Winners announced for List Scottish film scriptwriting competition

  • 30 April 2008
List Scottish film scriptwriting competition

Photo: Jannica Honey

The List and Metro Ecosse have uncovered a diverse group of winning scriptwriters for their 2008 short film competition in which contestants were challenged to think big on a small budget. A television producer, a schoolteacher and a wildlife guide comprise the all-female line-up chosen to have their work shot by professional directors.

Following the success of last year’s One Minute Wonder scriptwriting competition, The List and Metro Ecosse came up with a new format this year that called for scripts of between one and three minutes in length, capable of being shot in one day, and based on a ‘Big’ theme.

This year we introduced a new and exciting training element in the form of a script development workshop, run by award winning screenwriter and director Adrian Meade, as a key part of our shortlisting process.

The weekend workshop gave 35 entrants the opportunity to learn new techniques and to share ideas under the guidance of one of the industry’s leading professionals. A highlight of the weekend session came with selected scripts being read aloud to the participants by professional actors.

‘I can’t emphasise enough how much hearing your script presented by professionals helps you to think and to develop ideas,’ said Adrian as he recalled the enthusiastic feedback received from the competitors at his workshop.

Following the development weekend, all writers submitted fresh drafts of their scripts from which nine finalists were selected for interview by the judges, and from this group came our three winning entrants.

The terrorist attack on Glasgow airport inspired television producer Heather Day to create her winning entry-‘Big Mistake’. Her script is based on fictional characters caught up in a similar situation in which a doctor is faced with saving the life of someone who has tried to take the lives of innocent people. The harrowing scenes at Glasgow airport prompted Heather to consider the thoughts of the rescue workers and medical crews who fought to save the lives of those responsible for the attack.

‘Hopefully, once my film is shot, the audience will be able to identify with the incredibly difficult moral and ethical decisions that have to be made by the lead character,’ said Heather.

A once popular Scottish colloquialism ‘Big Jessie’ provided the inspiration for 'Learning Curves' the winning script produced by wildlife guide Jan Storie.

The theme of our competition prompted Jan to recall big moments in her life and how they could be applied to a film script. Learning the facts of life as a young girl provided Jan with the inspiration to create a script based on the story of a young man brought up by his grandparents who, faced with imparting their knowledge of this intimate topic turned for help to Scotland’s often inclement weather.

‘Learning Curves is a poignant look at how hard life can be for those reared outside the standard family unit,’ said Jan. ‘The use of comedy can also reveal the happy times brought by this unique experience, so three cheers for windy Scottish weather; it got me to the final of the competition’.

Childhood memories also served to inspire schoolteacher Margherita Still to craft her winning script-‘Milk Girl’. The script follows the journey of a 3-year-old girl to womanhood as seen through the eyes of a neighbour, and all of this in under 3 minutes. 'Milk Girl' tracks the growth of this young girl and shows how acts of kindness, and the thoughtfulness of others help her along the way.

‘I wanted my script to remember such kindness, and to make the audience aware of how thankful we can be for the helping hands we receive along the road of life,’ said Still.

The creativity displayed by the finalists clearly impressed the judges, as Oscar Askin, Managing Director of Metro Ecosse explains: ‘We were blown away by the many ways in which entrants had anchored the ‘Big’ theme into their scripts. I am delighted in particular with our three finalists who produced interesting and visual scripts which I know the team is anxious to develop and shoot in time for the Edinburgh International Film Festival.’

The work of the finalists will premiere at the Edinburgh International Film Festival before being entered for other festivals worldwide. This year also saw support coming from Scottish Screen Script Development Executive, and the organisers are delighted to welcome them on board.

Entries to our competition this year doubled to nearly 200, with scripts coming to us from the Shetlands to Dumfries and Galloway.

Our thanks go to Adrian Mead for his inspirational work with our contestants, pushing them as he did to look further and to think bigger in their search to find the ideal script. We are grateful also to our esteemed panel of judges: Claire Kerr- one of Scotland’s foremost producers, Matt Lloyd, Short Film Programmer for the Edinburgh International Film Festival, Oscar Askin, Managing Director of Metro Ecosse, and Robbie Allen, Scottish Screen Script Development Executive; all of whom gave of their valuable time and advice at no cost in support of our quest to find Scotland’s most promising scriptwriting talent.

Anyway let's meet the three finalists...

Heather Day

Heather Day

Age: 47 Lives: Glasgow
Job: Television Producer. Entertainment Factual
Favourite films: Fatal Attraction, Enduring Love and Jungle Book
Favourite pastimes: Skiing, watching films, Kelvingrove Gallery and visiting Loch Lomond
Favourite cinema: GFT or the Grosvenor
Favourite destinations: Palma, Paris, New York
Favourite directors: I am still waiting for my call from Steven Spielberg, Oliver Dahan and Tim Burton
Favourite actors: George Clooney just in case he's reading this and wants to star in my short. Tim Roth and Richard Dreyfuss,

Thought on competition so far…

‘Delighted, I am very excited about seeing my first script made into film. I have been writing for 4 years and this will be my first script to be made in to a film.’

Jan Storie

Jan Storie

Age: 54
Lives: Plockton near Kyle of Lochalsh
Job: Wildlife guide on Calums seal trip boats.
Education: Applied micro-biology at Strathclyde University
Favourite Films: Local Hero, Blade Runner and Shakespeare in Love
Favourite pastimes: Dinner at Plockton Shores, camping and walking. I love wildlife. I find inspiration when I am in the great outdoors.
Favourite Cinema: Arons and the travelling Screen Machine
Favourite destinations: Japan, Australia
Favourite directors: David Puttnam, Anthony Minghella and Sir David Lean
Favourite Actors: Robert Carlyle, Ewan Macgregor and Harrison Ford

Thoughts on competition so far...

'Writing with a theme was really interesting; I liked the challenge of the competition. This is actually my first short film script since completing the Introduction to Screenwriting with the Screen Academy.'

Margherita Still

Margherita Still

Age: 39
Lives: Edinburgh
Job: Teacher at Victoria Primary in Newhaven
Education: Industrial Design at Napier College
Favourite Films: That Sinking Feeling, Blade Runner and Local Hero
Favourite pastimes: Centotre restaurant and going up Arthur’s Seat with the kids and dogs
Favourite Cinema: Cameo
Favourite destinations: South Italy and the Scottish islands
Favourite directors: Bill Forsyth and Ridley Scott
Favourite actors: Robert De Niro, Johnny Depp, Dame Judi Dench and Jack Nicholson

Thought on competition so far...

'Brilliant, it’s been a real education. The workshop with Adrian was amazing. It’s much more than a competition, you feel supported all the way.'


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