Making movies: Where do we go from here?
Scotland’s creative reputation among the world’s film industries is already legendary. Over the years the country has produced an abundance of globally acclaimed actors, directors, technicians, writers and practitioners for any any every role to be found on a film or television sat.
Film icons such as Bill Forsyth, Ken Loach and Danny Boyle have all left their mark on cinematic history, and been great ambassadors for Scottish cinema along with great actors such as Sean Connery, Morven Christie, Brian Cox, Alan Cumming, Kelly MacDonald, Gerard Butler, Kevin MacKidd, Martin Compston and many others.For a new generation of emerging film makers the dream to one day make their own feature film and tell a story, whether it’s a gritty true to life drama, a galactic odyssey, or a romantic comedy is increasingly becoming a reality.
And to achieve their ambitions many are showing a degree of entrepreneurial flare above and beyond their usual creative talents.
‘Where Do We Go From Here?’ is the feature length debut of up and coming director John McPhail and Worrying Drake Productions. It fuses together all the elements of an 80’s buddy movie feel, with charming Scottish humour, and a heart-warming road trip romp that has multi-generational appeal.
The team at Worrying Drake began their journey with a plan to make a trilogy of short comedies to find their unique voice and audience. They gained momentum much faster than expected, winning multiple awards at film festivals worldwide, and growing the family ethos among regular cast and crew.
Things escalated further when John, now aged 29, decided to make a fourth film for the Virgin Media Shorts competition in 2013, where ‘Just Say Hi’ became the first ever entry to pick up two of the three awards on offer. Within the space of a year, the team had made four successful short comedy films.
Fuelled by this boost, and with £5000 of prize money behind the next project, it was time to begin the long road to making a first time feature.Along with actor and composer Tyler Collins and producers Andrew Lanni and Lauren Lamarr, John started to build a team that believed in the integrity of the script and the project as a whole. “Two of the first roles were filled by Director of Photography, Grant McPhee, and First Assistant Director Stuart Cadenhead. Both are established industry workers, with credits on projects such as ‘Outlander’, ‘World War Z’ and ‘Fast and Furious 6’.
“This was a fantastic vote of confidence in the project which ignited a further flurry of backing and support,” said Lauren Lamarr.
“While John was busy polishing the script the rest of us in the team began to focus on funding the project. We began with an evening at Cineworld where cast, crew and supporters of the short films were invited along with family, friends, industry figures and potential backers to watch the array of shorts to showcase the Worrying Drake style. It was a great success. That’s when we also launched a crowdfunding campaign.
“After months of campaigning and lots of hard work we reached our target of £10,000 and more,” said Lauren.
“It was a tremendous feeling to have achieved our funding goal in such a relatively short time. It showed people had faith in what we were trying to do.
”Further money was raised through pitching to private investors while the team acquired a great deal of support in kind from rental houses and suppliers as well as pooling resources with crew.Next up was casting. Seven principal roles had to be filled along with an ensemble of other characters, and supporting artistes. Chemistry was key and a cast of acting veterans, including Alison Peebles, Richard Addison, Deirdre Murray and Jim Sweeney were joined by Maryam Hamidi and Lucy-Jane Quinlan.
With pre-production in its final stages outdoor locations needed to tell the story were found around Loch Lomond, Queensferry and Alloa.
“In Scotland the weather is always an unpredictable factor to contend with,” said Lauren.
“During the 16-day shoot we had to contend with everything from scorching sun and pouring rain. But, with a little ingenuity and determination we made it work.
“Now the post production work is almost completed the idea is to take the film around the festival circuit this year. It’s been a real team effort. There is a lot of talent and creativity among the film making community in Scotland and we have shown that with some determination and team work we can be successful”.