My grandfather used to say "The one story you tell is the truth". The truth is, we are all storytellers. It's in our blood, a defining feature of what it means to be human.
For me, acting has been a storytelling outlet for over 25 years now, first on stage and later on screen. My love for film was ignited in Edinburgh after acting in a short film. I loved how the pieces fell together - how the sound, music and the moving image merged to create the story.
After working for the Edinburgh International Film Festival, I soon found myself working for BBC Scotland on feature film Reichenbach Falls. Later, I started a community cinema in Leith, the home of Trainspotting. I love to write for film and am finding my technical skillset converges with my acting experience nicely when I am directing.
Twelve years later, the love affair continues in New Zealand. Two years ago, I had the idea to found a screen collective called Top of the South Filmmakers, and Marlborough filmmaker Aaron Falvey and I got together to make it happen. Through the power of social media, filmmakers from across Tasman, Nelson and Marlbourgh now work in collaboration to produce movies.
We've started with no-budget and self-funded short films and now our work is beginning to mature. We have just completed work on Ascendance, a collaboration with an LA-based production company, in which I played one of the lead roles. This will be released next year along with Bowie, a feature film shot in Nelson, for which I was line-producer as well as playing a supporting lead. It's exciting to see the enthusiasm and skillset in the region grow as we all work together and I can't wait to see what we can do in the future.