands of jasmine flowers, which sits to this day on our  living room floor. There’s not a week goes by I don’t look at the flowers on that carpet, and think of that little boy.
I have never been back to Tunisia since, and I have to confess to my shame that I am woefully ignorant of the politics of the country. Even after the rolling out of the latest implications of the wikilleaks story, I had no idea that it had exposed the greed, venality and corruption at the heart of this beautiful country . But  this week, along with everyone else, I watched with horror as I saw the protesters on the streets being shot by the army, and marvelled at the bravery of a desperate  people in a revolutionary situation, literally willing to trade their lives for freedom.
As I watched a bulletin yesterday, a young man in his late  20s  came up to the  reporter and breathlessly   told him that the people would win,  and that the old regime of Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali was being condemned to history. And I thought of that little boy. I don’t know where he is now.  He would be about 27 or 28, the age of my own oldest son now,  and the age of that young protester.
He could have been 26 year old  unemployed university  student,  Mohamed Bouazizi, an unemployed university graduate, who the Guardian this morning tells me started off this revolt on the 17th of December when he set himself on fire as a protest outside the state Governer’s office in Sidi Bouzid.
He could even have been one of the plain clothes police we all saw beating up a fallen protester on the streets of Tunis yesterday.
Whoever he was, or is, that little Tunisian boy  changed my life, in however small a way, and he doesn’t even know it. So on behalf of him,  I salute the brave men and women of Tunisia.  Long live the  Jasmine Revolution.
Stuart Hepburn
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