Tuesday, January 08, 2008


You’ll be glad to hear I made it through another Christmas and New Year without stabbing my nearest and dearest - mainly by munching my way through Iceland party platters and downing a crate of Lidl cava with voddie chasers. Not to mention scoffing those Thornton Continentals and the two-for-a-fiver boxes of choccies nobody’s ever heard of that my cheapskate sister-in-law bought at Poundstretchers and foisted on everybody.

You can tell the party season’s over. In most public places the air reeks of Intimately Beckham and dazzling white trainers can now be spotted pounding the pavements. Meanwhile I console myself with Teletext holidays and the sales - at least until the credit card statement drops on the mat with a dull and threatening thud, which is okay by me since I don’t plan on eating again till March.

So what have we got to look forward to in 2008? If it’s film and telly, forget it. All that’s happening film-wise in Scotland is an imported horror, Clive Barker’s Book of Blood, currently shooting in Edinburgh and so keeping a handful of local crew off benefits. Elsewhere (ie. Glasgow) there’s the DIY feature, Running in Traffic, the reason why GMAC’s been shut since November. Maintenance and stocktaking, my arse. Do their backers – City of Glasgow, Scottish Screen, the BBC and the Film Council - know they’re dogging it? Still, if it's the only way to get a local film produced then good luck to them. Good luck too to Yasmin Fedda whose documentary, Breadmakers, is off to Sundance. Go girl.

Less enticing is Skillset Scotland’s ‘career makeover competition’. A week at the Berlinale Talent Campus? You’ll be beating off offers galore I’m sure, sadly none of them to do working with film or TV. Or a week working at games company, Sky, learning all about video production which chances are you know all about anyway since you can’t apply to Skillset unless you’ve got a HND in coffee-stirring. Or how about a week’s worth of office slavery at IWC? A must for anybody’s CV and yet another version of the sit-up-and-beg mentality that passes for unmissable opportunity. I’m sure somebody’s patting themselves on the back with this one.

Scouring the papers I notice another of those tiresome items in the Sunday Herald predicting what 2008 will look like. Second bottom of the heap is arts which for some reason (er, Creative Scotland?) now includes the entire Scottish screen sector. Quoted is Anne Bonnar, theatre fan and recently-appointed director of the transitional body for CS. If you can stay awake -

I'm optimistic. The development of Creative Scotland will challenge some of our thinking about how to create a leading cultural development agency. As a small country in confident times, we have the opportunity to create a support structure which will enable our artists and creative communities to deliver for Scotland and the world. That's a fantastic opportunity.

The challenge for the arts and artists in Scotland has never been about talent or creativity. Its been about recognition and appropriate support and advocacy, here and abroad. Many artists, and those involved in the broader creative industries, are looking for clear leadership and for a co-ordinated approach to investment, development and advocacy across the sector. Over recent years there has been uncertainty about future support structures.

The Scottish government has made a commitment to the formation of Creative Scotland, which will have a leadership role across the arts, screen and the creative sector. During 2008 the role, shape and style of Creative Scotland will become clear as will its relationships with other public agencies, local authorities and others. This will present opportunities and perhaps some challenges for the arts and creative community and has the potential to make a positive difference to the arts in and from Scotland.

Bonnar's statement, delivered in deadly corporate-speak, is utter tosh. I don’t know a single filmmaker, writer, artist or musician who’s looking for leadership. They’re looking for money, pure and simple, just like all those chair polishers in the arts worried whether they’ll still be in a job by the time CS kicks in. As far as film and TV is concerned, what kind of leadership from Anne Bonnar can persuade a London distributor or sales company to buy into a Scottish film or TV show? All the optimism in the world won’t get a film financed or on to our screens.

Yadda yadda, so it goes. If Anne Bonnar or anybody else thinks I’m too pessimistic then go ask my 18-year-old niece, J, who worked hard at school, passed her exams, held down not one but three part-time jobs and last year enrolled for a media course at a well-known university. I just heard J’s quit the course, as she says – ‘to get a life’. Waking up to the fact that four years of study and a five-figure debt guarantees nothing, J knows her chances of even an average-waged job in film or telly are practically zilch. She’s now signed up with Strathclyde Police.

Unlike Anne Bonnar, at least my niece won’t have to worry about the ‘uncertainty about future support structures’. Neither will I. After hearing about J's decision, I can’t convince myself that another year of naysaying on this blog is in any way life-affirming or even fun so after 158 posts I’m off to try something more profitable – and positive. I might even write a half-decent script.

Thanks to the many thousands of you who’ve read this blog, especially those who took the time to comment. Good luck to you all.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Leanne,

I just wanted to thank you for all the time, effort and flair you've put into this blog. From a readers perspective it's always been a fun distraction from the tawdry world of film.

But yes, this industry is all utter bollocks. A never ending series of badly thought out hoops to jump through which can easily swallow decades of a life and with what at the end ?

If you're really really REALLY lucky... no more than 90 minutes of distraction for an audience.

To get there you have don armour and a fixed grimace, nod your head vigorously whilst listening to utter nonesense input from public sector wanabees, hustle and plead with people to work for free, and then eventaully find yourself in soho bars supping drinks with wannabee big shots who 50% of the time turn out to be more accountants and coke dealers than film producers.

It's all smoke and mirrors and we have to accept... Britain doesn't really have a film industry. We have a tiny little brand churning out period pieces (cause internationally brand Britain is really Dickens and Austen).. and that's all the world wants and expects from us.

So stuff it.. i'm off to build an eco house.... with all the effort involved in pulling together low budget productions, i reckon with the same effort i can build myself a rather lovely little world all of my own.

An uadience is just strangers, and they are NOT worth it !

good luck to you and everyone else.

1/09/2008 12:57 PM  
Blogger Leanne Smith said...


When I started this blog over two years ago, I thought I didn't know much about the film business. Now I know there's nothing worth knowing because there is no film business in Scotland.

Talking to other folks who want to make films or TV, I couldn't find anybody who makes a living out of it, apart from people who tried but ended up on the other side of the desk, working for public bodies. That doesn't make them wrong - they're only trying to get by too, even if they're getting paid to hold up the flimsy scenery to make us believe there's a business out there worth working for.

The best way forward is to treat filmmaking like the hobby it is. That way some films will get made - they might not be any good, but like any hobby, you do it because you get pleasure from it, not because you expect to make a living out of it. To expect anything else will drive you mad in the end.

I suspect you're right about people spending decades not getting films made, despite all the so-called support. What kind of life is that?

Building an eco house is surely a better bet. It beats losing your house on some film that never made it to the cinema. So good luck with the house and I hope you enjoy living there!


1/09/2008 1:32 PM  
Blogger Paul Campbell said...


You can't just go.

1/10/2008 12:35 AM  
Blogger potdoll said...


But I'm STILL LAUGHING at your Last King of Scotland review!

Can't you set up a new blog, just for reviews?


1/10/2008 10:40 AM  
Blogger Leanne Smith said...

Thanks guys,

Who knows, maybe I'll do something when I'm in a better frame of mind. Meanwhile I'm trying not to listen to that bit of my brain labelled vanity, hoping somehow that with enough protests from my legions of fans (as if) I can be persuaded not to quit.


1/10/2008 11:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seems a shame, but if you write your next script with as much wit and humour as your blogs you'll do well.

1/10/2008 5:08 PM  
Blogger Far Away said...

don't go!

1/12/2008 4:45 PM  
Blogger Far Away said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1/12/2008 4:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Leanne write that script !

Good luck with the writing. And remember writers can live anywhere. Yes there is hardly any industry here and my one friend who is 'successful' now lives in London.

m - short film production blog

1/14/2008 10:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Don't give up. I emailed your blog some time ago with regard to your 'Folk Right Off' entry, with regard to competitions, and so on.

Two years is not a long time in this business - it's a vocation, and the boots in the ba's will eventually stand you in good stead - it's unfair, not meritocratic, riddled with nepotism - but - if you are a good writer, you WILL, at some point, get a break, and a chance to show what you can do.

Someone else above blogs that you can live anywhere as a writer - that's true - I'm earning a decent living at the moment, writing for good telly, and know others doing the same - I've lived up here since I started writing ten years ago, and go down south for meetings when necessary - I haven't worked in Scotland for the past nine years.

Some suggestions as to how to start earning a living and learning the craft:
1. Get a London agent - that might stick in the craw of some, but that's where the industry is (Leanne - I think you have a couple of shorts to your name - use these to get your foot in agents' doors, if you don't have one already);
2. Write, write and write some more - and be realistic - a cold script is going to be treated as a sample, so don't write your six part multi-million pound series, that is your baby - no-one is going to give a first-timer money for that;
3. Don't hold your breath on the dullards at Scottish Screen helping you, and stop spending money going to courses from people under-qualified to deliver them (yes, I do mean the Mead Kerr courses, as well as the Reid Kerr ones) - get an agent, and get meetings with companies in London and Manchester - the two hubs of UK TV drama - if that means you get a job on Hollyoaks - be glad of it, learn from it, but remember your own stuff and that you're better than that - just keep writing your own stuff, so that when you get the opportunity, you're ready.

If you are giving up after two years, Leanne - then maybe it's not for you. Scottish Screen is staffed by people who never-were - but, you can't let that put you off. By-pass them.

1/14/2008 4:49 PM  
Blogger Leanne Smith said...

Thanks to everyone who's commented recently, but especially the above comment for the great advice and encouragement.

Don't be under the impression I'm giving up on this game, hard as it is. I've been writing for a lot longer than two years (I was only referring to this blog, not my own stuff). It's been more like 5-6 years and even at that, I'm a rank newcomer.

I know getting an agent is where its at, but I figured that it might be easier if I had a couple of decent sample scripts to show as well as my films. I guess it also depends what kind of agent is worth getting - the ones with 100 clients on their books aren't likely to put a novice up for a gig, just as a boutique, exclusive agent isn't going to add a untried (and usually the case) token Scottish talent to their books. Either way, I guess you just have to keep trying.

And what kind of script is worth writing on spec? Aren't feature length scripts a waste of time when nobody, not even established folks based in London can get a feature made? I know enough to know shorts are a waste of time. Which leaves TV and radio I suppose, a better prospect than pie-in-the-sky no-budget feature films.

I haven't spent any money on courses since I graduated. I figure that the people running them are only doing it because they can't get paid work either. No offence to them, but I feel I've learned enough theory. It's about getting new scripts written and rewritten and selling them that concerns me now.

Scottish Screen have enough to worry about than people like me. Anyway, it looks like they'll be gone in six months, along with the rest of what passes for a film industry here.

Thanks again for all the advice,

1/14/2008 5:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good - that's great to hear!

You will need a couple of decent samples to show to agents, as well as your shorts - don't fret over which type of agent, and so on - they don't all fit the stereotype - you might get a small agent who's an arse, or an agent with a bigger company who's a doll - don't prejudge it. My suggestion would be to approach it methodically, and the sooner the better. Don't just send stuff cold into their (always massive) slush piles.

Choose your top ten, then your next ten, and so on. Approach your top ones first, and do something like this -

1. Send a letter/email to say that you're looking for representation for film AND television work, and enclosing your samples (DVD, and some paper) - say that you will call on a specific day, at a specific time, to find out if they are interested. Tell them also in this opening letter, that if they are interested, you will be in London on the week of XXX, and would love to meet up. Also, in this letter, enclose a brief CV, highlighting any...highlights - awards, commendations, anything to catch the eye.

Then phone them - if you don't get a satisfactory response (ie, they're not in), ask when a suitable time would be. Persist, but be nice.

If your samples are any good, you you'll get some meetings. From there - my advice would be choose the person you like best (don't be swayed by preconceptions of what agencies are like) - you'll be working with these people a long time.

The reason I say film and telly is - working in telly, you can earn a living writing, and establish a name, while you're pursuing your own babies. And you'll learn stuff - even from the shitty jobs (and there are many).

Good luck, and write your hind legs off.

1/14/2008 11:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry (and finally) - realised I hadn't answered a couple of your points. Obviously, the following is only one opinion, but -

1. Agents putting novices up for gigs, or untried, or token, talent on their books -
Don't believe that - agents can't afford to miss out on the next big thing or a good earner (even if that's some way down the line) - they won't take anyone on as a token - it's a waste of their time - they'll take you on if they see something in you, and that might be only potential. And they will punt you for gigs - it's in their interests to do so. They'll attempt to set up lots of meetings for you - and, in fact, you will be considered for lots of things in the early days, because, for all the producers know, you really could be the next big thing.

Don't believe the cliches about agents - the ones who behave like feudal lords/ladies are just arseholes - the majority are business people who want to make money - and you are their means of doing that.

2. What makes a good spec script:
My suggestion would be a feature, or a TV pilot (60 mins) - yes, your feature almost certainly will have a life as a sample, and won't get made - on the other hand, the beauty of writing is that nothing is ever wasted - if your feature is your baby that you've been nursing for ages, and have a real passion for, then that passion will still be there in 5 years - when you've established yourself a bit, shown you can do it, and have some experience under your belt - then, you may be in a position to re-write that feature (with your newly gained experience) and try and get it off the ground.

And on that point - writing is a profession, like any other - and the more you do it, the better you get. So, chances are your first attempt at a feature script won't be very good (mine wasn't). You wouldn't expect an apprentice carpenter to make a stunning chair on her/his first attempt. BUT - maybe the ideas are great - and maybe you can re-visit it in years ahead.

Occasionally - very occasionally - someone will get a first feature off the ground at a very early stage in their career. But this only tends to happen when the diddies at Scottish Screen and the like decide to champion said (writer)Director. My opinion, as stated before, is that these people tend to be exposed for their lack of experience, as soon as they're out from beneath that quango umbrella - pamperred victims of the quango hype (eg, Mackenzie and Ramsey).

You're in it for the long term. IF you're good, you'll get there - but expand your horizons beyond the quangos, and beyond our borders.

Best of luck.

1/16/2008 12:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I absolutley love this blog and recommend to everyone I meet that they read it.
It will be very sad to see you go but if giving up the blog will disperse the negative energy then I think you should take the shot at happiness and f**k the film business.
I continue to work in the film business but the best move I ever made was to give up my subscription to Screen International - seriously, if you don't read about how everyone else is supposedly doing better than you (which they're not because SI just prints the press release) then it's possible to live a happy life free of all the bollocks and just focus on the good.
It might be nice for you to come back to this blog once in a while with some scathing comments though! :) Better still, why not a video blog - you could even make 5cents on advertising?

1/20/2008 4:51 PM  
Blogger Leanne Smith said...

I haven't checked in to the blog lately but all your comments are noted. Thanks.

To the above commentee, I just want to say you've hit it on the head - it's hard to be positive about your own work if you dwell too long on the shortcomings of the system. All you do is fight your own corner.

But don't think I haven't been tempted to post again - the recent hoo-ha over Anne Mensah at BBC Scotland giving her pals at Shed yet another gig goes unremarked when their proposal's obviously rubbish, never mind the fact they're based down south. I caught an ep. of Waterloo Road the other night and thought it was a spoof, the dialogue's so naff.

Blah, blah, blah...

1/20/2008 6:16 PM  
Blogger Running In Traffic said...

I am one of the producers of Running in Trafic, the so called DIY feature you speak about. For your information...The film was entirely financed by Dabhand Films executive producer himself and an American investor. The films budget is 50K. The support from GMAC has come from 'support only' which does not mean financial support. GMAC is not stocktaking at the moment either. Scottish Screen were infact presented with the oppourtunity to invest in the forthcoming film but declined.

For more accurate information please consult the production company or please visit the films website at www.runningintraffic.com

many thanks

1/21/2008 3:29 PM  
Blogger Leanne Smith said...

First off, let me congratulate you on getting your film made.

But if you read my piece properly you'll find you've got a case of the misconstrues. GMAC was shut from the 27th November until early January. On GMAC's own site it stated they were closed for maintenance and stocktaking. By backers I was referring to GMAC's backers, not the backers of your film. How you finance your film is your business, but it strikes me as more than coincidence that the boss of GMAC, Dale Corlett, is the director of Running in Traffic, which was shooting during this time. The fact that GMAC is funded by the city, SS and other parties ought to be a matter of concern when the place, supposedly a facility for local filmmakers, shuts shop for over a month. I assume Dale Corlett was still picking up his wages as GMAC's director while the place was shut, and let's face it, he wasn't doing much stocktaking - according to their own site, they have three camcorders and an old edit suite. It's also no coincidence that Dabhand have their offices at GMAC too.

Now I'm not slagging off GMAC, Dale Corlett or Dabhand, but trying to get any support at the publicly funded GMAC is on a par with trying to get support from SS - you don't. For the sake of decency it would have better not to have lied about the closure on the GMAC site.

I hope that's clear. So good luck with your film, and no need to thank me for the plug...


1/21/2008 7:55 PM  
Blogger Marc Twynholm said...


'Facts are chiels that winna ding!'

I am one of the other producers of Running in Traffic. Your comments are still inaccurate.

Let me first point out that the Dabhand office in Gmac was and still remains an entirely independant outlet. The collaboration with director Dale Corlett happened during his period of annual leave and therefore he was available to direct the film without 'dogging it' as you so inaccurately put it.

I have read your piece thoroughly and it appears that whereas you do not directly state that there is a corrolation between GMAC closing and our film being made, you are heavily hinting at it and I do not take kindly to this accusation however slight you intended it. We have been working extremely hard over the last 18 months to get this project off the ground and our film is entirely funded without the aid of any public sector money. We were rejected by both SS and GMAC for films we submitted; we do not curry favour with either organisation. Our other films have also been privately financed with no assistance from any funding bodies and still we have been winning awards.

Everything we have achieved has been achieved from our own efforts.

Much better to have consulted the production company and chosen positive words of encouragement in an industry which struggles to get work done. May I also add that we have provided employment to a wholly Scottish crew when times have been lean.

Any concerns you may have towards GMAC should be directed towards GMAC and should not involve our film publicly.

Dale Corlett is an extremely hard working individual who has earned my enormous respect both in his commitment to film making and to those struggling to make films. Do not belittle the man, we need more people like him.

As for our film, we don't rely on luck, we work hard at our craft, it is our life and our passion and anything we achieve we do so on merit.

Please choose your words carefully in future.

Marc Twynholm

1/22/2008 12:26 AM  
Blogger Leanne Smith said...

You doth protest too much Marc.

I don't doubt what you say. It just looks very bad when GMAC's shut for over a month and its director is making a film for a company with an office in GMAC. You may not wish me to link these two facts, but facts is facts, even if they don't amount to a hill of beans.

You're not the only filmmakers in town, just as you're not the only filmmakers who were ever rejected by funders. What about those who tried but failed to get any help or support from GMAC from November to January only to find the doors shut? Then again, GMAC's always had a history of operating as a private wee club for whoever happen to be in there. It's been going on for years, not just under Dale Corlett. It's ironic that you complain about me stating the obvious when you yourselves know what it's like to get rejected.

I'm not having a go at anyone personally, but I think Dale has to decide whether he wants to run a publicly-funded resource, run his own production company, Jigsaw, or work for you guys. Of course you think he's a hard-working guy worthy of your respect - he's been working for you, not us.

So drop the righteous act. Spare a thought for those other hardworking filmmakers out there, the ones with no backers, no access to gear and no access to GLASGOW MEDIA ACCESS CENTRE.

So please, don't patronise me with your 'we don't rely on luck' blah. I said good luck to you sincerely, take it or leave it. You don't have the monopoly on passion, commitment and hard graft.

And don't tell me how to choose my words, Marc. You're not the first but you certainly won't be the last.


1/22/2008 10:18 AM  
Blogger Marc Twynholm said...


You sound like some disgruntled wannabe film maker. I have never complained about not getting funding, we don't complain we just get on with it. Neither do I need to explain to you, who put misplaced comments on the forum and pass them off as factual information, that if you had done your homework properly prior to writting your article you would have found out that although GMAC was closed for maintenance, as it seems to be every year at that time and not because we were shooting a film, I don't recall us shooting a film this time last year but do recall it being closed for maintenance - coincidence? - it still operated as normal during the first two weeks of our shoot.

So your 'facts are facts' are in fact infactual.

Your writting in other articles I have read is largely doom and gloom. We were at a seminar tonight called 'How to make a film on a micro budget' and the tag line was 'You don't have the right to make a film', in other words no one owes you anything, go out and do it yourself. These words were from film makers who have went out and made their films despite the rejections.

Stop complaining and just do it. There are too many moaners in this business who think they have the right to funding and quite honestly they do not. If you are in this business to make films for fun then do it for fun. If you want to be in this game for business then that's a whole different ball game, it's a tough business and it doesn't get any easier.

We have been at Sundance, won Audience awards and picked up several gongs and a Bafta for our work and still we don't get funded! We don't complain, we find other ways and work hard at making the best films we possibily can with the limited resources we have.

What are your credentials? What give you or anyone else the right to just expect a lump of money to fall into your lap?

And we pay our rent in GMAC along with all the other residents. If you want an office there then join the queue and pay the rent along with the rest.

I'm sure that you will find no solace in this and that despite your mis information you will continue to make 2 + 2 = 5.

The Scottish film community is very small and it soon becomes apparent who are the people with the right attitude.

If you care to show me your work I'd be delighted to view it. You can always access our work through the Scottish Screen best of shorts 2007 or follow our progress at www.runningintraffic.com


Marc Twynholm

1/22/2008 11:46 PM  
Blogger Leanne Smith said...

When people are reduced to insults –

“you sound like some disgruntled wannabe”

“stop moaning”

“doom and gloom”

- it means I’ve won the argument.

Marc, let’s get something straight here. A publicly-funded resource was closed to the public. End of story. No amount of insults, incorrect assumptions or convoluted justifications can alter that fact.

Face it, we’re all hobbyists. You, me and hundreds of others have made films on our own dime. We’ve all scraped money from our day jobs, other businesses and rich relatives to indulge our VANITY projects. Sorry to disabuse you of the facts yet again, but I’ve never been rejected for funding because I’ve never applied for any so I'm not, as you say, some disgruntled wannabe. Wannabe are people who want to but haven't. I have.

Like you, I don’t claim the right to make films, but I do claim the right to use my own blog to speak out against ripoff companies and incompetent agencies who claim to support film while millions of pounds of taxpayers and Lottery money are squandered on salaries and offices at a time when virtually no films are getting made. Do you think the National Theatre of Scotland would still be in business if they didn’t produce any plays?

Maybe if people were more disgruntled we’d see more films getting properly funded, so filmmakers wouldn’t have to dig into their own pockets or pay people nothing or less than minimum wage or work uninsured for murderous hours on end just so they can make movies that, chances are, won’t get seen beyond the cast and crew because there’s no way to get them any kind of release.

You mention having ‘the right attitude’, implying somehow that I don’t. To suggest there’s such a thing as a ‘right’ attitude is the way the Nazis went about their business. It’s just not helpful, just as GMAC being shut isn’t helpful.

As it is, I closed this blog because even I got fed up with finding nothing positive to say. Besides, I’d rather get on with something more creative, so don’t bother coming back with any more abuse because frankly, I can’t be fucked replying. Just be thankful Marc that you could afford to make your film. Most of us can’t.

1/23/2008 1:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You tell 'em, Leanne. If folk are daft enough to spend their own money then that's their prob.

1/23/2008 3:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heavens! These comments are even more interesting than the blogs used to be. What next? Pistols at dawn? the luvvies are revolting!

1/25/2008 12:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Marc Twynholm says:

"...it soon becomes apparent who are [sic] the people with the right attitude."

Pretty Gestapo-esque!

While lauding your own achievements, you're a wee bit economic with the truth - I presume the BAFTA you mention was the Best Newcomer Bafta which Mr Larkin won a couple of years back - a Scottish Bafta, not a UK one. And Bryan shouldn't have been elligable for it, since he wasn't a new-comer.

Stop trying to bully the blogger with the weight of dubious achievements - what are your credentials, you ask - what are yours? I've done a hell of a lot more than you, won more awards than your wee pishy vanity projects, and I've given up trying to get funding up here.

The blogger is entitled to her opinion.

PS - I'm the 'Anonymous'who posts above about getting agents, etc...

1/25/2008 5:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"wee pishy vanity projects"

ooooh blog comments have never been so juicy!!

1/25/2008 6:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was me who wrote "pishy wee vanity projects", and it was wrong and unprofessional - anyone who gets a film off the ground in this country deserves some amount of credit.

By way of explanation, I was angry - I can't abide a bully, you see, and that's what Twynholm was trying to do - crush the spirit of a young, spunky filmmaker. Worse, he was inflating the achievements of his work to do it. To wit:

- Aforesaid BAFTA - a Scottish BAFTA (ie, a regional BAFTA) - up against what? (not to mention Bryan's inelligability);
- "providing employment for a whole Scottish crew" - not on a budget of 50k, he's not - how many, if any, were/are being paid anything close to industry minimum - a no-budget project primarily serves the principals interests, not the crews' - so no moral high ground here;
- To what degree is the GMAC office subsidised?
- Running in Traffic - apart from the dubious interpretation of facts in Bryan's profile it is written/produced by and starring Bryan; just as 'Scene' was written, produced, scored, edited by and starring Bryan and Marc (who also produced). And Running for Traffic to be directed by the bloke you rent an office from. So, no Vanity element there, then.

Now, the above, of itself, is no bad thing - maybe even admirable. But not if you try to pass yourself off as a successful and lauded film-maker, and use this to try and bash someone who's up and coming.

Marc - I lowered myself to your level by bleating about awards and such, and I'm embarrassed by that. BUT - who the hell are you to offer to 'view' someone's work, like your opinion carries weight - the Best of Scottish Shorts? A phony BAFTA? Yet another film made on the back of the goodwill of others? Gis a break.

Leanne - this is my last post here, as I know you're knocking it on the head. Best of luck - you're writing on these blogs alone shows great wit and style, and you'll get there. Most of my work is down south, but if I'm ever in a position to suggest some work your way, I will.

1/25/2008 10:44 PM  
Blogger Leanne Smith said...

Hi Anonymous,

I promised myself I would withdraw from all this nonsense since I never meant to cause offence to the people making Running in Traffic on any kind of personal level. I was having a go at GMAC, not the makers of RIT. For the record I only ever made one attempt to use the facilities at GMAC and was told that I couldn't. I never went back because they were so discouraging, so I worked my arse off to pay for my own cameras and edit suite.

I'm touched by your post, I really am. Thanks for defending the right to free speech, but I think you can understand why I can't keep up this blog. If you can't level even the slightest criticism of any agency or body that lives off public money but doesn't deliver to those who need it then it's time to call it a day.

I wouldn't take Marc's offer to view my work as him somehow taking a superior position. I guess he was being genuine so I'll leave it at that. Seems we're all living in this X Factor culture - you see it on TV every day - the five second reaction shot of those being judged. I don't make great claims for what I've done so far but I'd rather put my work in front of experienced people who can actually help me get a paid gig, not so it can be unpicked by those who can't, no matter how well-meaning they are.

Thanks again. Good luck with all your projects,


1/26/2008 12:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you want to see real industry, enthusiasm and enterprise by people who don't run around with a begging bowl held out for any of the( miniscule) funds that might be on offer from the various agencies, take a look at the work of the Finnigans from Coatbridge. They produce one feature a year on average, just because they want to , they get a buzz out of it and they got their last film premiered at the EIFF. It can be done and they do it , so stick around Leanne, it is possible to make films in Scotland despite what the prophets of doom say.

1/26/2008 10:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

'I promised myself I would withdraw from all this nonsense since I never meant to cause offence to the people making Running in Traffic on any kind of personal level. '

Then Leanne, keep up your promise and do so... Oppps too late you have broken it already.

You are laughable...You are, by your own rights a liar and a no gooder if you let this go on and do not do what your should have done before things got rotten on here, spurned by your own hand and whats more are in control of this thumbsucking shit blog and no doubt you must be loving it. You broke a promise to yourself and everybody else and now you can edit every post until your heart is content and you are still letting it go on.

Do us a favour and delete all of this crap.

The recent anonymous poster is even more laughable...Who are you...?

Or let me guess it is Leanne again?? tut tut.

Tywnholm was setting the record straight...Leanne's publications were completly unaccurate regarding GMAC, Dale Corlett and the Running in Traffic production from the beginning and now it's all gone a wee bit funny on here.

VANITY my arsehole . Anyone who writes , directs and acts in there own projects deserves any kudos for getting out there and doing it in Scotland. Go suck your thumb somewhere else.

1/27/2008 6:49 PM  
Blogger Leanne Smith said...

And just where am I supposed to go to suck my thumb? It's MY blog, ya daft prick. Anyway, haven't you got a vanity project to finish?

Sorry folks.

If the hysterical (they're usually deluded actors, hence the dyslexic spelling) insist on abusing me then I'll keep right on publishing their comments because if nothing else it shows why the Scottish film biz is fucked.


1/27/2008 7:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry FOLKS...Listen to yourself, as if you have a fan base...(haha) You can't even stay on the subject of the arguement you started without resorting to 'straw
clutching'to win an audience with your Paisley pole dancing patter.

You were the one name calling from the beginning and wagging your uninformed finger around your keyboard with your wacky notions about everything from 'secret clubs' to the classy language we're getting now.

I'm not an actor either but I do know the people you are talking about and if you had ever met one of them then you would saying some very different things. The power of assumption has taken over you sweetheart and it amounts to nothing more than a tacky 'blog of bitching'. Your readers deserve a break or some decent threads to get them motivated. The very nature of your blog is primarily to piss and moan.

If you had an substance or talent for that matter then you would be writing for the tabloids or even the horoscopes.

I don't know who you think you are, but if I were you I would go back to spinning yourself around the poles in your thong.

On the upside, there are far more reasons why the Scottish Film industry is almost non existant.

We are a breed or 'CANNAE DAE THATS'

And as soon as anybody proves otherwise then this happens.


1/27/2008 11:12 PM  
Blogger Marc Twynholm said...


All this annonimity is very discouraging. It seems anyone can pass comment and feel 'safe'.

You were correct about the offer, I didn't make it to show anyone up. There is a lot of talent out there and it needs to be nurtured and you are right when you say there isn't enough support.

My original protest, and still my protest, is that you have lumped the closing of GMAC, the hiring of Dale Corlett as Director and our film in the same bag because conveniently they all happened at the same time.

The Finnigans are a great example of positive film making. They produce clever and witty films time and again.

I was not lauding our achievements as mentioned by anonymous (who are these people they are so scared of standing up for their words - cowards?) but merely highlighting that success in any form does not guarantee you or give you the right to a hand out. I have been in business for nearly 30 years now and understand that very well.

I will not comment any further on this blog as I still have a film to complete. I only wish ALL film makers out there good shooting and wish them every success, whether they are filming for the hell of it or trying to make a career (and it is still possible to do so).

Also there is nothing vain about our film. We not only hope to achieve recognition for it but also to make a profit from it. This is where the real hard work comes in and we are already on our way down that road.

The Scottish film business is only 'fucked' if we give in. Some of the best shorts I saw last year were made for under £1000.

Scottish film is dead: long live Scottish film.

Marc Twynholm
(never posts as Anonymous)

1/27/2008 11:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Why are you allowing this fanny to rant - delete the cunt!!!!!!


1/27/2008 11:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


1/27/2008 11:31 PM  
Anonymous Bryan Larkin said...


Thank you for all your posts about our film Running in Traffic.
I did attempt to post something a few days ago when I was told about this site from some of our crew members, but it has heated up a bit since.

I cannot say that all of these posts are accurate or even really all that positive, but nonetheless it is good to see that the film is being talked about. No such thing as bad publicity.

As vain a venture as it may appear to be (at least by some on here), I honestly believe that Running in Traffic is a story that really should be told, (to those who care)no matter what it takes, everybody says that about their films. You can't blame us. One of the many reasons the film has been made with so much involvement from myself is because I like to be very involved in my own films, from the writing to producing and acting. It's a full on hobby. There is not much wrong with this, except what some might say. Isn't all art in vain to varying degrees? I have met many filmmakers, writers and writer/director/actors...Tarantino for one and people applaud them for their contribution to the world of cinema. I just want to do the same. Take it or leave it.

In my defense I would like to point out that the Bafta Scotland award I received in the fall of 2006 was, to my knowledge, a legitimente win.

Although I had actually appeared in a few productions prior to Scene, none of these were recognisable to the Bafta committee to qualify me or anybody else in a similar position, for a Best First Time Performance nomination. As I am led to believe the catagory rules do have several stipulations - Lead roles, time on screen etc. To which end I was eligible for nomination. Other than that I cannot comment.

The rules have since been changed.

Farren Morgan, another actor nominated in my catagory that year, had also appeared in numerous other films at the time of his nomination.

In closing I do sincerly hope that our paths do cross one of these moments(it is a small industry) and we can set a few things straight, if not then I wish you all the very best with all of your film career and blogs.

Warm Regards,

Bryan Larkin

1/27/2008 11:52 PM  
Blogger Leanne Smith said...

It's the end of January and a good time to finally pull the plug on Filmflam.

Please don't send any more comments. I won't be publishing them.

And thanks Andy for your support.


1/31/2008 10:44 AM  

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