We have all heard about Jason Isaacs filming all over Edinburgh recently, but it is easy not to be aware of the small independent film production companies which use the city as a backdrop for their films.
We went along to The Scottish Mining Museum recently to meet Glass Bullet Productions who were using the dark moody mineshaft as the scene for their new steam-punk film. Yep you heard it right. Steam punk. (you will learn more – read on!)
Creative Director, Graeme Campbell, explained that the new film in production is The ‘Legend of Black Diamond’. “This is a ten part web tv series which we are producing for Channel Fife TV. The series will start to screen in February and will also be premiered as a full feature film.
It is micro budget – basically shot on a shoe string and sits within the ‘steam punk’ genre.
The plot involves the main character ‘Black Diamond’ trying to save her mine and community of miners from destruction by the Bankers, who dynamite her mine following her refusal to re pay a loan to her dead father. She is left for dead, but having survived, swears a bloody revenge against the Bankers and travels deep in into their kingdom to track them down.
On one level is it a movie shot like a graphic novel and an Italian western, dealing with an adventure quest/revenge theme but at another level it is an allegory for the present banking crisis, with the Bankers portrayed as Outlaws.
Steam punk is a genre which mixes the old with the futuristic and this theme is developed through costume, location and props. We are for example using two miles of railway track with assorted locomotives, later in the film.
The location at the mining museum is being used in conjunction with quarry locations and a cave system to give the impression of the main characters mine.
Glass Bullet is also in post production on ‘The Prey’ an epic science fiction movie which is due for completion at the end of the year. This film has been picked up by producers of ‘Torchwood’ and ‘Dr Who’ and we are hopeful of making progress with this and ‘Black Diamond’.”
It was a spooky, black Friday night when we got to the mine and we had to be escorted into the mineshaft to meet up with the very small production team who were filming there in the freezing cold. There were masks, guns and dynamite all in evidence….
Laura Binnie is the founder of Glass Bullet, but was not only in costume but also on hand to set dynamite when required…. She has said:-“2010 was a pivotal year. Business has been booming with our commercial work and blue-chip international client Logica, commissioning work this summer. That success has led to talks with a range of bigger players in the UK media industry with whom we are in development with a range of exciting projects of which this is the first, so watch this space !’
During a break in filming, Graham Campbell told us:-“As well as Glass Bullet, we also run an internet TV site called Channelfife. We are doing this for two reasons, one is to give Channel Fife more content and make it more interesting.The other rationale is that, as film makers, it is one of a number of projects which we are talking to potential investors about.
As a film maker I have been involved with genre films for quite some time:- movies within the Horror, sci-fi, adventure kind of theme.
I got into all of this in the first place as a writer. I suppose some of my inspiration is things like The Prisoner which is the best example of fantasy television on British TV. That is my starting point as a writer. On the way I have moved into other areas of production such as producing directing etc
This film will play on Channel Fife in episodes but it will also premiere in a cinema. We have interest in investors and distributors picking it up. It will also play out on the internet.
The Prey will be premiered locally in Fife, but as the number of people involved have been from across the UK we will be showing that elsewhere too. We can take the film wherever people want to see it!”
Quite different from Friday night drinks……
You can contact the company through their website for your video production needs…..
And you can get a taster of The Prey here