Scottish TV could be a global concern
Reading Brian Wilson’s article on Scottish television (Perspective, 29 August) left me with a depressing feeling of déjà vu as it was only last year the same writer vented his spleen against a digital Scottish channel, as proposed by the Scottish Broadcasting Commission.
Mr Wilson’s implication, that we are only capable of mediocre output, denigrates and insults Scottish-based film-makers, actors and crew and implicitly implores them to leave Scotland and move to London if they want to sustain a career in the media industry.
To be clear, there is no doubt that the film and TV industries are massively under-invested in Scotland (even in comparison with Wales) and that major cultural and economic gains could be achieved through the devolution of broadcasting, while devolving broadcasting would not necessarily require the break-up of the BBC.
In any case, why does Ireland’s RTE have to be the role model for future Scottish television production?
Why not simply aim to make excellent and imaginative works of fiction that could be enjoyed by anyone, anywhere while addressing Scottish issues and encouraging Scottish creativity?
The two are not mutually exclusive. If Denmark can sustain four TV channels (exporting terrific crime dramas in the process), and New Zealand’s five television channels help to provide the skills and techniques to sustain a TV and multi-million pound film industry, there is no reason why Scotland cannot equally produce great dramas and excellent television given the investment and the desire to create a genuine culturally creative atmosphere.
As one of the co-ordinators of a Scottish short-film festival, I am well aware of the quality and high production values many Scottish-produced short films (and features) are capable of.
It is a pity everyone else in Scotland is currently denied the opportunity to see for themselves what can be achieved.
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