A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Farm

Back in the mid 2000s an interesting thing happened – STV made Science Fiction.  I say this but in fact what they were doing was showcasing the New Found Land Scottish Screen Project.  This was a series of short films produced with the aim of showcasing new or emerging Scottish Talent.  I remember at the time being excited because this thread clearly included SF of the type that you didn’t normally see on British television.  And it was made in Scotland.

Of these the one that most caught my eye was Rogue Farm.  This was a Scottish SF animation, basae on the short story of the same name by Charles Stross,  that seemed to carry all of the hallmarks of full-blown Anime.   I watched it at the time and I was impressed.  It wasn’t like anything else that I had seen produced in Scotland up til that point and while animation has moved on I think it’s still looks great.  You can watch it here:

According to the notes for the animation Michael Rose  approached the director to produce the a full length feature.  Alas the project fell apart due to “Creative Differences” and so we never got a full animated feature.

New Found Land produced a number of really interesting short films of which the next most memorable [for me] is IM. Unfortunately I can’t locate this one online but here’s the synopsis:

Scotland – the near future. Democracy has evolved. Technology has made it possible for citizens to vote in daily referenda. Non-participation is not an option. With his sister Char, Henry runs a wind farm. He defies the compulsory referenda, but the penalty for doing so also affects Char and their relationship is breaking down. Char wants to leave the farm and plays an interactive game show for the ultimate prize – a place on IM: Heaven Above Earth. The prize may not be all that it seems though, and when it looks as if Char might win, Henry attempts to stop her.

It was pretty good and as I recall opened with an apocalyptic vision of wind turbines in the near future…

You can find a full list of the films here, I see that they are available as part of the Scottish Screen Collection archive at the NLS.  Time to go to the library!

PS.  I was reminded of this by the site for the Glasgow SF convention Satellite 3.


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