Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Feature on Film City Glasgow Including an Interview with Founder and Producer Gillian Berrie

Tonight the Herald is running a lengthy feature on FILM CITY GLASGOW.


Longtime readers of this blog will know I have written previously many times about the former Govan Town Hall, which is now home to Sigma Films of Glasgow Serious Facilities, Savalas Sound and many more fabulous new residents of the lovely old building. The paper notes an official launch of FCG is due to take place tomorrow, and I am certain there will be more, but of note from the article are the following:

With a combined investment of £3.5m from Scottish Enterprise, Glasgow City Council and the European regional Development Fund, Film City Glasgow boasts the country's first Dolby theatre, a new filming studio, rehearsal space, sound and picture editing suites.

(Sweet note: its the TRIFECTA OF S! Savalas Sound and Serious Facilities, just sayin')

The 65,000 sq ft site has already attracted a host of top industry names, has 21 permanent tenants and its feature film and production spend has already exceeded £30m. As such, it is a key part of Glasgow new digital media quarter, with its closest neighbours BBC Scotland and Scottish Television.

The article makes mention of many things I've blogged about previously including Sigma's own, the wonderful David Mackenzie, will be making The Last Word with Ewan McGregor this fall based at FCG. Also as we well know, Franz Ferdinand uses FCG as home studio, having recorded their fabulous last CD there, with the paper citing lead singer Alex Krapanos: "A building like this is an inspiration." INDEED! You can see my many posts on Franz at FCG here, NOTABLY FOOTAGE of the recordings here and here.

There is much on the background of FCG which I may do in a separate post here tomorrow, and importantly new comments from Sigma Co Founder and producer extraordinaire, Gillian Berrie, about the pressing issue of funding for films in Scotland under the new restructuring for the arts. The paper states:

The low cost rental model of Film City is aimed at creating affordable accommodation to those emerging in the industry, and the opportunity to work and collaborate alongside established industry professionals.

But yesterday Ms Berrie made a plea for increased support for film from Creative Scotland, the new arts funding body that will created next year by merging the Scottish Arts Council and Scottish Screen.

She has not yet seen a proposed strategy for the film industry. Delays in the transition process mean Scottish Screen is operating on standstill funding.

"The amount of support for film in Scotland compared with other countries needs to be addressed," she told The Herald."The international impression of Scotland at Cannes is there is a great deal of talent but there is so little support that we are not recognised as a real industry.

"We will wait to see what support is forthcoming from Creative Scotland."It's not just a cultural issue; it's an economic one. every pound put into film generates a 400% return to the economy.

"Supporting home-grown creative talent is of vital importance. I want Scotland to become a place people want to return to. Film City is the first step in the right direction."

Hear hear Gillian! You can learn more about Film City Glasgow via this link, Sigma Films here or via their official blog as well.

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