Film production companies working in Scotland
- Gail Tolley
- 1 November 2012
The companies behind Perfect Sense, Outpost and Idris Elba-starring Legacy
In the late 70s, when French director Bertrand Tavernier announced he wanted to shoot his next film in Glasgow, he was actively warned off the city by London producers who feared he and his cast and crew would be robbed – or worse.
Thankfully Tavernier ignored the scaremongers and went ahead and made Death Watch, the futuristic drama starring Harvey Keitel and Romy Schneider which recently enjoyed a re-release in UK cinemas. The film played a pivotal role in developing the Scottish film industry and today the country boasts a far more vibrant film and television making scene.
Surveying the crop of Scottish production companies, the first that jumps out is Sigma, established in 1997 by producer Gillian Berrie, director David Mackenzie and actor Alastair Mackenzie. It has been responsible for some of the biggest Scottish film releases of recent years including Red Road, Young Adam and Perfect Sense. Black Camel Productions is currently working on action horror Outpost II following the success of the first film and also the Idris Elba-starring, psychological thriller Legacy.
Autonomi on the other hand has become known for its documentaries, educational output and world cinema releases, such as the recent London Documentary Film Festival contender Come Closer. Also on the documentary front, Edinburgh’s Scottish Documentary Institute produces many short films for television each year, giving emerging filmmakers the chance to get a foot on the industry ladder. And Matchlight in Glasgow has an impressive list of television accomplishments to its name, frequently working with the BBC, Channel 4 and 5.
And it might not technically be a production company but Park Circus deserves a special mention here for its sterling work in re-releasing restored classic films into cinemas across the world. Its recent projects have included David Lean’s Lawrence of Arabia and Powell and Pressburger’s The Red Shoes and the aforementioned cult Glasgow-set film Death Watch.