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Q&A with Schemers director Dave Mclean

Schemers

22 September 2020

It's Dundee's first feature film, filled with iconic locations, great music and cameo appearances from some well-known Dundee characters – we can't wait for you to see Schemers at DCA cinema! Book your tickets now for the film's main run, starting Fri 25 September.

For our special preview screening on Mon 21 September, we showed this special introduction from Dave Mclean, who wrote and directed the film inspired by his own experiences as a young concert promoter in 1970s Dundee. We loved the video so much, we thought we'd share it with you!

We spoke some more to Dave about Schemers, and what it was like to film in Dundee…

We're so excited to bring Schemers to DCA cinema! Can you tell us a little about the film, and what inspired it?

It's about myself and two friends, John and Scot, trying to make easy money by doing what turned out to be very difficult things. We organised concerts, ran coaches to gigs, buses to cup finals, buses to see the Pope – all with varying degrees of success. 

My main motivation for doing all these things was to date this girl; I was trying to impress her by being different! It was all about not doing a nine-to-five job, no matter what… 

Schemers was inspired by people saying to me 'You should write a book', and I thought 'A book is too difficult, I'll write a film script instead and pack it with great songs from bands I've been involved with.'

“Everyone was so welcoming and helpful, I was proud of the city”

This is Dundee's first feature film – what was it like to film in the city?

It was fantastic to film in Dundee! So great to film in bars like Mennies and Tay Bridge, to film in the Ferry, bump into old friends, and best of all go to see Dundee United a few times!

Everyone was so welcoming and helpful, I was proud of the city and it made a great impression on the cast and crew. 

What's your favourite iconic Dundee location featured in Schemers?

Definitely The McManus Art Gallery and Museum, it's a scene on the steps with Davie and Shona. It's a fantastic gallery and museum, I've taken many of my Thai staff and friends there, they love it.

Schemers premiered last year at the Edinburgh International Film Festival; what was it like, how did it feel seeing your story on the big screen with an audience?

I am very lucky in my life to have experienced so many great moments with bands I've worked with and promoted, like Placebo and Nirvana, but that night was definitely the best of my life.

Watching the movie on the big screen was literally unreal for me, it really came to life, and the audience reaction – standing ovation and applause – went on for ages, it was like a dream. It could not have gone any better. 

“Watching the movie on the big screen was literally unreal for me…”

Which films have inspired you most as a director? Does Schemers pay homage to any of your favourites?

I watch a lot of films and I'd say that Gregory's Girl, Trainspotting, Local Hero – these kind of films. It's hard to explain really, but if I succeeded in getting a few elements of these movies into Schemers I will be extremely happy. 

Thank you Dave, we loved talking to you!

Book now for Schemers standard screenings or our Seniors screening. Share your reviews and comments on social media using #helloDCA – we'd love to hear your thoughts.

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