Recently I hosted a Q&A at the CCA Glasgow for the makers of Far from the Apple Tree, an ambitious supernatural thriller with a nod to the 1970s English horror genre. Shot over 12 days using multiple formats that required building a bespoke film lab, it’s an amazing achievement.

Rarely do I attend such events but I wanted to applaud the film’s makers, Grant McPhee, Olivia Gifford, Steven Moore and Ben Soper, as well as the cast and crew who came to the screening. The film’s director, Grant is also a leading light of Year Zero/Tartan Features, a group of Scottish independent filmmakers who produce films with little industry or institutional support so naturally I’m simpatico with their cause. Here’s a link to Grant’s blog which offers a great insight into the process.

After the Q&A I wondered – could Apple Tree or any other indie film be improved with more money? Of course the question’s moot because the film already exists. But who’s to say what demands might have been made on the makers in exchange for largesse?

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To the Light House...

I’ve just returned from Dublin after a wonderful and well-received screening of Voyageuse at the Light House cinema, thanks to the Glasgow Film Festival, the Dublin Film Festival and the Scottish Government office in Ireland. It was also great to spend time with Douglas King and Darren Osborne, the director and actor/production designer of Super November, a film that also screened at the GFF earlier this year which I’m looking forward to when it plays in Glasgow – when else – this November.

What our two films share in common is they’re both self-funded, made on what the industry calls a micro-budget. Both films have proved popular with audiences too. That we received the warmest of welcomes in Dublin couldn’t be more of a contrast to how overlooked we are at home.

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Recently on Twitter I posed the question – should I create a new account for my latest film? Already I juggle three accounts @MayMilesThomas, @deilsplantin and @VoyageuseFilm so a fourth is probably overdoing it. The jury’s verdict – stick to my main account – seems only logical so in future I’ll restrict myself to posting here – and linking there.

This, I realise, could easily turn into a full-time job but it’s a necessary one when so much of one’s life and identity is paraded on the conveyor belt of social media. Long before revelations of mass data harvesting, fake posts and dodgy algorithms, the wisdom accrued from years of posting on Facebook (deleted) LinkedIn (inactive) and Instagram (lapsed temporarily) led me to limit my exposure. Thankfully I never strayed into Friends Again or MySpace and so far I’ve avoided WhatsApp, Snapchat and their derivatives. However I admit to having YouTube, Vimeo Pro and IMDB accounts though I’ve failed to exploit them.

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