Former addict to focus on truth behind epic film

Film make Garry Fraser
Film make Garry Fraser
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A FORMER drug addict turned filmmaker is on a mission to uncover the “truth behind Trainspotting” after being commissioned to produce a drama about life in north Edinburgh.

Garry Fraser will spend the next six months working on the hour-long feature for the BBC, to be premiered next June.

He will work with renowned producers for the story, which will be filmed in Muirhouse and feature a mix of professional actors and local youngsters.

It is a concept the 33-year-old has been working on for years, since he was introduced to film and media as a mature student at Telford College.

The opportunity, which came after he was introduced to Beeb chiefs at a film festival in Sheffield, will also allow him to revisit his troubled youth, which saw him subjected to 38 care home placements between the ages of eight and 18.

He said the popularity of The Scheme, a controversial four-episode series that followed the lives of people in an Ayrshire council estate earlier this year, helped him promote his own ideas.

“What I want to do, though, is very different to The Scheme,” he said. “It will be based on my own life, overcoming adversity growing up in somewhere like Muirhouse in the 1980s to do something positive.

“I want to show why people in housing estates do the things they do, and think the way they think. It’s easy for people to think why it might be, but spend a couple of months there and they’d soon realise.” It is life in north Edinburgh which inspired the Irvine Welsh novel Trainspotting, and Mr Fraser, who is a former heroin addict, wants to take that reality and make it into a hard- hitting drama.

Almost all the research and background work has already been carried out, and filming will start next month.

If everything goes to schedule, it will be premiered at the Sheffield Film Festival in June, before being brought to screens across the UK.

It will be Mr Fraser’s biggest project, having worked with Channel 4 and established his own social enterprise to encourage children from deprived areas to get involved in film.

He said: “I definitely want to use local kids because the improvisation they come out with is just incredible, and they’ve lived through it too.

“But I’ve learned you need a balance of that and professional actors, and they take real inspiration from each other.”

In preparation for the commission, Mr Fraser even took a job as a bin man to make ends meet. He added: “I did it for eight weeks because I have to support my family. But then I had to stop to chase this dream again, and it finally seems to be coming together.”