Scotland Film Academy?

I don’t get this at all it seems another wasteful, spotlight grabbing move by corrupt self-serving Politicians who can’t even see further than tomorrows newspaper popularity polls. Sigh…let me take a minute…right, I’m through it.

A story from a little while ago on the BBC site tells us the details of the new Film School for Scottish people.

The new Scottish Screen Academy has been launched at the Edinburgh International Film Festival with the backing of the first minister…
…The venture, one of seven across the UK, will support new film makers and provide industry training…
…The academy will be based at Napier University’s Merchiston Campus and at Edinburgh College of Art. It will open in September…
…The Screen Academy network aims to improve skills in the industry by centralising courses offering film training.

It plans to educate fifty students a year in the art of film making. The funding is huge…

The seven academies will share £4.3m funding from the Skillset Film Skills Fund over two years, along with £6.5m per year of National Lottery money…
…The Scottish Executive is also providing £300,000 in the first two years [to the Scottish Academy].

That’s one hell of a lot of money, and in a time when Productions are leaving the UK en masse, and Scottish movies can’t even get into Scotland to film. I’ve banged on about this before, movies like Burns struggling for cash, Mary Queen of Scots filmed outside the UK, etc. What good is this? We’re going to train Scottish people who will leave the country to work in profitable industries, not a dying over taxed one.

It winds you up even more when you read the quotes from those involved…

Napier University principal Professor Joan Stringer said: “No longer will Scotland’s film talent have to head to London to seek a comprehensive education in film and television…

First Minister Jack McConnell said: “Scotland has a proud history of excellence in cinema. Our country has been used as a spectacular backdrop in many movies and Scottish actors have graced the screen in countless classics…

…”Good movies made by Scots, starring Scots and filmed in Scotland, have a huge impact on our economy and our confidence as a nation.”

What are they thinking? It’s obvious that the problem right now is not lack of talented crews and creatives, that is not what is stopping movies being made in Scotland or the UK. Burns, which is struggling even in Production has a huge Scottish and UK sign up, Gerard Butler is from Glasgow and he’s the lead! Like many other Scottish talent he’s also headed where the industry is, outwith the UK. This is not the problem, the problem it’s too expensive to make a movie in the UK.

So why isn’t this money being used to solve that problem? Why aren’t we addressing that issue and opening up the marketplace for Productions to come to the UK? Surely it’s at this point we can start thinking about training people in the movie industry, if we do it now we’re spending the money to educate and train a workforce that will leave the country when they start earning and provide another Government their taxes. Those are the taxes that the UK and Scottish Government are hoping to get their hands on in the future, not only to repay the costly educational investment. Not only that, but the profits of the movies they work on are outside the UK.

The question is, what benefit are the Scottish and UK Film Industry going to receive out of this? There may be more Scottish and UK workers in foreign movie industries, but this isn’t necessarily going to increase the number of movies made in the UK or Scotland.

Right, I’ve ranted enough about this subject, what are your views? Do you think this is a good idea for the countries industries, is it going to help raise them and how? Or do you agree and think that this is stage two in an as yet unstarted process to build the UK Film Industry back up?

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3 thoughts on “Scotland Film Academy?

  1. I need information about film academy in Scotland.

    I am liveing in Iran and studying photography in university of Art

    and i want to swich in film makeing,i would like to see what realy

    good for a person who love to show his work to someone who undrestand pleas send me your application form as soon as posible.

    I saw another dark side of the moon and i have lots of thing to say

    about country like iran which is burrning and nobody care.

    see u soon


  2. I agree Richard, it’s something this country fails to do in almost all avenues of Business. Forward thinking, planning and speculate to accumulate. We don’t do any of these things except on a small scale in small companies with people who have the guts to do it.

    All the money that has been misdirected and sold out to short lived projects could have been pulled together to boost the industry, reduce tax incentives, etc.

    Yet we don’t, and that worries me greatly.

  3. I just don’t understand how Britain, which cannot now do anything else industrially, does not go all out to rival Hollywood and become the centre of world film-making. It has the acting talent in abundance, a formidable culture of artistic creativity, wonderful hands-on skills and (to crown it all) The Language. The Language that almost every other country in the world speaks. This is a massive opportunity for a massive market, ever growing into the future, and Britain just stands by and watches while the crap culture of Hollywood gobbles it up and pollutes the world. Oh, for some political and/or business vision! Is there nobody in the UK with an illuminated brain, persuasive tongue and bold entrepreneur’s spirit who can make this country great again through the only thing it is really great at????

    Richard Wilson, Edinburgh

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