The more than 60 film producers, who wrote that candid, detailed and fairly damning letter to Creative Scotland, which The Herald published this time last week, were not looking, primarily, for a revamp of the funding body's upper tiers of management.
That was of course part of their thinking, written in the letter which also warned of the "complete demise of what is now just a faltering film sector in Scotland." In that memo, the producers do call for changes at Creative Scotland, notably to its funding methods and the establishment of a "clearly defined Film Department".
This week, in announcing a rejig of Creative Scotland's management, Janet Archer, the new chief executive, announced the new post of director of film which at least gives Scotland a clear "head of film" in the future. But, although the choreography of the story about the letter, and the subsequent announcement from Creative Scotland, suggested a kind of cause and event, the two events were not particularly linked. Ms Archer has been planning those management changes since she almost walked in the door at Creative Scotland four months ago. She felt, she told me, that if the body is to have responsibility for the arts, film and creative industries, there should be managers with, clearly, those responsibilities. Which seems to make sense. The director of arts role, however, is lumbered with an extra responsibility - "engagement". An imprecise term (surely all art is a process of engagement?), it is the kind of vague management term which some had hoped the "new" Creative Scotland might have dispensed with. The body later explained that "engagement refers to giving people more opportunities to take part in arts especially in areas with little provision." And amidst all this change, what happens to the staff with "portfolio" responsibilities at Creative Scotland, such as literature, the visual arts, and so on? How their decisions will be made, and who they will answer to, remains to be seen.
Back to the movies: the film producers will not feel more secure about their industry's future until they believe both Creative Scotland and the Scottish Government take their concerns, and suggestions seriously. The answering statement released by the Government to me this week had a tone of "be grateful for what you have". Meanwhile Ms Archer said she would be waiting to see the draft version of the long-gestated Film Review before taking any major decisions. However, I have heard that she is also considering other things - including the wider history of film making in Scotland, and personal discussions with film makers. So what will happen after this turbulent sturm and drang, which contrasts so vividly with a clutch of appealing Scottish films hitting the screens?
Creative Scotland's funds are, Ms Archer told me, largely all tied up until the end of the 2013/14 financial year. But Lottery funds are expected to rise in 2014/15 and the film community has put up a convincing case for increased investment. The £300,000 cap on individual film-funding seems a reasonable thing to axe, although, its supporters say, this could mean less films overall will be funded. But film production funds of nearer £10m a year? It is hard to see that arriving in the short term. The controversy will continue.
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