16mm FILM WORKSHOP @ Leaps

I wasn’t allowed to do art in my last year of high school. The head of the department said I painted too small. Give me a bigger brush was my response.

This week I have been a member of Leaps, an organisation focused on supporting students as they apply for further education. The week has been packed with art workshops. Providing an insight for the students into new work methods which will hopefully open new doors for their creativity. Good times!

This week I hosted a experimental/animation film workshop with my friend Ross Hogg. I gave the students 72 frames each of 16mm film which I asked them to draw on. Marker pens galore, everyone got stuck in. The drawings were tiny. Much smaller than the ones I drew in high school. However this was no problem because Ross brought his projector.


The ink would smear, bubble and bleed but that was part of the excitement. What will this look like when projected? The outcome was unpredictable. Turned out great. I like the stills as they carry a sense of innocence. You can tell we had fun. Stills from the workshop can be viewed here.

My aim for the workshop was that it would play with the physicality of film and give the students a chance to be able to make an animation without the need of a camera. The outcome was a playful collaborative process where we all got stuck in. The film can be viewed above.


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Pop-Up Week Amsterdam : E215

For the grand opening of Pop-Up Week Amsterdam 2014, art collective Kutler took over one of the cities streets. Turning its cobbles into an open air street art gallery for their event BYOB (Bring YOUR Own Beamer).

“The playground is fabulous; the Wijdesteeg is an open air street art gallery in itself and the colorful, nearby parking garage will be turned into pop-up galleries for this unique event. Participating neighbours, shops and galleries open their doors, walls, windows, and roofs to turn the streets into a mix of projected and existing street art.”

The set up reminded me a lot of Alchemy Film & Moving Image Festival that happens down in the Scottish Borders. However it is not just moving image installations taken place this week in Amsterdam…

More info on the event can be found over at their site:

10612595_472833689524854_6523220999141336082_nKulter selected my film, E215. to be screened at their outside screening extravaganza. The film is a meditative insight into my gran mother as she reflects on her old age. The film is experimental highlighting that beauty can still be obtained from unlikely places. An optimistic perspective on ageing. A collaboration between young and old. A short extract of the film can be viewed here. This was the second time for the film to be projected outside, the first time was when it won Publica’s Screen Shorts and was projected at Clerkenwell Design Week earlier this year.


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British Film Institute: Guide To Fetal Development Screening

BFI_LogoEarlier this week my animation, Guide To Fetal Development won IdeasTap: Teenage Kicks film competition. The brief was to submit a sixty second clip inspired by BFI’s film programme, Teenage Kicks. I suppose this makes my entry a bit puny then…

Guide To Fetal Development will be screened at British Film Institute as a part of their Teenage Kicks season on 16th Sept 4.30pm in London.

The animation will also be making an appearance at Ickle Film Festival up in Dundee on the same week along with my experimental film, E215.


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Electric Picnic : Our Nation’s Sons

electric-picnic-14Electric Picnic will be screening Our Nations Sons alongside some of my mums favourite pop troupes at it’s sold out music festival! Beck, Outkast, Blondie and Lily Allen will be showing face over the weekend. Pretty… pretty… pretty good!

The film will be screened as a part of a run through of all of Joe Caslin’s illustration projects that have been cropping up around Ireland. Our Nations Sons omnibus will be projected between act changes however if it proves hard to hear while stood next to 70,000 fellow festival goers the film can be watched at it’s chill out lounge.

Joe continues to out do himself every time with these projects and they are worth investigating over at his website.


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A Place Just On The Map : Decagram 1.8 Screening


With the independence referendum quickly approaching, Scotland finds itself under close inspection from within. The Decagram collective will be screening documentaries that focus on the social issues that face Scotland today at their event Decagram 1.8. The event will include a screening of my environmental film;

A Place Just On The Map

On a wild lonely shore on the far north of Scotland stands ‘Dounreay’. Operating since the 1950’s as a nuclear research facility, the plant is now defunct and in the process of being decommissioned.

Disposing of nuclear waste stored in underground vaults has created anxiety for the plants neighbours, who live as a traditional crofting family. Deirdre, the mother of the family, has worked on the croft all her life and expresses her concerns on environmental issues as well as the families agriculture future.

A Place Just On The Map

The film was shot in April 2012. I stayed with the family for five days, working on the croft and filming for three of them where I was initially interested in the contrast of crofters living next door to nuclear scientists.  I enjoyed my time working on the croft and will forever miss the white pudding suppers from the chip shops of Thurso!

However there is a serious side to it all, I feel my film does highlight key points surrounding the argument of the use of nuclear energy in Scotland. The primarily one being what happens to the nuclear waste afterwards?


I do want to state that all perspectives towards Dounreay are from the participant’s within the film and are not my own. The film was broadcasted on Holland Doc24 and will now be screened at Decagram 1.8 along with a handful of other social issue based scottish documentaries and the return of Scottish hip-hop artist, Loki.

More information and tickets for Decagram 1.8 can be found here.

Green Woman

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Guide To Fetal Development

Today I have gave birth to a revised version of an old animation; Good timing as today happens to be my birthday!

Short insight into fetal development within the digital age!

Guide To Fetal Development began its own life as a doodle I did during my summer job a couple of years ago. I felt that it was a funny concept and that it could translate well into animation. While at art school I sneaked into the animation department an drew seventy odd frames which I then scanned and coloured on photoshop. The animation was for a class project that had to be done within twelve hours… here is the original. 

It was fun for me as I had not created a pencil drawn animation since my first year at ECA, but admittedly, slightly rushed. This week I went back an smoothed out the frames. I created the above GIFs which also hibernate on my tumblr.  Given the subject matter of the film I can only say that I am a hypocrite; Here I am firing links to my tumblr via a blog!

The film was screened at Hidden Door Art Festival in Edinburgh earlier this year and has a couple more public screenings on the way.


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Publica Clerkenwell Screen Shorts: E215

My short experimental film, E215 has won Publica’s Clerkenwell Screen Shorts competition where it was noted for having “compelling visual narrative”. Good times. The prize is that it will be projected in Clerkenwell Green, London on 22 May to coincide with Clerkenwell Design week.

More information on the event can be found on Publica’s website.

Initiated in 2013 as part of our film programme, the Clerkenwell Screen projects out from our studio windows overlooking Clerkenwell Green. The project gives us a unique opportunity to contribute to the experience of public life by developing an interplay between the public and private realms. The projections we show are ephemeral: a gift to passers by encouraging them to engage with us as they pass through this historic public space.” 

On the same week E215 will also be screened at Montreal Underground Film Festival on 24th where it has been nominated for a Muff Jury Prize! An will also screen at Snug Lab at Edinburgh’s Roxy Arthouse on 23rd May.


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Tapes From The Revolutionary


I met Andy as he walked past me armed with a camcorder. I was intrigued to watch his tape. He said I could. The tape presented a seventy year old artist who walked the streets of Edinburgh capturing his surroundings. For whom and why? I decided Andy and his tape would make a good subject for an observational documentary. My intention was to share Andy’s tape so I could experience life through the eyes of another. I wanted to discuss the nature of why we both film? However Andy had his own intention for making this film…

Tapes From The Revolutionary is a fifteen minute participatory observational documentary that weaves in and out of two director visions. The film is produced by Alia Ghafar and directed by myself. The film will be showcased at Edinburgh College of Art Degree Show 2014 and then distributed around film festivals. Musical composition by Josh Sabin and sound design by Chris Gayne. Poster designed by Hamish McEachern. 

Tapes From The Revolutionary was my graduate film from Edinburgh College of art where it was awarded a Helen A. Rose Bequest for Distinguished final year work by the University of Edinburgh, June 2014. The project also won the Audience Award at Edinburgh College of Art 2014 Graduate Filmhouse screening.

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Pigeon;Tapes From The Camcorder RevolutionaryScreen Shot 2014-04-18 at 3.37.50 PMPigeon;Tapes From The Camcorder RevolutionaryStatic

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E215 @ Alchemy Film Festival


I did not know anything about Hawick apart from it is next to Galashiels. All I know about Galashiels is that it is like most scottish towns; If you visit on a sunday the only source of entertainment is it’s Tescos. I now know that Hawick is different. I visited on a sunday. It’s abandoned auction house hosts several video installations while it’s local cinema screens international experimental films. What else can you ask for?  I am a new man now.

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PJR_2835Alchemy Sunday0363

Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival is an international festival of experimental film and artists’ moving image. This years theme was ‘DreamLand’, focussing on film explorations of the natural world as a place of dreams, relating further to utopian dreams of a Scottish homeland – in Scotland’s Year of Homecoming, and the Scottish ReferendumMy short film E215 was selected for its ‘Dreamland’ programme. The reason I’m writing this is because having grown up in a small scottish town I could not imagine hosting an experimental film festival. That in itself is an experiment. Saturday night I attended a performance by the French collective, Nominoë. The event took place in the town hall. The contrast between the conservative environment and the performance made it feel appropriate that only an experimental film festival should take place in Hawick. As stated Alchemy has made me a new man. Perhaps I am ignorant but to see projected experimental work in Scotland is rare. I felt that every aspect of the festival was treated with great care and thought. I look forward to next years festival.

Cortex: Nominoë & Stéphane Mensah

Nominoë are a collective of artists made up of filmmakers Emmanuel Lefrant, Alexis Constantin, Nicolas Berthelot and Stéphane Courcy di Rosa. Through a play of shadows, the screen captures the image of a body in movement before the projectors’ beams of light, while the dancer’s gestures, through sensors, sculpt light and sound in the space within which he evolves. I took a wee picture after the performance of what is behind the screen. Five 16mm projectors next to a strobe light.


The festival also had a healthy amount of video installations works by Andrew Kotting, Ruth Le Gear, Pat Law and many more. All were available for the public to visit. Below is the auction house, one of the buildings that housed the video installations.


photo-37System Error – Guli Silberstein

PJR_2905Alchemy Sunday0392Images In A Nondescript Fountain – Karl F.Stewart


 Alchemy film festival website

All of the good photographs taken by Patrick Rafferty.

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Victor Kossakovsky Master Class

Over looking Edinburgh College of Art as a sort of Panopticon tower is the Scottish Documentary Institute. Never knowing if they are watching or not, we as students at Edinburgh College of Art don’t risk it and always behave. Last summer I was asked by them to film a conversation between Victor Kossakovsky and Noe Mendelle that took place during the Edinburgh Film Festival 2013. I have always admired Kossakovsky for his cinematography therefore I was slightly intimidated to point a camera at him.

Within the first five minutes “Your tripod is too low” he said…  I cried inside.

Recently the Scottish Documentary Institute have been digging into their archive and releasing masterclasses which have took place over the years as Podcasts. Hosted by Duncan Cowles.

A trailer for Kossakovsky ‘s Vivan Las Antipodas! can be viewed below.

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