Why silent is golden

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FORGET Oscar-tipped film The Artist – a silent movie filmed in East Renfrewshire is set to make a big noise.

Newton Mearns filmmaker Paul Darroch is the producer and director of The Swashbuckling Scoundrel, a short film commissioned especially for a production of Singin’ in the Rain at Eastwood park theatre last year.

The show, by Giffnock amateur group EROS Musical Society, featured a big screen projection of Paul’s film to illustrate the famous storyline of Hollywood actors struggling with a move from silent films to the talkies.

Paul (40) told The Extra: “We shot it entirely in Rouken Glen park over a few hours, and of the various scenes filmed, there was one I was particularly happy with and which I thought could stand alone as a short film in its own right.

“It’s an homage to the silent swashbuckling films of the 1920s and it has it all – a dashing hero, a beautiful damsel in distress, a dastardly villain, a couple of fiendish henchmen, and of course a sword fight and chase sequence towards the end”.

With the addition of music, a few old fashioned lines, sepia tints and classic silent film credits, Paul has now edited it down to a finished article.

It’s a job he’s had plenty of practice for, having been producing films through his own company – Oak Tree Productions – since 2000, following a degree in film and television studies.

The Swashbuckling Scoundrel has already received a full screening alongside other works from Oak Tree, at a meeting of the East Renfrewshire Camcorder Club in December.

Paul commented: “If anyone’s in doubt about there being a market for the silent film format, they only have to look at the recent critical and commercial success of The Artist, which I think is a masterpiece.

“I’m really delighted with the way The Swashbuckling Scoundrel has turned out.

“It’s an enjoyable little film that will hopefully go down well with film festivals and competitions across the country — and perhaps even further afield”.