DCIFF Alum Looks to Grow Scottish Cinema with Feature Debut

Contributed by Michael Balderston

When David Brown arrived in Washington D.C. for the 2013 D.C. Independent Film Festival, he thought it would be his last hurrah of his film career. After a long and difficult process in getting his short film “A Bird in the Hand” made, Brown wasn’t sure whether he wanted to continue making films. But by the end of the festival the fire was lit again.

“It was wonderful to meet people whose attitude to film was ‘go for it, do it’ rather than the usual, negative or non-interested vibe you can get back home in the UK at times,” said Brown. “It was just a really positive and inspiring experience in truth, which helped me (finally) work out what I wanted to do with my life.”

Seeing the fruits of his labor rewarded also had a big boost to Brown’s career. After premiering at DCIFF, “A Bird in the Hand” played at seven other film festivals all over the world, winning Best Short Film at the Glasgow Southside Film Festival. It also helped Brown get selected to be a part of a producing course in Glasgow, where he was selected out of hundreds of applicants for a special career development program.

Now, Brown is embarking on the next big step in his filmmaking career, his first feature film, “Blue Hour.” An unconventional love story, the film focuses on a grandmother who realizes that her daughter is abusing her child. The grandmother must choose whether or not to reject her child to save her grandson. Brown is producing the film for director Tom van den Hurk.

“I was attracted to the idea that it’s the grandmother’s story and not the child’s or the mother’s,” said Brown. “It’s a unique perspective I believe in tackling the issue.”

The subtleties of the script and van den Hurk’s concept for the story also were a key attraction for Brown. “A lot of films that approach this subject matter do so by having heightened drama, shouting matches and explicitly showing the violence… it’s not just a straight forward tale of abuse and reaction… it’ll be one of those films, hopefully, where the more you watch it then the more you will get from it.”

Things are moving along with the production with a talented crew of both emerging and established talent from the Scottish film industry. There is also hope of bringing on a very respected British actress on to play the grandmother. Location scouting is underway in Glasgow.

Brown and his team are using social media and crowd funding to help raise money and awareness for the film. Facebook and Twitter are key parts of their strategy to spread awareness, as well as a campaign on Indiegogo with a number of interesting incentives for those who donate. You can check out their page here – www.igg.me/at/bluehour

Brown is also currently developing another feature film with fellow DCIFF alum, Nicholas P. Richards, with hopes of getting back into the director’s chair sometime soon.

“I’d also like to establish a more artistic and thought provoking cinema in Scotland,” says Brown. “I’m passionate about making films in Scotland, but I’d also like to visit more of the world and make something totally different each time really.”

A lot has changed for Brown since he arrived in D.C. and thought his film career was over. A renewed passion has him excited for both “Blue Hour” and whatever may come after it.