Recovery...

For almost three months I’ve been confined to our spare bedroom following my discharge from the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital a.k.a. the Death Star, a foreboding construction that owes little to the study of architecture.

The reason for my admission was as random as it was prosaic – a fall caused by slipping on algae-slicked paving in my back garden. It wasn’t the fall however but the landing that did for me, having torn every ligament in my right knee, an injury that according to my surgeon, Mr. Rooney was rare enough to draw spectators to the second of my two operations.

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Dérive, she said...

On opposite walls in my shed currently I have two projects. These take the form of mood boards with photos and quotes scribbled on Post-it notes. On one wall is my long-term project about Tom Polgar, an offshoot of Voyageuse. On the other is my current project, Tilo in Real Life which exists as a set of index cards with handwritten descriptions of each scene.

Elsewhere in the house there’s two-thirds of a script on my laptop and a growing pile of props acquired for the shoot, mainly small electrical items bought off eBay. In my edit suite there’s a set of camera tests shot over the last nine months that are encouraging. Cutting these, I try to convince myself the film’s worth making. It’s strange to be in this position because what else can a filmmaker do after making a film but make another one? I also have a scrawled quote from Kafka that expresses my feelings – You are free, that’s why you are lost.

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Marginalia...

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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The Green, Green Light...

The first days of 2019 have been unusually busy for this unemployed housewife; work on the script for my new film, Tilo in Real Life, a submission – a long shot – to the US in relation to a major project about Tom Polgar/CIA which I’ve been researching over the last eighteen months or so. I’ve begun to sketch out another script idea, potentially my first live action film since 2003. I’m also fielding requests about screening Voyageuse with my usual cautious pessimism.

After the high of the BIFAs the film attracted a small amount of publicity and comment; an interview with Phil Miller in The Herald, plus a very welcome mention by Peter Bradshaw in The Guardian, coming shortly after his four-star review of the film. It was truly special to swap messages with him during the BIFA ceremony after he tweeted how pleased he was that the film had won. I was surprised too when Siobhan Synnot announced me as her Person of the Moment on STV’s Scotland Tonight. Seems I have a lot to live up to.

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