When we first started thinking about developing Hansel last year, and realised how frankly crazy it was, we put it past our friends at Edinburgh Filmhouse and asked them if they thought it made any sense. The response was immediate and unequivocal – “go for it, and make sure you come here!” So of course - we did.
Edinburgh Filmhouse runs a dream programme of cinema from all over the world; I always look forward to receiving their monthly programme and I read it with the same avidity as I did my comics when I was a little girl. I have often been heard to say that if I lived in Edinburgh I would move my sleeping bag and camping stove in to the Filmhouse foyer to make sure I didn't miss anything that was on... so it was a particular thrill to have our Hansel films screening there on Sunday afternoon.
Along with Filmhouse's Jenny Leask (a Shetlander!) and dedicated Filmhouse volunteer Marc Jacobs, the Hansel Team gathered outside The Traverse and The Usher Hall to wait for the arrival of Gregor and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. The Council had left us a dozen metal barriers to protect her with, but no means of getting the metal bollards down so that Chitty could park nearer to Filmhouse. Marc proved a dab hand at dismantling bollards but we still didn't think we could get her to the designated parking spot. We were joined by a small but excited crowd, including Paul Bruce and the makers of Zombie Asockalypse, one of the most popular Hansel films. They brought us a special present – a sock puppet they had made in the image of Mark Kermode – it's a cracker! We were also joined by Stuart Pottinger – so good to see a Shetlander at a screening 'south'.
And then around the corner came Gregor and the car, which simply gleamed in the sunshine. It was quickly surrounded by admirers, including Gwen from The Traverse who turned out to be a huge fan (which is just as well as we were blocking up their car turning circle). Gregor handed the canister over to Jenny, and then we had to hare back to the cinema to get the screening started. We are very grateful indeed to Gregor and the folk from the Bo'ness Motor Museum for all the effort they put into being part of the Hansel project.
The audience in Cinema 2 was terrific – I wish the film makers could have heard the laughter and the applause. Afterwards we passed the canister to Pavel, who will be travelling with Paul Crayk to Banchory with a movie camera mounted on the roof of their car so we will get a literal record of their journey.
Then it was in to The Edinburgh Film Guild Room for wine and some socialising – where we discovered more friends! MSP Jean Urquhart, a stalwart supporter of Hansel was there, as was former Radio Shetland journalist, Mark Inchley. It was lovely to see them, along with Stuart and his friend.
Cara and Joe then disappeared to see a Festival Show, but we all met up again later at Filmhouse for Jenny's monthly film quiz. All I can say is that it was a good job we had Marc Jacobs, Joe and Cara in the team.....Simon and I would have been a lot nearer the bottom of the pile than where we finally ended up (7th out of 13). Simon, Joe and Cara are now fired up with the idea of having monthly film quizzes at Mareel. Something else to go on the to-do list!
Many thanks to everyone at Filmhouse – for believing in the project right from the start, for their ongoing moral support, and for enabling us all to have a special Sunday afternoon in Edinburgh.
Onward – north (at last) to Banchory, and the Woodend Barn.