Films still flickering along

Kirsti Boyton, Rachel Oats, Lauren Nicol and Danielle Donnelly star in Cocktails for Four.
Kirsti Boyton, Rachel Oats, Lauren Nicol and Danielle Donnelly star in Cocktails for Four.
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GIFFNOCK and glittering film premieres may seem a strange pairing — but a project run by two retired film buffs looks set to change that.

Monday night saw the premiere of the film Cocktails for Four — a short by Shoestring Pictures, created by Bill Welsh and Alistair Biggar.

Last week The Extra reported on the first Scottish feature film, made in Rouken Glen back in 1911 – and this week, Bill (71) got in touch to prove that the champagne corks are still popping in East Renfrewshire.

The producer and script writer told The Extra: “When we retired we decided to start making little movies. Alistair has 40 years of experience as a broadcast engineer, and I spent many years as an advertising man.

“The company’s called Shoestring Pictures because we don’t have any money — we just rely on the goodwill of other people”.

The new film, the company’s third, was shot at the Giffnock Ivy restaurant, kindly gifted for the day, as well as extra scenes filmed at the Grand Central hotel and Rogano.

As for the script, it’s a glitzy tale of four young girls out for a meal — and their individual accounts of past exploits.

The cast is made up of budding Scottish actresses, and Bill joked: “We considered contacting Meryl Streep and Kristen Scott-Thomas but decided in favour of local talent, and it has paid off.

“All the girls are singers and dancers, and they all came to us through an organisation called JazzArt UK, based in Lanarkshire — except for one, who works at the Orchard Park hotel.

“She speaks fluent Spanish and we thought that would be a nice little trick for our film, so she appeared and was very good too”.

Cocktails for Four went down as well as the champagne in Giffnock this week, and both Bill and Alistair hope Shoestring Pictures is a welcome addition to the Eastwood arts scene — especially after discovering the movie-making tradition in East Ren.