Creative Edinburgh Awards & Boat: The Graphic Novels

Happy New Year!

With 2017 out of the way one of the big stand outs of last year was getting the third volume of Boat: The Graphic novels finished and out into the world. We received great feedback on the book and shortly after the release we found out the series was shortlisted for the 'CITY' award at the Edinburgh Creative Awards. (

The ‘CITY’ award is for an outstanding creative contribution or activity that has promoted Edinburgh nationally or indeed, internationally, or work that has incorporated or utilised an Edinburgh city space or cultural idea specific to the city.

If you are new to Boat it is set in a flooded dystopian Edinburgh and some of its iconic landmarks are still visible above waves most notably Edinburgh castle, Scot Monument and the Jenners building. We try to include many elements of the city throughout our story and we are hoping to reveal some more familiar locations in the next two volumes. 

Below are some of the panels (Artwork Marc Olivent) from the book that showcases Edinburgh in all its flooded glory.

Here is some more info on the category and the shortlisted projects: 

“Hidden Door Festival have been shortlisted for their standout 2017 edition in Leith Theatre, GRAS Studio have been recognised for their work on the successful bid to redesign the Ross Bandstand and West Princes Street Gardens, the ‘Boat’ Graphic Novel Series set in a post-apocalyptic flooded Edinburgh have been recognised for its best-seller in Edinburgh status, Fisk have made the shortlist for their Edinburgh New Town inspired furniture designs. Tech incubator CodeBase have been recognised for their contribution to the city’s creative industries and Open Close Collective are shortlisted for their innovative collabrative exhibition that reimagined Old Town closes.”

Unfortunately we didn’t win the award but congratulations go to the great team at CODEBASE who took the prize on the night. It would have been great to win but to be included in the category alongside such a strong selection of projects and teams was a big honour for us. 

We want to send a BIG thanks again to Creative Edinburgh for the nomination and also for everyone that has supported the books over the last year. We are really excited about continuing to showcase the city in our story. 

For more information on the series go to the following links:

Or you can purchase the books at our ONLINE SHOP


European Genre Forum (Feature film Development)


Our future project OUT THERE was selected to be part of the European Genre Forum for development. The EGF selects 8 features and develops the projects by way of masterclasses, workshops and script feedback sessions. The three stages of the forum take place in Amsterdam at the Imagine Film Festival, Croatia for the Zagreb Film Festival then finishing up at Black Nights Film Festival in Tallinn.

Director & Writer (Ronnie Mackintosh) 

Director & Writer (Ronnie Mackintosh) 

We got a chance to meet all the other teams and hear about their projects, all at different ages of development. 

Here is a list of the projects that were selected: 

Hum – Parsley Productions (United Kingdom)
The Leprechauns – Causeway Pictures Ltd (United Kingdom)
Mindscape – Bruno Isaac (Portugal)
Out There – Blue Iris Films (United Kingdom)
Striguni – Ziva Productions (Croatia) 

Family Dinner – Capra Films (Austria)
Thaw – Demeter Films (Spain)
The Woolgatherer’s Store – Fast & Loose Productions

The first stage was in April in Amsterdam and was excellent, we received great feedback for our pitch and the script doctor sessions with script advisor Chris Mitchell were very beneficial. We also had some excellent events, workshops and screenings particularly the documentary 78/52then the talk by the films director Alexandre Philippe, that was one of my favourites alongside the costume retrospective by Lindy Hemming it was amazing to get insight into her process in creating costumes/ design for films like my beautiful laundrette and the dark knight. It was rounded off by a very cool chat with director Martin Koolhoven who discussed his career and his recent feature film Brimstone. 

If you haven’t been to The Eye in Amsterdam, it’s definitely worth visiting, it’s a special building with great screenings and exhibitions… it also has a shop that sells loads of film stuff. 

The Eye! 

The Eye! 

Next stop is Zagreb… 

For more information on the Forum click the HERE

Boat Volume 3: Blood in the Water

The latest instalment in the Boat series is OUT NOW! Blood in the Water (Volume 3) has been in the works for a while now and we were lucky enough to receive funding from Creative Scotland's Open Project Fund (LINK) to make it all happen. 

The team of Mark Olivent (art), Andrei Staruiala (letters/design), Amir Zand (Cover) & Me (Writer) are back again to continue the story. The funding has allowed us to be more ambitious with the third book, it's a longer page count and it allows me to really expand the story. It is definitely the most challenging instalment in terms of narrative as it's the longest comic book i have ever written (rubber underpants on standby), the previous volumes both come in at 41 pages, Blood in the Water is clocking in at 70 pages. 

The previous volumes have received some great reviews and feedback from fans at comic conventions, more recently on Volume 2 from Dom at Geek-retreat. (LINK)

‘Boat Volume 2 is almost masterful in its execution. Bolstered by a super team, the book shines from start to finish’. – Dom Kelly (Geek-Retreat)

 Here is the official synopsis... 

The rules for an outsider in No Land are about to be enforced… and Charlie is the outsider. 

As more of his past is revealed, could the well and what lurks beneath the castle finally offer an end to his pain?

Against orders Gwyn is on a personal mission of revenge and with Evie in tow their actions could unleash hell upon the city.

Blood in the Water is the third instalment of the critically acclaimed Boat series. 

So that's that! For more information on the book go to our brand new Facebook page!  (LINK)

We are all really excited to share the finished book with you. A very big thanks to the peeps at Creative Scotland for getting behind the book, we couldn't have made it without your support. 

If you haven't caught up on Volume 1 & 2 fret not! You can get them from MY COMIC SHOP (LINK) or at BlackWells & Forbidden Planet in Edinburgh. 



Spinal Surgery & Self Publishing



It has been a crazy few months since my last Blog post, Mainly getting back to work after the old back problem and finishing off projects. 

First off Graphic Novel!!  Boat Volume 1 was nominated for best Graphic novel at the SICBA awards! 

It was great to be nominated for a SICBA and we came runner up! DAMN! So close!! Would have been great to get the award but just to be there was very exciting. 

The event tied in with the Glasgow Comic Con so i got to sell the book and meet some very cool people. 

It really snowballed from there, We are now stocked in Forbidden Planet (Edinburgh & Glasgow), Blackwell Books, Deadhead Comics, Online Digital Comics platform Comixology and Amazon Kindle Direct! You can buy a signed hardback version at the Comic Shop tab at the top of the page too! 

I have loved comics since i was a kid and i never thought it was something that i would ever get to do but while having a bit of free time on my hands (more on that later) i got to spend some time reading up on self publishing and the best ways to get it out there in shops. 

I have learned a lot doing this self publishing process, mainly i shouldn't have waited so long. I talked about doing my own comic for ages but i can't draw to save myself, so instead of looking for an artist i just didn't bother and shelved the idea. i think its easy to let things just take a back seat but i should have been more pro active! Just do it is my only advice, its tough but there are so many artists out there that are interested in collaborating. Just find one and get your book out there. If i did it, anyone can. 

Back issues? Oh shit. 

So i have had back issues for many years, i thought it was just a pulled muscles here and there but i discovered i had two slipped discs. I couldn't walk and required surgery. I had to stop working at Freakworks which wasn't part of the plan and basically spend 5 months flat on my back. In short two discs popped out and were tickling my nerves that sent shooting pains down my legs, physio didn't work so surgery was the suggested route. The surgery was no joke either, the type i needed required me to be awake during the procedure! (oh being awake during spinal surgery!? Why not!? it only happens to feature at number 3 on my all time fear lists.) Sign me up! 

Things were not going according to plan. So i had to miss out on work, miss out on a holiday and have a surgery on Christmas eve. Em Santa!? I asked for a Mr Frostie ice maker.... not this! 

I wont bore with the whole process/procedure or the haunting visual of knowing what the sound and feeling of having your hip dislocated and hammered back into place or...

i think thats enough of those visuals...

So 10 months later... I am now back at work directing and editing! My spare time is basically writing the next few volumes of the graphic novel and working on a few feature film ideas with some very talented people.

So what was the point of this Blog? Or the moral of the story? Which as my old headmaster used to say in every school assembly speech, 'stop bullying' em.. i think what i am trying to say is don't wait for spinal surgery to motivate you into doing something you love.  More morals and dramas in the next blog post... Thanks for reading. 

Where are the links to buy the book you say!!? 

My Comic Shop:


Amazon KDP:



Write Shoot Cut & Rubber Underpants...

Whats my film called again!?                             photo taken by Nivine Keating at   Morrighan Images

Whats my film called again!?                             photo taken by Nivine Keating at Morrighan Images

Boat screened at Write Shoot Cut at the Filmhouse as part of their monthly showcase of Short Films. The screening sold out and we were upgraded to Screen 1 at the Filmhouse! 

It was a big goal of mine to screen a film at the Filmhouse especially in screen 1 as i have seen a lot of classic films there over the years and to watch it on the massive screen was a big deal for me. 

On top of that there was the wet the bed nerves of screening the film in front of an audience again. I thought that it would have been fine after screening at the Glasgow Short Film Festival but i was wrong, a few days before Write Shoot Cut the nerves came back and it was rubber underpants time again. 

I get a lot of people telling me, you should be happy, you she be proud, you should be excited and honoured to have it screening! Obviously yes all of the above and more but there is always that part of you that wonders what if the file i delivered was corrupt, what if the sound isn’t right what happens if everyone boos and i get whipped within an inch of my life? 

There were a lot of people there and Neil Rolland who was running the event told us we would be doing a Q&A after the screening so people could ask me questions. Ok cool, sounds good…I was running out of rubber underpants. 

Photo taken by Nivine Keating at   Morrighan Images

Photo taken by Nivine Keating at Morrighan Images

We were screening 4th out of five films. I positioned myself up the back of the cinema sandwiched between one of the editors on the film and the Assistant Director, both hadn’t seen the film. Apparently i spent most of the screenings scrunching a plastic bottle and darting out to the toilet at the end of each film to pray. 


When Boat finally screened the nerves went away. The same happened in Glasgow. I remember thinking before the film started if i feel like this before every screening I’m giving this up. My bladder can’t take it anymore. But luckily it all went away! I got a chance to enjoy watching the film that took a lot of people endless hours of their time to make and i truly appreciate all of their hard work on Boat. 


The film looked great, it sounded great, the Q&A went well, people complimented Giles Lambs score the actors and the overall look of the film. It was a very cool night and i can’t thank Write Shoot Cut enough for selecting it to be part of this eclectic mix of Scottish Films. All the shorts screened were really enjoyable and i am glad Boat got it’s Edinburgh Screening. 


Now onto the next one… Rubber pants ready.

Boat & Bafta!

Anthony Devine won Best Design at the Scottish Bafta New Talent Awards for his excellent work on Boat!

It was a great night and it was amazing to see Anthony  get recognition for his matte paintings on the film.

You can see Anthony talking about his work on the film in this clip- 

Boat behind the scenes video

The category of Design was new to the Bafta New Talent awards this year and we were honoured to have been among the other nominees.

Making the walk to the podium. 

Making the walk to the podium. 

I met Anthony by chance many years ago when i was looking for a matte painter to work on Boat. I was clicking through endless profiles on a site called CGsociety, most of the work featured were from international artists. I was desperate to work with someone in Scotland or at the very least within the UK.

I bookmarked an image that that struck a chord with me, it was called The New World (You can see why i was interested!)  

After nervously clicking on his bio i was shocked to see the artist was based in Stirling. Luckily Anthony was interested in working on the project and he brought so much creativity to the project and it was fantastic to see him receive his award from Bafta.

We had many talented individuals on the film and i wish everyone could get recognition for their hard work and long hours. Boat was a big effort from many people and as Anthony said on the podium 'this is for all the team'. 

Thanks to all at the Scottish Baftas for a great night. We had horrendous smiley hangovers at work the next day! It was worth it. 

Thanks for reading


Comic Books & Bucket Lists

Boat Volume 01.

Boat was a long process, it was a very long process.... but it was a chance to work and learn a lot about VFX and integrating into a script. I got a chance to work with a lot of talented individuals and while working on boat i got a chance in between approving VFX shots to tick off one of my bucket list dreams, write a comic book! 

I have always loved comic books and i would spend most of my wages from my part time jobs buying comics from my local Forbidden Planet. I Started off reading 2000 ad, Judge Dredd & Rogue Trooper then i fell in love with The Punisher and Wolverine then it just snowballed and i read everything... Preacher, Y the Last man, Aliens, Spiderman, Watchmen,  100 Bullets, Kick ass, Crimson, Tank girl etc (basically too many to mention)

I always loved films and comic books and everytime i wanted to do a film i would want to incorporate a comic, it never worked out because my drawing skills are disgraceful and i never had the time. The good thing about Boat was i had buckets of time and i also had a very talented Storyboard artist Mark Weallans. I spoke to Mark about the comic book and he was up for working on it and we had time over the 4 years of working on Boat to do something and we did. 

Boat Panel- Rough Design. Mark Weallans

Boat Panel- Rough Design. Mark Weallans

Boat Volume 01 is the story of Boat, it basically is the closest depiction of the short screenplay i did for Boat. There were many elements from the script that due to budget and time constraints couldn't be filmed. So in short Boat Volume 01 is the directors cut of the film. It was a great experience working on the comic version of the film, looking at reference materials, panel layouts and going over it all with the artist. Mark did a great job. Check it this behind the scenes film on him working on the comic.... 

Behind the Scenes- Boat The Comic

Mark Working on the comic. 

Mark Working on the comic. 

Getting the comic drawn was the first Hurdle. Getting the comic finished was another... There are lots of elements and i am really skimming over the process here and not giving the people involved nearly enough credit. But the final stages of finishing the book were the most enjoyable. The lettering & cover design, both created by Director/Graphic designer Andrei Stariauala were great. He captured the look and tone of the project so well. (Andrei also designed the poster of the film) Working with Andrei on this part of the process really inspired me. Each stage of creating the comic is fun but this section really brought the book to life and the dialogue positioning, sound effect creating really was an art and he really made me want to work on more comic books. Thanks Andrei! 

So... i had a finished PDF of the comic. 44 pages. 281mb file. I wanted to get it printed. To have a physical copy of the comic just to have in the flat thats the dream. I found a website, UK comics Creative and they printed at the size i always bought at. US size. Smaller than A4 just the right dimensions. (i realise this paragraph has taken geek to the next level and included file sizes. If you have chosen to skip this paragraph i understand...too late...anyway!) 

Fast forward to the proof copy. It was amazing! It looked great. The design looked so cool. The colours, the panels all looked right. The size of the book was perfect. Looked great on the coffee table. Then it came to the order. 50? or 100? I had no plan for these comics... i just thought i could have this comic and maybe hand out the odd copy at a film festival. I went with 100. 

So they came and i had to decide what to do. Nowadays comics are widely available on Digital platforms. I have submitted it to Comixology but i have to wait a few months to see if it is approved so i thought why not approach Forbidden Planet. the place where i bought all my comics. So dripping with fear and doubt i went into my local store. After wandering around for 15 minutes and looking like a shoplifter i worked up the courage to approach a member of staff.

"hey, i have a comic and i didn't know what...em process... we or you, or should i email..."


The guy outlined the process, i got the impression a lot of people have asked about this, he said i should hand something in at some point and he would make a decision on whether they would stock the comic. I had the proof in my bag. I was going to leave and email something at another time. Yes i would have, but i can get weird. But luckily this time i didn't. The time dragged as he flipped through the book occasionally pausing to ask me the odd question about it as he flipped through. It felt like 33 minutes. It ended with him agreeing to stock the book. Which was great. It started with 5 books. To see how it goes. I gave him 7. Luckily after the first week we sold out. :) 

No i didn't buy them all myself. well not all of them. :) 

I dropped off a new batch yesterday and fingers crossed a few of them sell. The plan is to do more because well... i love comic books. 

Thanks for reading. 





Boat Premier! GSFF 2015!

I am very pleased to announce that Boat will have it's premier at the Glasgow Short Film Festival 2015!!

The very cool people at the GSFF have selected it to be screened in competition during the festival.

Boat will screen in the

Scottish Competition 1: Parenthood at 21.15 on Thursday 12 March 

at CCA, 350 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow G2 3JD.

I am really pleased to premier the film in Glasgow, I always wanted it to be screened in Scotland first. 

I hope you can all make it along and see the film!

For more info on the GSFF 2015 go to-

Boat finished and off to sea... Well, off to Festivals.

The Final VFX shot has been rendered and sent through by David Meikle in Canada, Final grade care of Gavin Livingstone and the mix has been completed at Canongate studios!  We are very happy to say Boat has been completed!

It has been quite a journey but we have finished the film and we are all happy with the final result, we want to thank all the crew and funders for all their hard work and support, the film couldn't have been made without all of your help and patience!

So with 14 mins 26 seconds of post apocalyptic drama we are getting it prepped, packaged and sent out to Festivals.

We will keep you all posted with it's progress!

In the meantime go to for more information. 

Thanks again everyone,


Franco-Furies! Film4 Frightfest Ident


I met producer James Pearcey while i was on the EIFF Talent lab, James is a fan of all things horror and we got to chatting and he asked if i wanted to submit an ident for the Frightfest horror festival in London.

James Pearcey, James Alexandrou & myself at EIFF 2013

James Pearcey, James Alexandrou & myself at EIFF 2013

The idents were to encourage people to turn off their mobile phones during the films but had to be horror themed. I wanted to do a homage to a couple of films that had iconic characters and i wanted to add a Scottish element to one of them. I told James that i wanted to do two indents one referencing Trainspotting and the other The Warriors, I'm not sure what he thought about it but he said if you can blend the two together into one ident that would be better… So thats were the mash up 'Franco-Furies' came from.

The most difficult part was to make them blend together, after watching the two films i remembered that the remastered version of the Warriors had new comic panel transitions between scenes, i really liked this so i thought that would be the best way to get from the two scenarios and Andrei who created the transitions for the ident said he could achieve this effect in the short time we had.

Gav prepping for the pint throw. 

Gav prepping for the pint throw. 

After roughly storyboarding and casting the piece… we realised Gav (above-Editor/Colourist/Star) was a dead ringer for Francis Begbie when he had a moustache and was willing to be in film, so we were good to go i just needed to get a location for a cinema.

I really picked the worst time to film the ident as it was the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and no-where was willing to let us use their venue. After calling all the cinemas in Edinburgh and having countless chats with people about different venues/theatres we could try we stumbled upon the Gmac in Glasgow that has its own cinema that can be used for private screenings.

Setting up a shot with Danny (Baseball Furies)

Setting up a shot with Danny (Baseball Furies)

Madeline Drewell played our victim and also did all of our SFX Make up. 

Madeline Drewell played our victim and also did all of our SFX Make up. 

Audience at the Motel X Festival in Portugal.

Audience at the Motel X Festival in Portugal.


We shot the two scenarios in one night and edited the following few days. We got the ident to James and it went down well, we screened at the Empire cinema in London for Fright Fest and it also screened at the Motel X horror Festival in Portugal! Unfortunately we couldn't go to watch it but James sent some stills of the screenings! 


You can watch the Franco-Furies ident at this link...

Check out the other Fright-Fest Idents at this link... 

On set with the crew at Gmac.

On set with the crew at Gmac.