Filmed in 2015, Action Against Activism was the first short film that I made after returning from teaching in Japan.
The film is a spoof charity advert and appeals to my dark and pretty twisted sense of humour. I wrote, filmed and edited in between the summer and autumn based on a concept that I’d dreamed up and amused me. The film premiered at the Radge Film Fest in Kirkcaldy at the Adam Smith Theatre.
Having worked on a number of film projects in Scotland since Summer 2014 (including Radge Land and The Unkindness of Ravens), and having been working away at STV for around a year, I decided that the time was right to get back into producing something of my own for fun. It was a refreshing change of pace from my TV work, and even though I was living in Edinburgh at the time, it only felt right that the film was made in Fife with local Fifers.
The film was intended to include as many people connected to and active in the local filmmaking and acting scene as I could find, as a way of re-establishing local connections after having been abroad for so long. A lot of familiar Fife filmmaking faces pop up in here. The film was written with Iain Leslie in mind; I felt his personality was exactly what I was looking for. Graham Scott was also a perfect fit for the lead villain – his deadpan expressions crack me up every time I watch it.
Despite being a very short film, filming took place over a few weeks due to the number of locations and the large cast, with different people being available on different days. The film was also adapted to suit the cast: the script was very loose, with plenty of room for improv. One actor, David Cruickshanks, was asked back for some additional shots that weren’t originally intended, as I was amused by his performance so much that I wanted to squeeze a bit more of him into the film.
It was a fun project with some fantastic people on board. I have to say thanks in particular to my frequent collaborator, Steven J Quinn, who did a brilliant job as our DOP (particularly on the torture scene, which I loved filming), as well as Emma Tully who did a great job on the brutal torture scene make up, and her brother Paul Tully and Stephanie Scade for their fantastic props. It was a blast to work with everyone and I’d do so again in a heartbeat.