' has a key role to play on the art
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as-yet-unreleased movies. Congratulations to Penny Edwards and the rest of the staff.
I Edinburgh MGM: Children’s matinees return to Edinburgh’s MGM cinema on Saturday 9 with a big screen showing of Star Wars (watch out for kids of all ages at that one!) and Beethoven on Saturday 16. The matinees will run throughout October and, if successful, will be continued to
I First Reels: The third and final programme of films funded during the second year of the First Reels scheme
goes out on Scottish Television at the and of the year, noors open 11.15pm on Saturday 9. This set of 10,303", with the programme excerpts, introduced by Professor commencing at11am.
00"" YOIIIIG. Will concenm 0" I From the archives: ‘Men with bees animation and documomﬂ- in their bonnets’ was Scottish
Meanwhile, those who have grabbed their copy of The list will know to go along to a First Reels lecture at the
animator lonnan McLaren’s desription oi obsessive amateur filmmakers, and it’s also the title oi a special
Glasgow Film Theatre at 11am on screening of films to celebrate so “may 8- In association Wm) (“3300* _ years oi the Scottish lntemational School oi Art. Erica Kind of the ' Amateur Film Festival - the first
Scottish Film Council will talk to young filmmakers about the more experimental side offered by the film medium.
I Robins Cinema: It’s a chorus oi ‘llappy Blrthday’ one year on for the Robins Cinema in Dunfermline. To celebrate, all seats on Sunday 10 October will cost a mere £1.20, with prizes and giveaways occurring throughout the day. In its first year, Robins has introduced a well-attended kids’ matinee club, has bravely used its third screen for films oi a less mainstream bent, and has been the site oi several preview screenings oi
' amateur film festival in Europe. Drawing from archive material from the 30s to the early 60s, the programme consists oi festival prlzewinners, and includes films by Stanley Russell, Frank Marshall, Group 5 and 1934’s Seven Till Five, a
4 Glasgow School oi Art production on
which Mclaren himself was involved.
The screening - with live piano
accompaniment - takes place at 6.15
on Monday 18 at the GFT, with an
introduction by Janet McBain oi the
Scottish Film Archive, and provides a
rare opportunity to enjoy some oi
Scotland’s iilm heritage. (AM)
_ Virtually reel
The SWAT-ster team arrives just as the renegade computer hackers are fixing the deal with their fence, and suddenly everything erupts into wholesale violence as bodies are blown through doors. llot exactly a typical weekend in a disused Renirew tyre factory, but such was the scene when a five-minute promo sequence for Scotland’s first cyberpunk movie, Wetware, was shot at the end oi September.
The film, which will use the trailer to seek further investment, is a creative collaboration between writer-director
. John Allardice and the recently
formed Boxcar Productions, which plans to develop, produce and distribute quality low-budget features from its Scottish base within the walls oi the Edinburgh Filmhouse. Described by Boxcar’s Chief Executive and the film’s producer, Jim llickey, as a ‘Iow budget James Cameron iilm . . . maybe
i not the kind oi film for the public
subsidy bodies, but something in which a company like ours can see great commercial potential’, Wetware’s projected budget is set at
: £300,000 and will use state-oi-the-arl
Amiga software for its computer-
generated special effects. (AM)
‘ 1' Ti) m E]? l J4 i4 I t,»
Mock-up video cover for Wetware
What should distinguish Boxcar Productions’ approach to film in Scotland is the cornpany’s aim to create a continuous slate of production, whereby the profit from one film is invested in the next and a repertory-like group of actors and crew is built up. As well as llickey, Boxcar’s directors consist of Gay Cox, George Kerevan, David McWhinnie and Bryan Rankin, with Jeremy llayward as Chairman. The company hopes to create a package of five or six low budget films to be released over a two-year period, and a project on infamous Scottish cannibal Sawney Bean is currently in development. (AM)
:— Getting animated
i Alan Morrison discovers l animation isn’t Mickey ‘ Mouse stuff.
Animation has grown up. left home and is making a living for itself in the modem creative world. No longer can it be written off by the uninitiated as merely a tranquiliser for kids on a 5 Saturday morning or obscure. squiggly bits on late night Channel 4. Animation
I college/film festival circuit. in the I commercial/advertising sector. and as
part of the broadcast industries at large. -
It was the latter category that concerned the majority of animators. producers. broadcasters and investors who congregated in lnvemess between 23 and 25 September for the 1993 CARTOON Forum. This Highland gathering came courtesy of the animation division of the European i Community’s MEDIA Programme. . which is dedicated to stimulating and l supporting European animation production and getting it out of the stranglehold grip of American and Japanese competitors.
Around 60 new animation projects in search of funding were presented in lnvemess: short and long television series. one-off television specials and the odd feature ﬁlm or two. All European community member
i countries were represented, with
l Scottish input from West Highland
i Animation's two projects, Rob Ruadh
9 and Uruisg na h-alba. The former. telling the story of folk hero Rob Roy. was pitched by animator Leslie Mackenzie as a series of six ﬁve-
! minute episodes. and has attracted serious interest from Scottish Television. The future of the latter looks less certain. as Mackenzie had hoped to enlist the support of Grampian Television. who didn’t even attend an event that was virtually on their doorstep. Animation could well have a vital part to play in the expansion of
f Gaelic broadcasting; Super Ted
certainly gave power to Welsh language
TV, but his appeal was undoubtedly more commercial and less ethnically based.
On the hardware front. one of the
f most interesting demonstrations was presented by Lesley Keen’s Glasgow-
based lnner Workings in conjunction with Cambridge Animation Systems. The Studio Without Walls session showed how isolated animators can collaborate on a project by sending animated sequences (created on an Animo workstation) to each other for alterations and additions by means of
i BT's Integrated Systems Digital 1 Network. This technique is four—twenty
times faster than existing modem systems and shows no corruption of
The general impression in lnvemess
3 was that. although Scotland is at the
forefront of the digital and microchip
technology that will push forward the
| boundaries of animation. home-grown
talent has a long way to go before it can .: compete at the same level as its
European peers. A band of young
Scottish animators were present, however. under the auspices of the Scottish Film Council and Scotland's MEDIA Antenna Ofﬁcer Margaret O‘Connor. showing their wares on a
video monitor at a stand in the business ; lounges. Here was evidence of the ’ potential that lies largely untapped
north of the border: the electronic imaging at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art in Dundee. the commercial sector experience of Sutherland-based Animax Studios. the training and education groundwork carried out by Scotland‘s Film Workshops. the computer interactivity
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18 The List 8-2l October l993
of Glasgow‘s Extra Vegetables. As the buzz went on around them. hopefully this new generation of animators would see ﬁrst-hand the tricks and techniques they would need to adopt in order to forge ahead in the industry.
There is, therefore. much to look forward to. even ifonly the tip ofthe iceberg is peeking above water. Experienced animator Stewart Selkirk is currently designing and implementing a new HNC/HND in Animation at Stevenson College in Edinburgh. which aims to bring the necessary professional edge to creative skills, while TVC London promises to farm out work to animators north of the border should its long-awaited adaptation of Tum O'Shcmter secure its projected £1 million budget. The project was shown at CARTOON on video in storyboard form with John Caimey reciting the Burns favourite and. even at this early stage. its images —- stylistically based on Hogarth's engravings for The Rake Is Progress — were among the most impressive on show.
Whatever the ease up here. animation is flourishing down south. as was evident when the CARTOON d'Or — Europe’s top animation award — was presented as part of the Forum. Of the sixteen films in competition (all recent winners at Europe’s major animation festivals). eleven were British. and all ﬁve shortlisted ﬁlms were UK productions. The winner, Mark Baker's The Village. was screened at this year's Edinburgh lntemationai Film Festival. and won the animator prizeamoney of 35.000 ECUs (£26.000). which will be invested in a more ambitious project. possibly a feature.