FESTIVAL: SFS at XpoNorth 2015

This year, thanks to the hard work of affiliate member Amanda Millen of ScreenHI and XpoNorth, SFS members were invited to come to XpoNorth with a special production masterclass session for the festival’s programme: “Behind The Scenes With Screen Facilities Scotland”.

Taking place on Thursday 11 June in the beautiful sunny Invernessian afternoon sun (well inside though), this session examined the production of a series of adverts for a large water brand from China. This was an excellent example of a project where several members of SFS were able to come on board the production as a package including production, post-production, music/audio, animals, production equipment hire, and specialist tracking.

Production Masterclass: Behind The Scenes With Screen Facilities Scotland
Times: 1:30pm – 3:00pm

Venue: The University of the Highlands and Islands Stage @ the Town House

Speakers: Eileen Byrne (Visual Impact), Clare Deas (FreakWorks), Hamish Allison (FreakWorks), Duncan Barbour (All Terrain Tracking), Caroline Gorman (Rage Music (Chair))

As part of the XpoNorth Screen and Broadcast Showcase we will be screening a short film at the start of this session. Film: My Sardasht (3 mins) Iran

A behind the scenes look at the production of the latest International advertising campaign for China’s leading water brand “Ganten”. Screen Facilities Scotland members give you a glimpse behind the screen, at the successes and setbacks of this commercial colossus. A 5 day shoot, with a crew of over 60 specialists (including classic cars & horses on the winding streets of Edinburgh’s old town and the famous Castle – all in Scotland’s renowned unpredictable weather). Looking specifically at the Production/ Direction, Camera/Lighting, Animal Actors, Off Road Camera Tracking and Post Production.

Eileen Byrne, Manager, Visual Impact

Eileen Byrne has worked in camera and grip rentals for 12 years. She currently manages Visual Impact’s Scottish branch based in Glasgow. She has seen the industry move from 16 & 35mm film to the current data based formats. Eileen and her team have the job of keeping on top of current equipment trends and advising their ever budget conscious clients of kit solutions.

Claire Deas, Facilities Manager, Freakworks 

As Facilities Manager, Claire has over 25 years experience in advertising, TV and corporate production, with experience on a diverse range of clients from Scotland’s leading agencies to corporate, production and broadcast clients.

Hamish Allison, Creative Director, Freakworks

Hamish has been working in the Film and Television Production and Post Production business for over 24 years. Directing, Editing and creating graphics for literally thousands of commercial and corporate films. As Creative Director he oversees and supervises all of the creative output.

Caroline Gorman, Head Of Music, Rage Music Ltd

Caroline works across all projects overseeing the production. She has worked on a diverse range of productions including box office feature films (Walking With Dinosaurs, DREDD, Limitless, Despicable Me 2 Minion Movies), numerous TV series’ (Spooks, Blockbusters) and many international advertising campaigns (UPS, IBM, NBC, Disney, Amazon, Irn Bru).

Taking part in another event was Artem’s Joanna Dewar Gibb in:

How To Get Ahead In… Animation

Times: 10:30am – 12:00pm

Venue: GlobalScot Stage At the Inverness Suite, Mercure Hotel

Speakers: Cameron Fraser (Ko Lik Films), Ross Hogg (Freelance Director & Animator), Damien O’Connor (Brown Bag Films), Jonny Harris (Playdead), Joanna Dewar Gibb (Artem Ltd Scotland)

As part of the XpoNorth Screen and Broadcast Showcase we will be screening a short film at the start of this session. Film: KiaRex (3mins) United States

Interest in animation is at an all-time high with audiences hungry for new content across various platforms, while new animation talent continues to appear at film festivals and online. Scottish animators and directors have had particular success in recent years at festivals throughout the world and with a series of BAFTA wins and nominations, but does that always translate into making a living within the screen industries? A panel of contemporary animation talents working at various levels across a range of platforms in the UK and beyond discuss their work and give advice to any budding animators.

Ross Hogg, Freelance Director & Animator
Ross Hogg graduated from the Glasgow School of Art in 2013 with first class honours. He creates dexterous, hand-crafted animation using a variety of materials, celebrating its vibrancy and physicality. His films have screened at international film festivals, receiving BAFTA Scotland nominations and winning the BAFTA Scotland New Talent and Celtic Media Festival Awards.

Damien O’Connor, Writer/Director, Brown Bag Films
Damien O’Connor is the writer/director of four award winning Irish Film Board funded shorts – Mutt, Ledog, Dick Terrapin and After You. Classically trained as a 2D animator, he has also worked as documentary producer and live broadcast director. Damien currently works at Brown Bag Films as an Episodic Director on Doc McStuffins for Disney Junior.

Cameron Fraser, Writer & Producer, Ko Lik Films
Cameron Fraser is a BAFTA-winning animation writer and producer who has credits with broadcasters including BBC, Disney and ABC. Following a Children’s BAFTA nomination, he’s recently produced another 20 x 5′ episodes of OOglies for CBBC. Last year, he produced Scottish BAFTA winning short film, Monkey Love Experiments, which went on to be nominated in the BAFTA Film Awards.

Jonny Harris, Director & Co-Founder, Playdead

Jonny has been working in motion design for over 10 years. Playdead specialise in visualising and telling stories through graphics, animation and VFX, working throughout the UK and internationally. Jonny’s previous roles included Creative Director at Arias, based in The Sanctuary post-production house, and Head of Design at Richmond Studios, winning several awards for his work with Cirque Du Soleil.

Joanna Dewar Gibb, Business Manager, Artem Ltd (Scotland)

Joanna is Business Manager of Artem Ltd’s Scottish branch that she established in Glasgow in 2006. Joanna is also a founding member of Screen Facilities Scotland, a new trade body that co-ordinates, promotes and lobbies on behalf of Scottish facilities and service companies.

And finally,  Gail Gyi of Gaelforce 10 Management was holding one-to-one casting sessions, and the SFS exhibition stand was manned by SFS coordinator Belinda Love.


In the evenings fun was had in the form of terrific hosted reception and networking drinks and fantastic live music in many of the local venues.

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One thought on “FESTIVAL: SFS at XpoNorth 2015

  1. Pingback: SAVE THE DATE: XpoNorth 2016 |

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