From left to right: Stephen O’Donnell, Russell Hopkin and Alan McSheehy, and of course John Hannah and Sparky in front after doing some pick-up shots at Wishaw, DOP Grant Cameron had been called away on a commercial shoot.
The 18-minute shorts was shot in Motherwell and at Wishaw dog track and concerns the efforts of steelworker Tommy (John Hannah) to conjure up a last win from his dog Sparky before parting company with the greyhound – a condition laid down by his estranged wife (Louise Beattie) before she will accept him back.
The film, shot in 1989, is a quick sketch of a way of life that has disappeared. I loaned John Hannah my super 8mm camera on that job, he still has it. It was freezing on that shoot, not a Barbour in site, Berghaus was nowhere then.
Ravenscraig has gone, so has Wishaw dog track and most of the other flapping venues that were dotted over Lanarkshire, Ayrshire and all points between Thornton and Gretna.
Other familiar faces who make brief appearances are James Macpherson and Forbes Masson.
The film was photographed in 35mm anamorphic by Grant Scott Cameron with an Arriflex Bl 35 supplied by Joe Dunton Cameras. The lens set consisted of an 85mm, 135mm and 400mm and the stock was Kodak 400ASA processed by Rank Film Labs, with Dolby sound dubbed at Anvil Studios in Denham.
Those were the days, my thanks to my good friend Norrie who was the Director on that shoot Stephen O’Donnell DP (left) works on various TV productions his latest being River City. Alan McSheehy DP (right) is also an accomplished DP from Taggart to The Bill. John Hannah (bottom centre) has become an international actor staring in Four Weddings and a Funeral to The Mummy.
The film “Loser’s Blues” has been gifted to the Glasgow Film Archive.
For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Productions