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Film producer’s work hits the big screen

A FILM producer from Eastriggs has spoken of his excitement at seeing a movie he helped to create hit the big screens all over the world, including his home cinema in Annan

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By Zac Hannay
Annan and Eskdale
Film producer’s work hits the big screen
KEY ROLE . . . film producer Gavin Glendinning, left, with writer Nicholas Martin during the production of Golda

Former Annan Academy pupil Gavin Glendinning is head of development for film production company Qwerty Films in London.

And the 34-year-old spoke to the Annandale Observer this week to give an insight into his role as associate producer on the 2023 war thriller Golda, which is currently being shown at Annan Lonsdale Cinema.

Gavin said: “I was set on doing biology at university but I didn’t get the grades in maths to do it!

“I ended up doing English and that was when I started thinking about doing film.”

After studying screenwriting at Edinburgh Napier, he joined the civil service to save money before buying a one-way ticket to London with a view to landing a job in the film industry.

He said: “I had a month’s rent left in my bank account when I got the job with Qwerty, which is quite lucky because I was thinking about heading home.

“My parents were supportive of me trying to do it, but I think they were apprehensive that I was potentially throwing away a decent career.”

Biographical drama Golda is set during the Yom Kippur War of 1973. It follows Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir, played by Helen Mirren, during the war and was directed by Oscar winning Israeli director Guy Nattiv.

The role of associate producer is very wide and varied as Gavin explained, he said: “Titles on productions don’t necessarily reflect the role, it’s basically anything to do with setting up the film. My key role at the beginning was making sure that we could finance it, while also working with our other producer, Jane Hooks, to set up the production.

“We had a really short period, it was seven weeks of pre-production and a six week shoot. We shot it in a school in London.

“We still work on the script all through pre-production. You are casting all through that point as well.

“It can be really difficult but it’s a really rewarding process, because at the end of it you’ve got something which is going to be around forever.”

Gavin was at February’s successful film premiere in Berlin and added: “It’s a really rewarding thing seeing it and sharing it with people.”

In October, the Qwerty team began work on Cleaner, an action film directed by Martin Campbell, whose other work includes Casino Royale and GoldenEye.

Gavin is working as a producer and said: “It’s about a window cleaner who gets stuck on the outside of 1 Canada Square, the third tallest building in London, while a group of eco-terrorists take over the inside and take hostages.

“Martin’s a master of action. It’s a really exciting script and very different to anything we’ve done before.”

Firmly settled in London, Gavin said: “I couldn’t ask for a better job.

“I’d been checking for the film at Annan and I didn’t realise it was on at Annan Cinema!

“It’s exciting, make no bones about it, this is a really fun job to have and it is really exciting when something you’ve worked on goes out.”

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