Made Here: Elaine C. Smith’s Burdz Eye View, STV

LAST night saw episode one of a six-part series being broadcast on STV, and featuring acclaimed actress and comedian, Elaine C. Smith.

Made for STV by RPM Arts and Solus Productions, Elaine C. Smith’s Burdz Eye View is a combination of Smith doing her first stand-up tour for several years and an affectionate look at some of Scotland’s seaside resorts.

Episode two is being broadcast on Monday, at 2000.

Tony Kearney, series director, answers the questions…

Who commissioned the programme?

The programme was commissioned by Elizabeth Partyka, deputy director of Channels for STV.

Explain the thinking behind the programme’s ‘look and feel’.

The programme is a light-hearted, to a degree female-skewed, view of Scotland’s oldest established, traditional holiday destinations.

Elaine acts as our through-line, as the people and the places are seen through her eyes.

The series is laced with Elaine’s stand-up comedy routine, we tried, where possible, to match contributors and places loosely to some of the content from her stand-up show.

Elaine has an incredible gift of putting people at their ease and, as a result, the series reflects a rare glimpse of some of Scotland’s most colourful and quirky characters, set against the backdrop of scarcely-highlighted Scottish seaside towns.

Who are the key personnel? How were they recruited?

Elaine is, of course, the presenter and the main talent attached to the series. Jim Webster of Solus Productions is the series producer. Jim worked closely with Bob Morton of RPM Arts.

As well as being executive producer on the programme, Bob sets up all of the live gigs, venues, ticket sales, promotion, etc.

Jim Webster’s remit was ensuring we had engaging, refreshing content for each programme in the lead up to the gigs.

Jim also worked with the graphic designers, PlayDead, to establish the look and feel to the title sequence and graphics.

What kit and software?

We shot the series on PMW 500 and PMW 200 cameras and edited on Avid.

What were the main production challenges?

The main challenges were capturing the spontaneous moments at the right place and the right time.

I wanted Elaine’s reactions to places and people to be as real and natural as possible. I wanted to avoid as much re-staging as possible.

I think, on the whole, we managed to achieve this. Elaine is a director’s dream and took direction so very well, and gave so much content all the time. However, this skill presented a challenge its self as we were left with so much incredibly interesting footage in the edit.

What did you most learn and enjoy from the experience?

I have learnt to be much more economical with what I am shooting, and avoid over-shooting at all times.

It was so enjoyable to see these hidden gems of Scotland, meet such interesting people and work with such an accomplished professional as Elaine.