Founded by Edinburgh-based screenwriter and director Neil Rolland, Write Shoot Cut offers a platform to up and coming filmmakers to discover their talent and also showcases their work at local cinemas. Whatever aspect of the creative process you are interested in whether it is writing, directing, editing or producing, the opportunity is there to get involved, learn new skills and most importantly have fun. I’ve been fortunate enough to attend events held by the Write Shoot Cut team and have taken the opportunity to network with those involved. The enthusiasm behind the projects is inspiring. As part of new movement Tartan Features which encourages and celebrates micro-budget feature filmmaking, Neil Rolland’s debut titled ‘Take it Back and Start All Over’ screened at Edinburgh Filmhouse ahead of short film ‘James and the Urn’ by Louis Clark.
James and the Urn
Originally written as part of a ‘death trilogy’, themes of loss and mourning are ever-present in Louis Clark’s short ‘James and the Urn’. The dialogue light narrative follows the eponymous James (Ryan Gerrard) who finds his grandmother dead in her home. The grief-stricken boy struggles to cope as life moves on around him, so takes action in order to come to terms with death. An impressive mix of tight camera work, efficient editing and unnerving sound design help convey an atmosphere of melancholy and loneliness as James blocks out the world around him.
Take it Back and Start All Over
This ambitious film was shot over just five days on a budget of £1000 and is a fantastic example of using the resources available to you to the very best effect. The plot tracks the turbulent relationship of Jennie (Kerri Clarence) and Brian (Neil Rolland) as they struggle with the domesticities of marriage following the birth of their daughter. The message at the film’s core is one that most of us can relate to whereby the humdrum routine of day-to-day life continually gets in the way of the desire to follow your dreams. For Jennie, her dream is music and she yearns to rediscover her self as a singer-songwriter, despite the lack of support from her selfish husband. The strain ultimately takes its toll on the couple and the acting out of their struggles is always very natural and often moving, helped by the fact that Jennie and their daughter Evie are played by Neil’s actual wife and daughter. This allows for a Blue Valentine-esque flashback which really works, contrasting wedded bliss with marital misery. The supporting cast, which includes Kyle Titterton and Game of Throne’s star Kate Dickie are equally excellent in their roles. ‘Take it Back and Start All Over’ is very much a personal project for Neil Rolland who was writer, director, actor, editor, producer as well as writing all of the original songs used in the film, so to take all that on board and have a great film at the end of it all is an astounding achievement.