THERE ARE PROBABLY MORE UNMADE film scripts currently iit circulation than could fill the Millennium Dome. livery so often one might catch an agent‘s eye. but what seetns to be on the page is rarely what the writer has projecting on the big screen inside his brain.
Edinburgh-based filmmakers Simon Dennis and Niall (.ireig Fulton have come up with a unique way to convey the full impact of their in— development feature film. The Diseiple. In their pitch to investors. they're attacking the eyes and the ears with a package of words. music and visual images. There's no polished script as yet. just a fourteen—page treatment of the story from opening shots to closing credits. But supplementing this is a ‘)()-second trailer. shot earlier this year. and an audio cassette of the film's ominous and seductive ‘title track. composed by local cut ‘n' paste hip hop outfit The Pesky Varmints.
The trailer is particularly impressive. Teasing the viewer with a narrative tip-of-the-iceberg a man who is ‘probably already dead' leaves an answer-machine message about the abduction of his wife — it's a fast montage of gorgeous widescreen images. with rich colour saturation and mystet'iotis shadows. liach shot
12 THE LIST '
Murder, abduction, fate — it's all there in Scottish feature
looks good enough to have come from a finished film. not an early promo. ‘We felt the trailer was a nice representation of the feel of it.’ says director Dennis. who perfected his widescreen style with Edinburgh filmmaking collective The Independents while working as
cinematographer on pop videos for
Scottish band Annie Christian. 'lt's so
rare in Scotland for someone to go for
that 7()mm look [he actually uses 35mm anomorphic lenses]. That’s what I want to film the piece on. because I can create the look. composition and
theories that I want with that size of
easel. It will also give it a . . . not qttite epic feel. btit it doubles the quality. makes it feel like a bigger story. In a minute and a half. we've let everyone know what we’re trying to do here.’
For The Disciple. Dennis and co- writer/actor Fulton have formed a separate company. Future Imperfect Films. They discovered a like—minded approach while making Dennis‘s award-winning short thriller l’uke. Last September. the kernel of The Diseiple‘s story emerged. followed by a last-gasp plot twist (no spoilers in this article. however) that‘s tip there with Jacob's Ladder. if not The ('i'ving (fume. in forcing an open— mouthed reassessment of everything that's gone before.
I . But don't book your tickets yet because all that exists for now is a classy trailer. Wouls: Alan Morrison Photographs: David N. McIntyre
The last-gasp plot twist is up there with Jacob’s Ladder in forcing an open-mouthed reassessment of everything that's gone before.
Murder they wrote: Niall Greig Fulton and Simon Dennis
‘We started with the idea of this man being manipulated through the abduction of his wife — an almost Hollywood formttla sort of thing.‘ explains Fulton. ‘Then the twist at the end came to tts. and after that it became really fascinating to watch the story feed itself. with these little concepts within it. about life in circles and stuff. It started to tell tts. in a way. where it should be going at certain points.‘
Fulton himself takes the central role. with ()rp/Iuns star Gary Lewis as a policeman investigating a series of murders. ()n the surface. The Disciple is very much a thriller. and even has a sequence using the cinematic adrenalin—rush trick of a phonebox-to- phonebox chase. But the filmmakers believe they’re enhancing their commercial package with elements that go beyond mere popcorn entertainment.
‘\\'e want to tap into several big universal fears.‘ says Dennis. ‘lt's like how The [zit'ort'ist is about a battle between good and evil. not a film about monsters and creatures. It’s about what’s in all of us.‘
The Disciple is due to shoot in Glasgow late 1999. Investors should call 0131 667 5028 for details.