Hi everyone – it’s been a really busy period over the last couple of months!

In this post I would like to discuss my first experience of writing for a 48 Hour Film Project, which involved a group of very enthusiastic filmmakers having to write, shoot and edit a short film together within – yeah, you’ve guessed it – 48 hours!

Here is the official website for those who want to read more information about the competition itself: The 48 Hour Film Project: Edinburgh

The way the process worked was:

On the the Friday evening, the leader of the group selected a genre out of a hat. The team then had to come up with ideas for a story based on the selected genre and took a vote on what idea was the best. Then it was up to the writers to write the script in time to start shooting the following Saturday morning.

On Saturday the film got shot with a rough assembly cut put together later that evening. It was also the day I had to write the music.

Sunday was the day the editor finalised the cut. The film was then complete and handed in to the competition HQ.

The group came up with a rather good story, set in 1981 about the Ayrshire coal mines being threatened of closure.

On the Friday night, Jo Osborne (co-producer / co-writer) gave me the relevant information, such as the genre and the outline of the story. She also requested a news jingle for a ‘radio broadcast’ within the film. So, I woke up bright and early on Saturday morning and discovered the script had been posted up. Upon my first read-through, at the end it mentioned that before the end credits, there would be information appearing on-screen relating to the real-life events of the mine closures and strikes, and what impact they had. This immediately triggered an idea in my head, which incidentally ended up being the track that ends up in the film.

After having read the script a few times, I came up with a news jingle relatively quickly and sent if off for evaluation. Whilst I was awaiting feedback, I continued developing the idea that was circling in my head. Later on, I received positive feedback for the jingle, but I was now tasked with writing an 80’s synth pop track. This was a bit of a curve ball for me as I had not anticipated it. However, I went through all my synth presets and picked the most cheesy and 80’s sounding ones I could find, and cobbled together a pastiche of 80’s pop songs. Ultimately, it didn’t make the final cut due to time restrictions.

After a bit of a break, I continued developing the idea for the end title track, finalised it and submitted it. I soon received a positive reply: “Amazing!!” said the director, Mark Spiden.

I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of working alongside a cracking team of filmmakers who’d done an excellent job in each of their fields. I think what we all managed to produce in 48 hours was a great achievement. I hope to work with them all again someday!


‘1981’ | Directed by Mark Spiden | Produced by Jo Osborne and Kristopher Blair | Written by Andrew Hazell and Jo Osborne | Edited by Peter Stewart | Music by Christopher Belsey