Profile: Paul Wright, writer/director of For Those in Peril

Profile: Paul Wright, writer/director of For Those in Peril

The Scottish drama stars George MacKay as the lone survivor of a shipwreck

Born 1981, Fife

Background Paul Wright moved to Edinburgh to study photography before developing an interest in cinema. He enrolled at Glasgow’s Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama before catching the eye of the National Film and Television School where he was offered a place on their MA in Directing Fiction. His 2011 work Until the River Runs Red won him the BAFTA for Best Short.

What is he up to now? His feature debut, For Those in Peril, was shot in the coastal village of Gourdon, Aberdeenshire. It stars rising actor George MacKay as Aaron, the lone survivor of a fishing boat accident that claims the lives of five others. His unlikely escape sees him increasingly alienated from the other villagers.

On the film’s theme ‘The sole survivor thing I’d done a bit of research on. We spoke to some people that had been affected by similar accidents and it was quite hard to get your head round why there would be any animosity towards the guy that came back. But when it was explained, it suddenly became quite clear: he’s a walking ghost, a constant reminder of the tragedy that everyone in the village has been affected by.’

On the difficulties of his shoot ‘The stuff on the ocean was probably the most challenging. As soon as George was in the water, there’s an immediate time limit on how much you can shoot and how much we need to make the scene work. It was freezing, a lot colder than it looks! It was quite strange, being on a dingy, circling him, and you’re shouting stuff, with the waves crashing.’

On the Scottish film scene ‘From what I hear, there are quite a lot of interesting projects just coming out, so it’s an exciting time. Unfortunately, there isn’t that whole collective thing with filmmakers hanging out. There’s no particular movement that I know of. If there is, I’ve not been invited!’

For Those in Peril is on limited release from Fri 4 Oct.

Until The River Runs Red Trailer

For Those in Peril

  • 3 stars
  • 2013
  • UK
  • 1h 33min
  • 18
  • Directed by: Paul Wright
  • Written by: Paul Wright
  • Cast: Kate Dickie, George MacKay, Michael Smiley
  • UK release: 4 October 2013

A young misfit is the only survivor from a fatal fishing trip in which five men from his remote Scottish community are lost at sea. When the superstitious locals lay the blame on him, he resolves to recover the lost men.