Penicuik’s paper-making industry film project

Aim: We applied funds from the SCOPS Trust for a project employing a professional playwright, Gerda Stevenson, to write a drama based on our paper-making heritage, bringing together local amateur actors and musicians, and others who might not have performance experience. We envisage this will help all residents remember and celebrate this important aspect of their heritage, and provide expressive opportunities for the amateurs who take part. The drama will be produced as a short film,  under the direction of Gerda, and with filming professionals.

The PCAA is thrilled to receive grant funding for the second of two years’ work.

Our first job was to find as many people as possible with experiences (first or second hand) of working in the paper mills. Many people came forward with their stories, memories and souvenirs of their mill experiences.

Next, Gerda contacted Penicuik’s Paper-Making museum at Pen-y-Coe Press, the Penicuik Historical Society, Penicuik Community Theatre Group and other local organisations for information and collaboration, and used your stories to write a film script. This process was delayed due to Gerda’s sad and difficult time nursing her ill husband and dealing with subsequent bereavement. SCOPS kindly allowed us six months extension to the deadline so that Gerda could complete the script

After six months, the PCAA wrote an interim progress report.

At the end of the eighteen months, the script was complete, and the PCAA wrote a detailed report about the first part of the work. This was satisfactory, and after responding to more questions from the SCOPS trust, they gave us the money to pay for the second year’s work, when professionals will work with amateur actors from Penicuik, to shoot the individual scenes and the linking footage.

Update – 17th May 2024: The amateur actors were auditioned and parts allocated in February 2024; several visits were made to potential filming locations, decisions were made and building owners contacted. Rehearsals and filming started in April 2024 and props were purchased as needs arose. Actors and professional film crew have been working incredibly hard since the beginning of April, creating footage of the spoken scenes and the link scenes. Filming is ongoing and we are preparing the interim report for this second year of project funding.

Photos – filming at the Paper-Making Museum, next door to Pen-y-Coe Press

The film will be premiered at Penicuik’s Cinema, hopefully at the end of this year (2024)! Watch this space!