Closing this year’s Edinburgh International Film Festival, Not Another Happy Ending, an indie rom com all about bringing a lightness to the cinematic portrayal of Glasgow, couldn’t have found a more geek-chic star to do that very thing than former Doctor Who companion Karen Gillan.
Reporting from the last day of principal photography, Gaby Soutar, managed to catch a glimpse of Gillan in action as she spoke to the writer and producer about Sci-fi fans, romantic comedies, and filming a different Glasgow.
“Currently, in the sheltered concrete courtyard, Gillan has folded herself into a blue director’s chair. She has turned towards the wall at the back of the courtyard and is chatting enthusiastically to somebody on the phone – Grazia magazine, apparently.
A few minutes ago she was doing a “meet and greet” with 31-year-old Fabio from Switzerland. It seems he’s the ultimate Doctor Who Fan, and paid has $600 to meet Gillan…That’s because this film – though partially funded by BBC Scotland and Creative Scotland – used the increasingly popular method of international crowdfunding to raise some of its production costs.
Through the Indiegogo website, movie fans (or, more likely, extreme Gillan fans), could contribute cash to ensure this film got made, with $100 buying them a signed poster, or $1000 for one of Gillan’s size eight outfits including a co-ordinating pair of size six shoes. I’d imagine Fabio would love any of those items, though he’d never fit into them.”
Producer Claire Mundell adds:
“The sci-fi fans are very passionate… She was on a casting list of one. We think we’ve got her at the perfect point in her career, and we even put the shooting of Not Another Happy Ending back by a year because she was filming Doctor Who”.
In the film Gillan plays Jane Lockhart, who with her bleak debut novel, Happy Ending, has pulled off pulled off that rare double – critical acclaim and mainstream success. But now, with just the last chapter of the follow-up novel to write, she encounters crippling writer’s block.
This is not good news for her publisher, Tom.
His company is up against the wall financially and the only thing that will save him is a hit in the form of Jane’s next novel. Everyone knows you have to be miserable to write well, and Tom realises that the only way he’s going to get her to finish the novel is to make her life a misery.
Something miserable the filmmakers were adamant had to go was the portrayal of Scotland on film. That’s right; they’ll be no heroin, no poverty and definitely no ‘muuurddder’
Writer David Solomons told the Scotsman:
“There tends to be a culture of miserablism in Scotland – stories always have to be gritty and real. I think it’s important that we break away from that…”
Producer Mundell adds:
“Glasgow is an international place and this film could be set in any contemporary city. We took inspiration from indie films like Juno and The Squid and the Whale and I’m very influenced by Bill Forsyth”.
Solomons says that he’s most influenced by the work of Woody Allen and wanted to inject new life into the rom-com:
“I think the romcom has been devalued, they’re not made for grown-ups any more. I wanted to make something witty, charming and grown-up, to rival a classic Clark Gable film”.
Not Another Happy Ending will close the Edinburgh International Film Festival (19-30th June) on 30 June. For more information, see www.edfilmfest.org.uk.