SEEKS TARTAN RAIDER
Copyright 2001 www.tombraiderchronicles.com
[ September 2nd 2001 ]
Screen is searching for a tartan Lara Croft to
rescue the country's beleaguered film industry.
Quango bosses believe that the industry's future
lies in finding new digital animation heroines,
like the star of Tomb Raider, rather than blockbusters
such as Braveheart or Trainspotting. They believe
low budget films with lucrative commercial spin-offs
into television and computer games will prove
McIntyre, Scottish Screen's new chief executive,
is to downplay the quango's role in film production.
Under his predecessor, John Archer, the organisation
concentrated solely on supporting film productions.
But while films such as Late Night Shopping and
Orphans were critically acclaimed, they were all
as supporting film productions, McIntyre wants
to work with new media companies such as Digital
Animations Group in Bellshill, Red Lemon in Glasgow
and Vis Interactive in Dundee. "We'll be on a
losing wicket as long as the criteria of the UK
box office is used to judge us," he said. "Tomb
Raider is an example of the kind of thing we want
to get into. It's interesting that it has life
as a game, as a design concept and as a feature
Raider started life as a product for a games console,
then became a merchandising icon and is now the
subject of a feature film starring Angelina Jolie.
"You can't develop a film industry in isolation
from that other area of work because they are
increasingly locked together," said McIntyre.
"Scottish Screen will support and sustain the
screen industry's screen culture in Scotland.
And I use the term 'screen' advisedly because
it has to move away from being a film-centred
who was head of production at Scottish Screen
under Archer before his departure in July, said
the organisation had previously misjudged its
role and now has to broaden its remit. He believes
that Scotland's film industry is not big enough
to guarantee box office success and said that
hits such as Braveheart or Trainspotting come
along only once every five years.
we should get over the fact that we're not a single
trick organisation and that there's a range of
cultural and industrial services that are at the
heart of what we do," he said. "Film is necessarily
a high-risk business and not all of them are going
to perform spectacularly in Britain."
said that as the UK box office represents only
2% of the global market, it should not be used
as a barometer of Scotland's success. Instead
he wants Scotland to produce a regular supply
of high quality films and short features to keep
native talent employed. "One has to recognise
that most Hollywood films are not massive box
office successes worldwide either," he said. McIntyre
said that the past six months at the quango had
it is undergoing a review by the Scottish executive.
It has also been hit by charges of cronyism, as
lottery awards were handed to film-makers with
links to the body. In particular, £24,000 was
given to a film made by John Archer's wife. Archer
resigned in July after the body's board lost confidence
in the direction the quango was taking and he
fell out with James Lee, the board's chairman.
the change of emphasis away from films, McIntyre
is optimistic about Scottish movies in the coming
months. He said that Lynne Ramsay's second film,
Morvern Callar, is "absolutely sumptuous" while
Peter Mullen's new movie Magdalene is "great".
He also has high hopes for a movie version of
Young Adam, an adaptation of Glasgow beat writer
Alexander Trocchi's cult novel starring Ewan McGregor,
and for Ken Loach's new film, Sweet Sixteen, to
be shot in Greenock.
has two other initiaves that he will launch in
the coming year to boost the screen industry in
Scotland. He is to meet with the Scottish executive
and the Departure of Culture, Media and Sport
to find a way to get lottery funds for projects
before film companies have to apply for them.
And next year he will launch an international
marketing scheme to promote Scotland as a location