You are currently browsing the monthly archive for April 2011.


 Winners with ‘Lights, Camera,Action ,  Ifty  Gafar  & Sarmed Mirza   of Stepping Stone  films  posing with yours truly 

WCA 1st Screenings & Awards Night  was an outstanding success!  The following awards were deservedly won: BestScreenwriter:  Cheryl Belcourt for ‘Big Boots’,  Best Director:  Liam Callander for ‘Once there was a boy…’  Best Male Actor:  Sarmed Mirza in ‘Lights, Camera, Action!’  Best Female Actor:  Annie MacLeod for ‘Here’s our future in front of us’  Best Child Actor:  Alexander Baker, 11, for ‘Once there was a boy’  Best Editing:  Sarmed Mirza for ‘Lights, Camera, Action!’  BestProducer under 10 min:  ’Kerr Castle,Sync or Swim Productions for ‘Once there was a boy…’  Best Producer over 10 min:  Jess McDermott for ‘Here’s our future in front of us’   Best Overall Production & £250 Cash Award:  Kerr Castle, Sync or Swim Productions for ‘Once there was a boy.’  Many thanks to all who contributed to this night and watch out for criteria for next years event.  No resting on laurels = get workshopping, get filming, check criteria and get submissions into next years event!!!

Radio Scotland Movie Cafe did  a piece on WCA a few months ago and you can now listen to the broadcast on   Pat Elliot also wrote  a lovely blog about our Screenings & Awards night on http:/ – check it out


About 40 teachers from as far apart as Fife and Islay enjoyed a scintillating evening of innovative teaching talk at UWS Ayr tonight . Part of the TeachMeet network , it was the first time I had ever participated in one of their events and I left feeling humbled at the array of dedicated teaching talent on display . These were the creme de la creme of the teaching profession with more energy , commitment and sheer dedication to the job on show than I’ve seen in years. The quickfire talks ranged from strategies for Motivating de-motivated pupils using outdoor activities like canyoning, employing GPS caches for teaching history to P1s, and a truly inspiring talk on the use of a variety Webtools for Geography teaching given by a Geographically isolated Geography teacher.
Wonderful stuff.But for me the highlight of the night(apart from the fab buffet) was UWS PHD student and lecturer at BCU , Jennifer Jones . Taking as her canvas the nationwide movement of student led direct action against the cuts, she asked big questions. When a student has to go into £40,000 worth of debt just to get a degree for a teaching job which might not be there at the end of it, we have to start asking if we actually have an education system worth defending at all. Could it be that the nationwide network of real and virtual user generated teaching spaces created through the struggles might be putative small scale templates for the future of REAL student centred education for the WEB 3.0 generation?
Open source technology and user generated content may well be an anathema to established educational hierarchies who wish to guard their intellectual property , but they might well prove to be more viable educational models for the uncertain economic future in which we find ourselves . Anyway , here’s to TeachMeet , and many thanks to all who made me feel a very welcome guest.


I’ve been successful in raising resources from the UWS Strategic Development fund to purchase a high end Video camera and lights for our South Of Scotland Business Solutions Knowledge Transfer project. Nothing too innovative about that, but the fund has also enabled me to purchase 10 iPod Touches too. I was going to get Flipcams until Cisco in their wisdom decided to stop making them . On reflection , the iPod is a much more elegant solution . Now I have to work out the cheapest way to buy the iPods and how to import 10 separate iMovie editing apps without using my own personal iTunes account! However the really exciting thing is that 10 lucky students will now have a mobile HD Camera with built in editing capacity and the ability to record,edit and upload their Screen Acting work on to Vimeo or YouTube in minutes . The creative potential for all this is almost limitless.When we move to our new UWS Ayr campus, they’ll all be connected by WIFI so we could even use Face Time for real time video conferencing from separate sites from Dumfries to Ayr or anywhere else, for that matter.
We could have online seminars and workshops from individual groups in Dumfries who could then report back to their colleagues simply through the use of a hand held device which can fit in your shirt pocket ! Thats quite a thought. It’s a long way from staggering up and down D Corridor with a 20 kg tripod and bulky flight case with a Sony Z-1 .

For more info about Contemporary Screen Acting at the University Of The West Of Scotland:


Actors Talking Business – Shome Mishtake Shurely ?

What on earth could the luvvies of stage and screen have to say to businesses and entrepreneurs ? Aren’t we more into iambic pentameters than Industrial Parameters ? Errrr, well no, actually. These are exciting times for myself and fellow creatives at UWS . With our student recruitment advertising being nominated for awards, we are looking forward in expectation to the imminent opening of our new £80 million pound campus with state of the art studios and technology in Ayr. Couple this with the outstanding success of our Performance and Screen programmes, us Creatives are now at the centre of the strategic broadening of the UWS’s marketing and sales campaign. We are beginning to focus on knowledge and know-how transfer by exploring pathways of how to integrate creative expertise with the Scottish business community .The key to this process is to develop current links and forge new relationships designed to encourage more businesses to tap into the resources and expertise which we have here at the University Of The West Of Scotland.

In past few months I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to take part in a small way in that process .Along with my students on our Contemporary Screen Acting programme, I am now completing the second tranche of three Knowledge Transfer (KT) projects. Operating under the umbrella of UWS Skillset Media Academy, the projects involve three Dumfries & Galloway SMEs benefitting from the process of having bespoke Screen Acting Web Videos created to help publicise and develop their businesses.
This benefits all the participants of the KT process .For example, our acting and performance students, who are on the first steps of their professional careers, are able to focus their talent and enthusiasm and take part in an an authentic Work Based Learning commercial experience. At the same time, our business clients benefit from the student’s creative energy and talent and our expertise to help spread their organisation’s message via the World Wide Web.
Finally, as an academic, I am able to use this innovative engagement with industry as a medium for deepening my own knowledge and creative practice , and hopefully produce high impact research output. It’s a win win situation for all involved.
Today I’m taking part in an exciting initiative at our Paisley Campus as part of UWS’s ongoing strategy for our academics to meet new business clients and forge relationships with potential scope for future Knowledge Transfer development . The meeting has been organised by our Staff at our Innovation & Research Office . IRO were instrumental in setting up the very first Creative Industries KTP with which I was involved between UWS and Glasgow legal firm , Law At Work, and introduced me to our current KT funders at the South Of Scotland Business Solutions in Dumfries. I’m looking forward to learning how my colleagues and I as academics can deepen the B2B (Business To Business) process at the information session today , where I’ll also be learning about our new Client Relationship Management system. (CRM )
I’ll take some pics and report back on how the day went later .
Luvvie shall speak unto business. No mishtake.



Screening And Networking At The CCA.
NO SEATS LEFT for the  1st ever Write Camera Action  Screening & Networking Night: Friday 22nd April  .There are13 films screening including five premieres!  No seats left but I’m on the selection panel and I’ll  let you know how the night goes and who receives the first ever WCA Awards


I have blogged in the past about the University Of The West Of Scotland’s Knowledge Transfer projects under the auspices of South Of Scotland Business Solutions.
The first of those projects is  the creation of a new Web Video publicising the work Cream O’ Galloway. COG is  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 over   60,000 patrons  a year to their amazing Visitors Centre on the shores of Wigton Bay, and  amongst their plans are a 1.8 million pound state of the art milking barn for their herd of organically reared  cows and calves. 
A team of UWS Students from the Contemporary Screen Acting Programme at UWS travelled down to the Galloway coast last Monday armed with  cameras and sound equipment, and recorded material all day.
 They  shot three hours of material, and the video is now in post production  at our studios at  UWS Ayr. The team hope to have a finished video by the beginning of May, but I thought I would whet your appetite by showing a few stills from COG. .
The two other Knowledge Transfer projects with Dumfries and Galloway SMEs  ABC Recruitment and ACAD are going on apace. The scripts of for the two projects are written and the teams will be shooting on location in Dumfries, Glasgow and our UWS Studios next week. 
Look out for more news as it happens.

21202 family fun



Congratulations to everyone involved during the shooting of Write Camera Action’s first short film ‘Your Numbers Up’ as part of the recent Screenwriting competition. Everyone’s efforts throughout the weekend was greatly appreciated and we will keep everyone involved updated with post-production progress as it happens.

The next WCA film to go into production will be the second joint-winner of the Screenwriting competition – ‘It’s an Okay Life’ by Mark Loftus. We are provisionally aiming to shoot this film over 4 days in late June around Glasgow. The dates are to be confirmed as per cast/crew availability. The script is a ten page comic take on the classic ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’. The film will be produced by Moniton Pictures’ Andy Cassels in collaboration with Write Camera Action!

We will have auditions for the 5 roles in the film, however at the moment we are seeking applications for both a Director & an Assistant Producer for the production. The roles will be unpaid unfortunately but expenses will be covered etc. Directors who have already applied previously will be considered and do not need to re-apply again this time around. Directors can forward CVs and any showreels to or deliver hard copies/DVDs in to WCA @ CCA. If doing so let us know by email.  Andy will be at WCA on Monday 18th April and can collect any CVs/DVDs. Assistant Producers should forward CVs to or hand in hard copies of CVs to WCA @ CCA and again email to let us know.

Deadline for submissions is Monday 25th April and the Director will be announced in mid-May.

Spent the afternoon in Perth Museum and Art Gallery at the deeply moving “Trove” Exhibition presented by The Scottish Glass Society . It is a truly uplifting collection of work from a group of selected Scottish glass artists . The photograph is part of Siobhan Healy’s wonderful work inspired by the Victorian Plant collection of Colonel Drummond-Hay. Healy constructs slivers of glass seemingly growing organically from a massive Victorian tome, juxtaposed against a monochromatic mixed media video installation. Enthralling work, it’s on till the end of May. Don’t miss it .


Press Release : Top TV Industry Panel Announced For Innovative UWS Team Writing Module. 


Stuart Hepburn has announced the makeup of the 2011 Industry Panel for  the University Of The West Of Scotland’s  innovative “Team Writing For Television” Module.

Stuart, whose on screen credits include Taggart, Hamish Macbeth and River City commented :

 “I am delighted to welcome three top  Creative Practitioners from the BBC, STV and the Independent sector to take part in the Team Writing  Industry Panel Pitch on April 18th at UWS Ayr.”

Amy Roberts has worked in script development at BBC Scotland for 9 years.  Amy’s production experience takes in such shows as River City, Waterloo Road, Monarch of the Glen and new crime two parter The Field of Blood.  She also heads up  the BBC’s “Scotland Writes” scheme which is dedicated to encouraging and developing new screen writing talent across Scotland.

STV Drama Consultant Kim Kinnie  started his career as an actor mainly in rep and variety. He was in at the beginning of the London Comedy Store in 1979 and was director/ booker until 1990, working with all of the “alternative comedians” of the day most of whom are now household names. At  STV he has  produced comedy programmes like ” Funny Farm” and “Comedy Rules” and has produced many programmes across  the genres : Game shows, Children’s Programmes, Documentaries and Drama. Kim won a BAFTA for children’s drama “Uncle Dad”. 

Anne Marie Di Mambro is an independent Screenwriter and lecturer  and has written for programmes such as Casualty, River City and East Enders. Her stage credits include Tally’s Blood and Ae Fond Kiss. She is also the programme leader of the MA in Television Fiction at Glasgow Caledonian University


 Stuart Hepburn can be seen above, “working the grid” at BBC Scotland’s Pacific Quay   Headquarters. 

In Team Writing for Television, students study contemporary dramas such as “Being Human”,  “Boardwalk Empire” and “True Blood”, and use these popular dramas as templates for their own creativity.

Stuart added….

 “ The industry pitching session is a vital part of the embedded Work Related Learning  in the  15 week module. The 8 student writing teams have each been creating the Concept, Bible and their own individual Episodes of a long running television series. Now they will pitch their ideas to our three practitioner experts. The industry panel will then  feedback their opinions to the students, and give them a contemporary take on the chances of their  ideas making it to the small screen. This  gives  the students an authentic and invaluable learning experience. Who knows, maybe the next “Skins” is about to be discovered. “ 

You can follow the progress of the entire creative process on  Twitter at #TWFTV or online at

Contact Stuart through his blog at

Come along to

The “Reading Allowed”


at the Tchai Ovna Teahouse (West End) 

42 Otago Lane


G11 9PB


Friday 8th April 2011, 8.00 pm


Ellen McAteer

Nick Brooks

Robin Cairns

Sue Sexton Reid 

J. David Simons

Alan McGlas

Graham Fulton

Helen Buchanan-Fulton

plus guests

Live music by Jim Gilbert of Wing and a Prayer

All Welcome

Stuart On Twitter

  • RT @BBCWalesNews: Finding time and space in Wales - how the Doctor made his home in Cardiff #DoctorWho50th http://t.… 1 hour ago
  • Last time I saw #DrWho was with Tom Baker,Louise Jameson & K-9! I'll watch tonight's episode and do a bit of time-travelling. 1 hour ago
  • Stuart's Daily Digest is out! Stories via @kayeadams 1 hour ago
  • RT @Kerryjaneasher: #UWSCSA @UWSCreative found this very creative video, have a look… 13 hours ago
  • #Gravity #shortfilm spinoff #Aningaaq reveals Stone's cry 4 help # 17 hours ago
Follow @stuart_hepburn

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 666 other followers

Past Blogs

Flickr Photos

Invitation: SDTN Annual Conference 2012

Invitation: SDTN Annual Conference 2012

Boswell Book Festival 2012 Announce Programme of Events

BAFTA New Talent Awards

More Photos

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 666 other followers

Powered by