Lights, ca_meras, mlxecj reaction . . .
Plans for a multi-million-pound film studio in Glasgow are either the biggest shot in the arm for the Scottish film industry since Trainspotting or the biggest kick in the groin since The Match . . . Words: Rich Grant
Hollywood on Clydeside would be nice. But instead
of MGM's roaring lion. we may have a white elephant. designed by Scottish Screen. the quango
which dispenses public money to filmmakers north of
the border and whose logo has been likened to a Scottie dog staring at a blank screen.
According to Scottish Screen. the Pacific Quay project makes good economic and creative sense. Scotland has a thriving film industry and we also have great locations as well as great talent. If we have new studios. our industry will blossom even more. and rupees and dollars will fall from the skies. So let’s spend a few million pounds of the tax-payer‘s money on production facilities. and build them bang under a ﬂight path in the middle of Glasgow.
Interesting idea . But ask most Scottish filmmakers what‘s on their wish list. and the studios won't even feature. Ask overseas producers if they want to camp in Glasgow. and the answer will most probably be ‘no‘: they are already spoiled for choice and have better financial incentives elsewhere.
Before the Scottish ()ffice gives the go-ahead. there are several serious questions to ask. If our filmmakers have access to large-scale production facilities. will they make more. better films‘.’ Will the new studios attract lots of inward investment? Will they run at a profit or depend on annual hand-outs‘.’
Who will benefit most: independent filmmakers. public service broadcasters or Hollywood moguls'.’ Who will pick up the bill'.’
Nobody knows whether or not the Pacific Quay project will work (that is why a second feasibility report has been commissioned). If it was financed by
The Big Yin and pals get snap happy
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one of the industry giants. it may just succeed. because it needs big-budget projects to stay in the black. The Scottish film industry is not enough on its own. and public money isn’t meant to underwrite commercial adventures or subsidise broadcasters keen to have the studios in their backyard without spending the pocket money earned by the 'Ii'lviir/ibivs.
liveryone hopes the Pacific Quay project will be a success. If it pays for itself. good and well. But if it doesn't. it will drain more resources away from the people who need them the most.
In the multimedia. digital age. it could be argued that we don't need to create a poor man’s Hollywood but smaller-scale. more practical facilities which let talent flourish and satisfy more basic needs.
It would be easy to compare Pacific Quay with the Millennium Dome and the hole in the ground beside Holyrood Palace. but the new studios could turn out to be more like one of Saddam Hussein‘s weekend homes.
While his people starve outside the gates. Saddam lives it up in his palace. And if the plans for the film complex do go ahead. Scotland’s few independent filmmakers could be begging for pennies as usual. not invited to the party. while the bureaucrats sit inside patting themselves on the back. enjoying their performance—related bonuses at public expense. and sipping champagne with their mates.
Whose empire are we building here'.’
Disagree? Join the debate at react@|ist.co.uk
T Eli: t2; ii or “i: e 'l'll definitely be getting Brooklyn christened. Though I’m not sure into what religion.’ DaVid Beckham gets his faiths in a fankle
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'He thought I'd lost my marbles.’
Thom Yorke recalls the moment when he presented Kid A’s songs to producer Nigel Godrich. Him and us both, Thom.
’A lot of us tend to think that incredibly beautiful people must be dumb, which is perhaps our way of compensating for their power over us.’
lay lvlclnerney, who has been married to two inodeb
‘I needed to show another part of myself. I had been living in dumpy land. Call it Scully Land! Gillian Anderson reflects upon her flesh- friendly FHlVl photo shoots \vith regret.
The Pipeline Coming quite soon...
8 THE UST 5—19 Oct 2000
Call us premature, but as the nights grow longer it's good to look fonivard to Santa's telly gifts, and this year Billy Connolly is occupying his sack. Returning to TV for the first time since his tour of Australia, the Big Yin teams up with ex-Corrie star Sarah Lancashire and another sometime- beardy Scot, Douglas Henshall, for a one-off comedy drama. Gentleman’s Relish stars Connolly as Kingdom Swann, an Edwardian artist who takes saucy photos to make ends meet. All of which is encouraged by his housekeeper played by Lancashire . . . Not quite as old-fashioned but guaranteed to get the pulses going is a new Oasis album. Familiar To Mil/ions
will be released in November and captures the band live at Wembley Stadium earlier this year and includes versions of The Beatles ’Helter Skelter’ and Neil Young’s ’Hey Hey, My My' . . . Albums slated for spring 2001 release include a new platter from the Super Furry Animals and — as if fate would have it — a comeback album for Michael Jackson will be launched in time to compete chartwise wrth the new collection from Pulp, led by his old mucka, Jarvis Cocker . . . List favourite Angelina Jolie is hard at work on a couple of new movies; Original Sin is described as an erotic thriller in which she stars opposite Antonio Banderas as, of all
things, a mail order bride. Also keeping the Oscar-Winner busy is her role as pixelated pin-up Lara Croft in Tomb Raider. Both are due for release mid-2001 . . . Talking of adaptations, the rejigging of Louis de Bernieres' epic novel Captain Core/li’s Mandolin has been pulled forward for a spring 2001 release, with Nicolas Cage starring as the plucking army officer . . . If you fancy things of a more educational bent, the Edinburgh International Science Festival has been confirmed for 7—1 7 April 2001. Those who can't wait until then can access news of what's happening on wwwedinburghfestivalsco.uk/soence.