A SOUTH Uist-based media production company is gearing up for expansion after investing in its own studio on the Hebridean Island.

TrixPix, which was set up by director, producer and writer Beatrix Wood, will have five hours of content broadcast on BBC Alba this autumn, including a documentary about the impact on reindeer herders and their environment from the snow mobiles adventure industry in Lapland. Alba is one of seven European broadcasters which have picked up the “The Power of Yoik” documentary.

The station has also committed to broadcasting three one-hour films on crofting in the Hebrides which TrixPix has been working on in recent years.

Ms Wood, who attended film school in Manchester and cut her teeth working on documentaries and drama at Granada Television, said the studio will allow her to take on more work of the scale of the Lapland project.

Work on that series, which concluded with the final edits and sound mixing last week, and the crofting films took a total of five years to complete.

“It should give us the impetus to deliver that kind of work on a regular basis,” Ms Wood.

“It will enable different types of work to happen,” she added, highlighting cultural projects and art installations among the areas she would like to move into.

TrixPix received a grant of £33,950 from Highlands and Islands Enterprise to contribute to the development of the studio, which is based on working croft run by Ms Wood and her two teenage children. It includes an editing suite and space for painting, filming, writing and archiving.

Ms Wood, who served an apprenticeship uner leading Scottish producer Iain Smith of Applecross Productions in the late-1980s, early-1990s, hopes the launch of the studio will ultimately allow her take on permanent

staff. At present, she works with a team of 15 freelancers across

various disciplines, including editors, composers and a drone photographer.

There are two editors currently working at the studio, which is also due to welcome three artists today. Ms Wood met the artists while attending the Cove Park/A-N/ Luminate residency at Cove in Argyll & Bute last year.

As well as documentary work, TrixPix has a growing line of business providing film content for local companies.

Ms Wood said this blends well with the documentary making, which she moved into in the 1990s after finding she enjoyed the “rhythm” of the work. “The two things interlink quite well; it gives a diversity to the business we are doing,” she said.

And she said the opening of her multimedia studio is a boost for the creative industries in the Hebrides. Alongside The Wee Studio at Stornoway, which offers facilities such as sound mixing, the Hebrides is now able to deliver full broadcast programming.

Ms Wood, who ran a production company in England for 20 years, said it was personal reasons which brought her to Scotland. Her family were looking to relocate to the north of Scotland and were captivated when they visited South Uist.

“The light is beautiful, and it was a place [where] I immediately just got on and started making a lot of work – writing, painting and then subsequently filming. The croft has gone alongside that and that’s been really productive.”

Asked if she had found it difficult to establish the business on such a remote location, she said: “The biggest challenge was not having an actual base, a workplace,

“It was really, really difficult and it has been quite constraining not be able to rent a place with any longevity. I had to really shift how I was organising things.”

But she added: “If there is a limitation I tend to turn it into an advantage. We’ll have five hours of documentaries going out this autumn, and four hours of those are stories that have come on the doorstep.

“It’s unique subject matter,

I’ve got unique access because

I’m here all the time, and I’ve

been able to make them in a

way you would not have been able to do if you were travelling back and forth.”