Industry Collaboration Highlights Scotland’s World Class Screen Capabilities
While Scotland’s videogames sector may have escape the worst ravages of the Covid-19 lockdowns, other parts of the screen industries were hit hard. Productions were shut down across the country, with many of the businesses which support them, faced a bleak future.
This was in addition to an industry where many of the major productions which are actually shot in Scotland bring their own crews and support facilities with them, entirely bypassing the local economy. Or worse yet, in some cases the incoming businesses contact their Scottish counterparts and ask for their help and support for a percentage of what they would make had they been used directly.
This is despite the fact that Scotland has world class screen talent behind the camera as well as in front of it – and indeed hiring the camera, the lighting, casting, extras, makeup, stunts, drones, animal wrangling, battle reenactment, etc. etc. etc…)
Here For You
To showcase the country’s capabilities and to encourage more global productions to come to Scotland, the whole of the screen industries, spearheaded by Screen Facilities Scotland, came together to create a promotional trailer highlighting the country’s capabilities, with a warmth, humour and creativity which perfectly encapsulates everything special about Scotland.
Here For You was conceived, written, acted, shot, produced, and directed using entirely local, freely donated talent. The film features a bloody skirmish between a group of professional battle re-enactors, a re-staging of the execution of Mary Queen of Scots, shirtless men in kilts racing through the forest, a Highland cow called Malia having her hair done, and music composed by Francis MacDonald.
Directed by multi award winning advertising photographer and director David Boni, filming took place in August 2020 before Covid rules were fully relaxed. This meant the 50-strong crew and cast had to work in small groups within strict social distancing guidelines except for the battle re-enactors who were permitted to work and travel within their own discrete ‘bubble’.
Determined to remind the creative world of the depth of Scottish talent, the enterprising crew and cast contributed their skills, services and equipment on a voluntary basis and conceived, shot, edited, and released the film, on a shoestring expenses-only budget of £3,000, but with a TON of passion, heart, and belief in the message that Scotland is a great place to make film and television.
In 2018 Screen Scotland, the creative and commercial organisation which supports Scotland’s screen industries was tasked with doubling the value of the industry from the £69m recorded in 2016 to up to £160m by 2022
With major international productions like No Time To Die, Tetris, Princess Switch II and III, Avengers: Infinity War, Mary Queen of Scots and Outlaw King; spending on movie and TV productions in Scotland is increasing. The fantasy time travel series Outlander has also helped the value of the industry more than double in just four years.
The film’s Executive Producer Joanne McLeod has a simple, direct message to studios, directors, producers and movie and TV moguls all over the world:
“With our firmly-established talent and technical facilities, we can help you cut your production costs, save you the expense of flying in and accommodating your own crew, and continue to develop the Scottish film industry in its own right.
Next time you’re thinking about shooting in Scotland, don’t hesitate to reach out to our local crew and facilities.”
“The community of freelance screen crew in Scotland are skilled, adaptable, and passionate; with a cultivated knowledge of local resources, connections, and solutions. A thriving local screen production ecosystem offers wide-reaching benefits in being able to accommodate various levels of production, including supporting the growing number of studio spaces. ‘Here For You‘ shows that even under challenging circumstances, Scotland based crew are professional, versatile, responsive, and ready to deliver with vision and humour.”Dr Belle Doyle, Association of Film and Television Practitioners Scotland (AFTPS)
“Scotland is a country punching far above its weight in terms of the quality and quantity of our film technicians. I’m lucky enough to have worked with just a few of the outstanding DOPs, Sound Recordists, Assistant Directors, Directors, Editors, Facilities Managers, Art Departments, Wardrobe, Make up and Lighting teams and more on Scot Squad, and they are by far the most central part of the shows’ creation and success.
Our technicians are some of the finest (and funniest) in the world and they contribute so much more than just the skills their job titles mention. I am very excited about the future of film and TV in Scotland and I hope productions from around the world will come here to take advantage of the incredible artists who are here, ready to take their shows to new heights.”Karen Bartke, Actor (Scot Squad, Sandman, Stardust)
“As a company based in Scotland, representing talented crew and promoting locations throughout Scotland, Crew Network really welcomes the SFS’ ‘Here For You’ campaign.
Scotland continues to be used as a backdrop for a number of high profile feature films, advertising productions, outdoor broadcasts and events – as there aren’t many countries our size that offer such impressive landscapes and locations with talented production crews to match.
Here’s to welcoming many more future productions and getting all our highly skilled crews working to their full capacity.”Rhian Howells, Managing Director, Crew Network
“Scotland is a criminally untapped resource in so many ways. But especially in the creative community. Talented? Tick. Professional? Tick. Passionate? Tick. I know. I’ve worked with loads of them. But don’t take my word for it. Come to Scotland and take advantage – and make them YOUR creative community”Sanjeev Kohli, Actor, Comedian, Writer
“SFS is playing a critical function. Member companies individually provide an array of specialist services essential to successful screen production in Scotland. When a collective voice is brought together under the SFS banner it is powerful. ‘Here for You’ is inspiring and makes a clear and persuasive case for pulling from Scottish talent.”Ian Houston, President, Scottish Business Network