We made this film with John Bellany for Channel 4 as part of a series of four films called 'My City Edinburgh'. John flew in especially from Italy for the filming and spent two days with us, one for the filming in his studio in Edinburgh and then in Port Seaton, his home town - somewhere he held so dear and featured so heavily in his work. We then had a morning in his Edinburgh home and studio where we recorded the interview.
I was completely captivated by John. He had such a warm personality, and I remember trying to see if I could find out about a dark side that lurked within his character, whether the work came out of a tornented, troubled place, but he just seemed like a man bursting with ideas, in love with life, and keen to spend every second of it working in the medium he loved so much. I love what he says at the end of the film when talking about his life and work: “Our simple idea in these days, and still is, was we were going to enthral the world with our work. And that’s what I’m still trying to do to this day.”
What an incredible man. I feel so lucky to have spent time with him.
The films were commissioned by Stuart Cosgrove at Channel 4, made with Inspiring Edinburgh and I made the film with producer Nicki Young of Sugar Tree Productions, cinematographer Simon Dennis, sound recordist Rob Anderson, production manager Katie Crook and stills were by Lisa Fleming. The film was edited by Simon Blakeley and the colourist was Simone Grattarola.