Friday, February 22, 2008


I met a chap today is pioneering a new format of photography and moving pictures.
The easiest way to describe it is that, whereas Cinerama gave you nearly 180 degree vision, this gives about 90 degrees, and costs one-tenth to make a cinema or shoot the film. Even in stills its' quite stunning and doesn't need special glasses or anything else.
But my point here is that this tiny tiny tiny company, based in Scotland, has spent 8 years trying to get funding of £100,000 to produce it's first film.
Not one arts or government body would even give them the time of day.
Not one " angel" investment company, entrepreneur or individual would back them.
They even had an agreement with Cinerama to change their existing cinemas and remaster films to show in them.
Nothing. Nada. Nix.
Anyway, one of the directors ( I should mention they all have full time jobs outwith Vistamorph) went on holiday to San Francisco.
He went with a couple of pals to a bar for a drink and they were discussing his problem.
A casually dressed middle aged man came up to the group and did the usual " I couldn't help overhearing what you were talking about " routine, and handed out cards.
To cut a long story short, within 2 days they had the funding they wanted, and much more.
Firstly, they got an introduction to Paul Allen, he of Microsoft, who is a huge Cinerama fan and maintains a Cinerama Cinema to keep the genre alive. Then they got not £100,000 but £1million. Finally, they were told if they needed any more they were just to ask. And when were they moving to LA?
In the event they have decided to stay in Govan in Glasgow, one of the areas in our Dear Green Place that is renewing itself for the third time and make their first film about a boat building company, still going in the area, that has been there since the early 1600s. They've also bought the old cinema in the area, a rotting hulk, that was due to be demolished and have " Exceptional, superb" etc flats of distinctly non-descript and average quality built on the site.
I've heard similar tales before. It's one of the reasons for the brain drain that is being yelled from all the newspapers and bulletins at the moment.The English in particular used to be the world's investors and risk-takers, with the Scots somewhat reduced by the Darien disaster forevermore. We no longer are.
One of the reasons the USA is already starting to get to grips with its economic problems is it's people's delight in having a go. We tend to sit around and moan. The Yanks innovate.
No wonder we want to leave Blighty.

1 comment:

Winchester whisperer said...

Good for them! I bet Steve Jobs would have been interested too