Small Gifts + Ronnie Mackintosh Interview

I’m delighted to bring you a new filmmaker interview, with Screenwriter Ronnie Mackintosh. I studied with Ronnie at the Screen Academy Scotland and it’s a real pleasure to be able to show you his short film ‘Small Gifts’ on the blog today. Warning: you might need hankies when viewing – I certainly did.


Director: Brady Hood
Writer: Ronnie Mackintosh
Producer: Jameal Ali, Michael Williams and Joe Wright (Exec Prod).
Cast: Harry Soper, Nick Bagnall, Shaheen Khan

Tell us about your film:

Small Gifts was my second produced short and the first of two successful collaborations I’ve had with the very talented director, Brady Hood

What inspired this?

Around the time I was studying for my MA in screenwriting I used to spend a fair bit of time hanging around the café at the National Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh, catching up on course work as I waited for my son to finish school. I couldn’t help but notice that many of the gallery visitors fell into one of two camps: the older, retired group, who had a lot of time on their hands; and younger people who hung out with their friends. That gave me the seed of an idea – an elderly person and a young person, strangers, coming together, each affecting the other. Initially I thought the sculptures within the grounds would simply be a visually interesting backdrop. While the film was actually shot in London, the sculpture element remained and became more of an integral element in the story, with a sculpture in Battersea Park being used.

It was the first time I’d worked with Brady and, despite the fact it was a long-distance collaboration, it worked really well.

Tell us a bit about yourself:

I’m an MFA Screenwriting graduate from Screen Academy Scotland, Napier University. I studied at the Screen Academy between 2006 – 2010 and since graduating I’ve been writing full-time.

At the moment, three of my feature scripts have been optioned by production companies in the United States, London and Scotland and, fingers crossed, I’m hoping that one of those will get some traction in 2016. A fourth feature script has been selected by Amazon Studios for inclusion on their Notable Projects page.

I’ve four produced shorts: The Neighbours, featuring Peter Mullan; Small Gifts; Plagium, featuring Jason Flemyng (my second collaboration with Brady); and Arthur Cant. A fifth short is in post-production, two more are with directors who are seeking funding and an eighth has been cast and may be getting shot in Edinburgh by the end of the year, but I better not say too much about that at the moment.

What’s next for you?

For the past two years I’ve focused solely on features. I’m currently developing a feature at the moment with Edinburgh director, David Lumsden (our second collaboration) and producer, Katie Crook at Blue Iris Films.

I’ve been thinking about directing for some time. I have a script I’d like to do and have approached some well thought of crew members who are keen to come on board, so once I get some breathing space, I’d like to take that forward during 2016.

Find out more about Ronnie and see more of his work at www.ronniemackintosh.co.uk.

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