Last night I sat in a small Dundee cinema with about 40 people and watched two short films. 'Clavel' by Shona Main and 'Sentinel of the Seas' from Zoe Jordan. We were the second house and the seats were warm. The films were charming and well made. At the end,the young film makers stood awkwardly accepting the audience's appluase. It was well deserved.
As I sipped my sparkling mineral water, bubbles in water as exciting as it gets for a non drinker, I looked around the room. The cultural great and good were there along with the usual malcontents and fancy footwearers. Everybody had enjoyed hauling out in the cold to support the film, the venue , the film makers; whatever. Should we do this again or could we do this again?
In recent months, I have bumped into film makers who have been frazzled by getting to an audience. An audience which is live, in one place, and preferably in comfy seats in the dark. YouTube and Vimeo deliver hits and comments but not the cinema audience rush of the crowd.
I have also witnessed the community cinema where grown adults forsake their home cinemas to come and sit on cairs or reats of variable squeakiness. The charm of local , from Birks to the Steeple, means a different cinema experience.
So here's the thing. How do we encourage young film makers to slip their precious infants into the spotlight?
A couple of thoughts. First thing, let's get the community folks to start to take short films into their programmes...I will start with my guys, if you start with yours. As my good friend and Previously...History Festival' supremo Susan Morrison says 'show stuff at a festival'. And maybe start getting the buzz around the regional colleges, lots of bright people there, and suggesting short film nights for new audiences.
And finally, the warmth around the Hannah Maclure Centre was positve and prompted these thoughts. All this on the day after Dundee lost its bid. But not its' self confidence.