Front Row Seat

True to classic Festival pace, everything is always half over before it even feels underway. So in keeping, here I am half way through the Edinburgh International Film Festival, and this is my first opportunity to relay from the frontier.

And the front lines is exactly how it feels. The photo team has been at the crest of activity for the last week and have had such a vantage point on seeing the whole festival unfold. We have been everywhere. We are tucked into a corner at every event and every screening. We are on every panel, forum and discussion. We have been side by side with the actors, filmmakers and companies that comprise this year’s program. We are amongst the audience and we move in convoy with the festival staff and directors. If omnipresence is all it is cut out to be, then this is as close as it gets to being a god.

Back to reality however, over the last week, me and the team have painted a wonderful tapestry of the festival in images. There is a full and ever expanding gallery of the festival’s activities online. We have been presented with such a range of people, circumstances and weather conditions that there is no end of colour to the proceedings. This is my first chapter for now at least.

EIFF Artistic Director Chris Fujiwara

A Filmmaker prepares a rare projection of 16mm print for a screening

Guests get ready for some mind bending 3D as part of the Black Box Shorts programme

Carlos Acosta, Eva Birthistle and Christopher Simpson reunite in Edinburgh for the premiere of Day of the Flowers

Festival staff are caught in a quick downpour before the red carpet of Killer Joe
Tartan Troo’s on the red carpet

Guests enjoying Innis&Gunn and canapés at the opening party at The National Museum of Scotland

Actor Christopher Simpson during a photocall for Day of the Flowers

The Silhouette of a speaker introducing a screening

Sun Don’t Shine director Amy Seimetz answers a curious audience during a Q&A

The restoration of cult classic Lawrence of Arabia is explained in a detailed presentation

Tilda Swinton sits front row for a preview of a brand new restoration of David Lean’s Laurence of Arabia

Rita Azevedo Gomes introduces A Woman’s Revenge

Writer Paul Fraser discusses his work with Shane Meadows

Maja Bjorg and Tilda Swinton

The industry equivalent of speed dating, delegates network with established professionals but only have 20 minutes on the clock

An industry delegate pitches his script at a one-to-one seminar

EIFF Artistic Director Chris Fujiwara arrives on the red carpet for the opening of the festival

BBC Broadcaster and EIFF Juror Edith Bowman arrives on the red carpet for the EIFF premiere of Killer Joe

Ian Rankin arrives on the red carpet for the EIFF premiere of Killer Joe

William Friedkin arrives in force on the red carpet for his EIFF premiere of Killer Joe

Producer Al Morrow considers an audience question in an industry event on the Danish Documentary

Peter Engel , Producer at Zentropa
Erwin Houtenbrink, member of the International Short Film Jury

Cast and Crew introduce the EIFF premiere of Guinea Pigs

Brian Cox smiling on the red carpet for the EIFF premiere of Killer Joe

Film Editor Colin Monie gives an inside view to the industry to a young audience at Scottish Screen Academy

Craig Hill arrives on the red carpet for the EIFF premiere of Killer Joe

Will Anderson, winner of both the British Short film and Maclaren Animation Awards, talks candidly with fellow filmmakers at the Cameo bar

Miguel Gomes, director of Tabu speaks about his film in a Q&A
Elliot Gould impersonates Jean-Luc Godard during his In Person event.
Morv and Rab and the stag

Guests rock the Jukebox at the opening party at the National Museum of Scotland

A packed National Museum of Scotland for the opening night party.

Ceilidh musician on stage for the EIFF Ceilidh.

Actor Jim Broadbent at the EIFF Ceilidh

A proper ruckus at the EIFF Ceilidh

A debonair attendee of the black tie premiere of Killer Joe

The silhouette of twin 16mm projectors of Black Box filmmaker Daichi Saito.

Edinburgh International Film Festival

This week is the beginning of the 66th Edinburgh International Film Festival and I am delighted to be back on board, but as one of their official Photographers this year. Everything kicks off on Wednesday and every year it is always those that keep their ears to the grapevine who make out like bandits! So keep in tune to their Facebox and Twitter for some offers, prizes and gems of worldly wisdom as the Festival unfolds.

I will do my bit as ever to keep you updated on the visual front, so take your seats!

Here’s one of many I’m looking forward to! But don’t read into it.



The National Theatre of Scotland are re-imagining a literally wicked classic in the most wicked way. Currently in rehearsal at Tramway in Glasgow, this dark, modernised rendition of Shakespeare is set against the backdrop of a ward in a psychiatric asylum. It’s sole inmate, none other than Alan Cumming, channels each of the main antagonists in beautiful, tortured monologues, echoing the darkest elements of the script in the shadowy, schizophrenic milieu.

Exciting stuff indeed. I was delighted to lend my interpretation to the rehearsal production images. It is always thrilling to see something monumental in development, and the scale of the set, rich with decayed, rusty detail, really appeals to the dark side of my image making. Images have already been used in an early review by the Scotsman.

 For me personally, it has really blown off some cobwebs from the days I studied Macbeth for the marathon trials of Leaving Cert English in Ireland. Try as you might at that tender age when all that would make you happy in the world would be to barely pass a subject, let alone engage with the material. Something with as fresh and contemporary a treatment would have been just the ingredient for my young jaded mind. Still though, its not too late. Better get my tickets!

Check out the Trailer for the show below.

                 Macbeth – Trailer from National Theatre of Scotland on Vimeo.