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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Rainnie

Flirting with filmmaking

I am primarily a writer. That is how I define myself first and foremost. But I am also a filmmaker. It's like an itch that needs to be scratched every few years, so here is a brief update of some of the projects I've been quietly working on in the filmmaking arena.

Saviour of our Streets

Saviour came about as a result of a successful crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter that I ran for my last live-action short film, Water Rats. We had raised more than we needed for that film, and I wanted to use the funds to create a new short film that continued the theme and message of the previous one, which was about animal cruelty and animal rights. I put out a script call and offered free script coverage to those who applied.

One of the scripts was called Saviour of our Streets by a writer called Callum Brown. I thought it was a solid short with a wholesome, upbeat message, which immediately separated it from the dark ending of Water Rats. Callum took my notes and came back with a much stronger draft, and I think it was at that point that I wanted to make it.

CUT TO: Four years later, and we're close to completion. It has been a long journey as I tried and failed to film it as a live-action short. Unfortunately, with one of the main characters being a dog, we simply did not have the budget. We came very close at one point, with a cast and crew assembled, but the Scottish weather and Covid thwarted it.

Andrew with Callum (writer) with Graeme and Draw at Landing Light Studios
Myself, Callum (writer) with Graeme and Drew

However, I did not want the project to simply die, and I had always wanted to do animation (as an aside, I have a feature film script I desperately want to make as an animated feature in a futuristic, Studio Ghibli style). After a couple of false starts, I met Graeme and Drew at Landing Light Studios in Stirling. I was attracted to their work not only because of their talent or the fact that they were Scottish, but after a conversation with Graeme, it became obvious that these guys are as hard-working and passionate about filmmaking as I am.

Work started on the animated version of Saviour of our Streets earlier this year and has been progressing steadily since. This week, I was fortunate enough to watch a very early cut, and it has been worth the effort. We hope to have a finished version by the end of the year, so you will hopefully see it at a film festival near you in 2024.

Dead Man Talking

At the start of the year, I started working on a few screenplay ideas with an eye to directing them myself. The creative challenge with these stories was to come up with something that could be made over a short period of time on a microscopic budget, which means very few locations and characters. Out of those ideas, I took two and developed them into a treatment. The first, called Ghosts of Schiehallion, didn't quite work as I'd hoped.

The second was Dead Man Walking, which is a revenge thriller that takes place over the course of one night in Glasgow. It was a lot of fun to write, with a lot of twists and turns and really up the tension as the characters navigate the Glasgow underworld.

I'm hoping to have an extended treatment (40-50 pages) completed by Christmas, and then develop that into a screenplay. I've seen other filmmakers who have managed to produce features for £10,000 and that seems like a realistic goal for this script, through a mix of my own funds and crowdfunding.

I think it may be useful, for both screenwriters and filmmakers, for me to document the entire process, which I hope to do in future blog posts. For now, I'll leave you with a mock poster I created to try and capture the theme and tone of the film.


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