Over the last few years Melt has become a key supplier of engaging factual films for Scotland's third and public sectors. Continuing this momentum, we're excited to announce that our work with the Scottish Crofting Federation will enter the Ullapool Museum collection in 2017.
Engineered by Thomas Telford in 1829, the museum is an important focal point for the planned fishing village of Ullapool, and we look forward to seeing our film on display here when it reopens in April.
In other news, I just completed a 6-month programme led by the Scottish Documentary Institute with emerging filmmakers from across the UK. Highlights included workshops with Producer and former Head of Documentary at Arte, Thierry Garrel (below), and leading Storytelling Consultant and Editor, Susan Brand.
With some interesting new projects on the horizon, we're also expanding our team in 2017 with the inclusion of a talented local producer, and an Edinburgh-based sound designer. So if you think you've got a brief that fits with our work, we'd love to hear from you.
Over the summer Melt worked with PAS to curate a unique 2-day conference marking the Year of Architecture, Innovation and Design. The event explored the rich legacy of one of Scotland’s greatest thinkers, Patrick Geddes, through presentations, workshops and symposia.
Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop MSP, presented young people from Galashiels Academy and LinkLiving with handmade plaques for involvement in the Patrick Geddes Young Placemakers Award. Ms Hyslop said “The Award, like the conference itself, celebrates Geddes’s ideas around education and going out into the world to learn with our eyes and hearts."
During the morning session Malcolm Fraser spoke of the importance of light and space in architecture while Mike Small (Bella Caledonia) explored Geddes’s inner-workings. Continuing the theme of place and wellbeing, Phil Denning (Education Scotland) described the widening remit of HMIs in assessing the health and wellbeing of a school’s catchment area.
During the afternoon creative workshops were led by ECA Art, Space and Nature graduates, followed by presentations from the University of Yamaguchi and Prof Bashabi Fraser who described Geddes's encounters with Rabindranath Tagore in India. Catch some of the talks on the PAS Soundcloud channel.
Inspired by Geddes’s “Summer School” established in the late 19th century, Day 2 was hosted at the Evergreen Studio, the Saltire Society the Scottish Storytelling Centre. Here we embraced Geddes's philosophy of Vivendo Discimus (by living we learn) exploring the old town through mindfulness, poetry, music and crafts.
The event ended in song, with everyone tuning into folk music written during David Frances's workshop - rounding off a feast of internationalism and a rediscovered ambition to fuse together ideas of environment, wellbeing and creativity.
I'm just back from an inspiring few days of filming around Ullapool with the very warm company of the Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF).
We are producing a short film about SCF’s new programme of education for 2016-19 and another film introducing their vision and role.
Rural depopulation, availability of land to convert to crofts, and the withdrawal of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) funded by the European Union paint a stormy picture for crofting as an industry and way of life.
Yet crofting is an alternative to the plugged-in cities that most of us call home. It’s a life spent mostly outdoors (very often in the rain), that builds your physical and mental endurance in equal measure.
Resilience, human spirit, friendship, family, community and a determination to exist all combine to make crofting an inspiring symbol of defiance.
Where it lacks in financial reward, crofting delivers in fresh food and friendship. So if you want to learn a practical set of skills, from sheep shearing to horticulture, why not give it a shot?
We’re excited to announce a new contract supporting Confor (Confederation of Forest Industries UK).
With their main office in Edinburgh, Confor have represented the interests of the UK forestry and wood sector for over ten years with great success.
In Scotland alone, the industry makes an economic contribution of around £1bn per annum (FCS, 2015) and supports 25,000 Full Time Equivalent people.
Melt will support the organisation on multiple fronts - delivering the new Confor website, providing editorial services for Forestry and Timber News magazine and creating a suite of communications tools.
We recently designed a Prezi presentation explaining the crucial role that productive woodland can play in reducing the impact of flooding.
The prezi was well received by MPs and stakeholders at a meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Forestry (APPGF) in January led by Confor at Westminster.
The Government will announce the findings of its National Flood Resilience Review this summer, and we hope that forestry has a major part to play.
Following previous projects inspired by the work of Scots polymath, Patrick Geddes, PAS commissioned Melt to help secure funding for a new Geddes project working with young people aged 11-25.
Several partners including Historic Environment Scotland and the Scottish Historic Buildings Trust backed the Heritage Lottery Fund bid submitted in January, which has just been given the green light.
Among the digital components to this innovative two-year project, PAS will work with ourselves and Linknode to offer tools and training for people to create 3D scans of locally significant objects and people.
Exploring how Geddes’ ideas are relevant today – young people will navigate the significance of heritage in placemaking, ideas of local governance, technology’s role in heritage interpretation and what it means to be an active citizen.
Adopting the ‘Survey-Analysis-Plan’ approach used by the Regional Survey movement of the 1920s, participants will co-produce plans and share these with communities at Geddes style pop up exhibitions.