Notes from the Director: Colin Ross Smith
Why? Okay, the first question, why do a Scottish tribute to Reservoir Dogs? I’ll get asked that question a lot. For me it comes from a fun game I used to play which started over ten years ago whilst watching Armageddon. I started asking myself, what would this film be like if it been made with a Scottish Cast? What if it had been a team of Scottish Oil Drillers that had been approached? Who would play the parts in the film? Robert Carlyle as the Bruce Willis part? Peter Mullan as the Will Patton part? I started playing this game with other movies.
Often this would come out of frustration. Why were we not seeing more mainstream films being made in Scotland? Surely Braveheart showed that a film could be full of Scottish accents and be a success? For the most part Sean Connery has been Scotland’s biggest movie star, but in recent years we’ve seen the rise of some really big stars in Hollywood who have come from sunny Scotland, perhaps most notably; Ewan McGregor, Gerard Butler and James McAvoy. Isn’t it time the films being made in Scotland started to have a bit more of a widespread appeal? Or should I say more entertainment value? It’s been a while coming, but with a trio of recent Scottish films, we’re on the right step to achieving this. We’ve got the typical darkly comic Filth, done to a T starring McAvoy in a film that has proved a hit; the fun filled musical Sunshine on Leith is cinematically breathtaking – and the newly released Not Another Happy Ending is a feel good rom com, something we don’t get much of in Scotland. The only rom com I’ve seen of recent years was Fast Romance, which failed to win the critical acclaim at the Scottish Baftas, but won the coveted audience award; proving that audiences want to see entertaining movies and not always films that are garnered to win awards.
So where does Reservoir Dugs fit in? For me, I wanted to make a film purely for fun. Something that would go straight to youtube and not be concerned about festivals and secondly I have always been a big fan of Reservoir Dogs. I knew early on that when Tarantino was producing the film he was having problems financing it and was going to make the film on a low budget. So the question is, if Tarantino had made the film in Scotland and on a low budget, perhaps this is what it might have turned out like?
So myself and a cast of actors who I worked with on a web series called www.thecrews.tv got together and recreated the opening scene. My aim was to complete it shot for shot as closely as possible. I cast the film with actors who I thought could bring the same qualities that the original cast had, but not necessarily having them do impersonations. We translated the dialogue to fit with scottish words and dialect. An amazing Crew was compiled and the film was produced by Lauren Lamarr.
We shot the scene in a single day, and a very hot day might I add, which helped lend to the look of the original film. Perhaps it would have been more Scottish to have had an overcast day, but theres a reason they make films in Hollywood; sunshine looks good on film.
I hope that ultimately the people of Scotland and the world can enjoy watching a Scottish version of Reservoir Dogs and that with the popularity of the original film, our scene will open up a gateway to people outside of Britain to the Scots a bit more. We have wonderful ambassadors out there bringing our great Scottish personality to the world outside of Britain - from our Hollywood stars to Craig Fergusons talk show - to Tommy Flanagan in Sons of Anarchy.
Every Dug has it’s day!