Scottish Screens new chief executive
has pledged himself to push for a national film
studio on the Pinewood Studios scale, making
proposals ready within a year.
Steve McIntyre, in his first detailed public
announcement since taking over from John Archer,
the deposed chief executive, also emphasised
the importance of forging new links between
the home film industry and international markets,
to benefit from multiple tax credits. He has
also urged government to base a UK digital television
channel in Scotland - a political decision expected
to be announced by Tessa Jowell, arts and culture
minister at Westminster.
Mr McIntyre said: "In the next few months,
I will restart discussions with the Scottish
Executive and Scottish Enterprise to see what
our critical path is to moving the studio forward.
I would like to see some clarity within a year.
"The studio is a huge undertaking and will
be very expensive. I absolutely think a studio
in Scotland will be very beneficial to the industry
in Scotland - be it a studio in Edinburgh, or
Inverness or Glasgow.
"We need to balance keeping the costs low but
making the studio big enough to attract business
from overseas. It would raise the game and give
people experience of working on substantial
international production and we will become
Rival studio projects are a Sean Connery-backed
proposal for a commercial operation near Edinburgh
and a studio proposal for Inverness from actor
James Cosmo. Scottish Screen supports the Cosmo
venture and this could affect prospects for
any studio in Glasgow. Competition is clearly
Recently, plans were revealed for a new movie
studio complex and international film academy
for South Wales, creating more than 2000 jobs,
with a movie-based leisure park at a former
opencast site near the M4 between Cardiff and
Mr McIntyre called for more divergence in Scotland,
saying there had been too much emphasis on making
a box-office blockbuster.
With the capacity in Scotland to make six feature
films a year, with enough skilled crews, writers,
directors, and producers, to make two features
simultaneously, the fight now, he warned, was
to avoid the brain drain of skills to London.
Mr McIntyre was formerly head of production
development at Scottish Screen and a former
chief executive of the London film and video
He has now signalled a broadening role for
"In the past, we have been too focused on
ourselves. We live in an era of technological
convergence and cross-platform working and companies
in Scotland will need to work across film, television,
new media, and games. We need to foster and
nurture this convergence to enable companies
to benefit from the new markets."