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Studio Scotland Ltd

Behind the Scenes...
Positive Coaching Scotland logos  

Winning Scotland Foundation
Video Production: Instructional films for DVD & web

Positive Coaching Scotland:

The Winning Scotland Foundation define winning as success through effort – in fact sustained effort is the key. The Foundation, launched in 2006, was the inspiration of Sir Bill Gammell, Chairman of Cairn Energy PLC and former Scotland rugby internationalist.

The Winning Scotland Foundation Advisory Board is composed of individuals who have the experience and passion to reshape and inspire the way Scotland performs as a nation. Driven by a small and skilled team, they are passionate about learning through sport and are committed to positive thinking, developing and implementing initiatives which bring about cultural change and influence young people to adopt sport as a tool for life. The Foundation believes that by taking part in sport, the young will learn that success is achieved through sustained effort and is the ideal way to give young people skills they can use across their whole lives.

Film frame: Coach Gordon Roberts takes the team through 'ROOTS'.
Film frame: Billy in role as 'football mad dad'
Film frame: Ian Carstairs acting out an example of negative coaching technique.

WSF Contracts Studio Scotland Ltd – Film Production Company:

At the end of 2011, Programme Manager Grant Small from the Winning Scotland Foundation (WSF), contracted Studio Scotland Ltd to create and shoot nine short films that would dramatise issues faced by young adults, parents and coaches in the world of amateur football. Under the "Positive Coaching Scotland” banner the project is supported by "Winning Scotland Foundation", "Scottish Football League", "Scottish Premier League", "Scottish Football Association”, "The Scottish Government" and "Sport Scotland".

Preparing the camera crane for a scene in Football Dropout.
Warmup before the match

After initial meetings with Grant, it was suggested that filming could take place within a large studio environment which would allow full control over the number of actors required and challenging weather conditions at that time of year. However, it was felt that the styling would not meet the original feel and that idea was dropped in the hope that weather conditions would turn out favourable on the days all the actors were available. Story boarding was completed by end of January and shot lists were worked out that would allow for fast production techniques covering 3, 4 or, in some cases, five separate film sections shot at the same time. Of course, continuity was critical and this had to be carefully managed over a three week film schedule. From a production point of view, with up to 50 individuals required to be involved in front of the camera, it was quite a challenge.

Head of Production, Deborah Forrest, organising the actors.
Centre: Football team co-ordinator, Janetta McGuire, was a huge help
Deborah with extras, coaches and parents

The Hillfield Swifts FC:

Enter the stars of the show, The Hillfield Swifts FC of Inverkeithing in Fife. The Swifts amateur team play in the Kingdom Caledonian League and recently won the Fife Cup final. Their home ground and the main area of filming is Ballast Bank in Inverkeithing. Many thanks to Club official Eddy Spence who introduced the staff at Studio Scotland to team co-ordinator Janetta McGuire who, after initial meetings with Director Stewart Menelaws and Head of Production Deborah Forrest, got the whole team involved, along with coaches, referee and willing parents – Janetta… a very big thank you!

Actors Shaun Miller and Billy Finesy in Swingball Dad
Matthew McGuire preparing for 'angry parent in car' scene. Billy Finesy getting into character for a scene in The Football Match.

Filming – Day 1:

After much organisation, the dates were set for filming. Shooting started on a foggy Saturday morning at Ballast Bank, Inverkeithing football pavilion changing rooms. The film crew arrived an hour early to run cables, lighting and set up camera and audio gear. The football team was fabulous and all of the guys entered into the spirit of what was required. Main actors Matthew McGuire, who actually plays centre midfield for the Swifts, and Shaun Miller, our only professional actor. Both were central characters for most of the films, while Ian Carstairs, Gordon Roberts and Mike Henderson acted out the roles of coaches and referee which they all actually perform on a semi professional basis. Billy Finesy and Katrina Elman gave sterling performances within the parenting films. In fact, we definitely think Billy has a new career there. Ian Carstairs was truly fantastic; in fact, we think Ian should be up for an Oscar for his winning performance as "Bad Coach". It must be said that Ian is genuinely the complete opposite of the character he portrayed and is much respected by all at the club.

With the locker room shots in the can and after a hearty lunch of Greggs (think we cleared them out that day) rolls, sandwiches, crisps and energy drinks we attempted to shoot some exterior scenes but the lighting was not suitable and the shoot was moved to Sunday.

Stu and Deborah discuss the next scene.
Actors get a preshoot pep-talk.
filming is halted while hail falls.

Filming – Day 2:

The following day was the big game and, while interior shots can be controlled for any lighting variables, outside the Scottish weather does what it wants when it wants. During the morning game Stewart & Gregg circumnavigated the football pitch as the Swifts were in full flow, scoring three goals. It was required to capture a good range of football techniques that would be cut into later footage. DoP Stewart Menelaws had, at an earlier point in the week, worked out the most suitable angles to shoot as some of the backgrounds were distracting. With the game over and another hearty lunch awaiting the team it was Deborah’s job to keep up to 50 people happy, as she juggled teenagers, staff and parents. It was at this point, the film crew had just erected the camera crane system which raised the camera approximately fourteen feet from the ground, when the weather took a nasty turn. Stewart & Gregg immediately covered the camera with a storm cover and huddled around the crane as hail stones poured down for about 30 minutes, followed by driving sleet!!! Looking like drowned rats, but undeterred and needing to "get the shots", they awaited the crowd of budding football youths who were to take part in a series of shots.

Hi-Def requires constant monitoring.
With strong directional sunlight reflectors are used to balance exposure. Care must be taken with the boom not to cast in-shot shadow on actors.

Despite loosing some of our actors to the stormy conditions, the crew persevered and got some fun shots that would cut well into one of the film subjects. As the afternoon progressed, the weather was a DoP’s nightmare but, when you need to "get the shots", then you have to solve the problems as quickly as you can. Using portable LED lighting panels, the crew were able to control many of the shots. To solve extreme harsh, low sunlight issues for other shots, the actors were taken to a different part of the field where lighting could be controlled, to a degree, though the finished result would be unnoticeable in the completed film.

Actor Matt awaits his cue from director.
Director gives actor Matthew some direction.
Closeups behind goal filming for Football Dropout.

Filming – Days 3 and 4:

The following week would see the completion of filming. Once again, due to availability of characters, scenes were shot out of sequence for four films and a sharp eye was needed to make sure it would all look correct at the edit stage. Saturday came and filming went off without a hitch. A lot of fun was had with amateur actor Matthew McGuire, as he was picked-on by an over zealous parent in a car situation. Although a funny scene to shoot, actually, it's a very serious issue that is, unfortunately, an all too common occurrence for youngsters after a football game.

Actors 'take 5' while lighting is set up.
Leaving house scene
Actor Matthew McGuire preparing for the angry parent car scene.

The next day, Sunday, saw a punishing schedule. Our star parent actor, Billy Finesy, gave a fantastic performance. Beginning with shooting Being A Positive Role Model To Your Child, he transformed, from loving husband, father and neighbour, into an anti-social monster. With so much to complete that day, the crew found it difficult keeping the shoot on schedule with passers-by stopping in the street (in-shot) to watch Billy strutting his stuff. One particular homeowner asked if all the crew would like to come into their home for coffee. This particular film also required chromakey or green screen work, where Billy was filmed against a green backdrop which was later replaced by a constructed crowd scene. Other key stadium shots were captured at a local Edinburgh football stadium. Later in the day, Billy completed his performance with professional actor, Shaun Miller, playing his son. As filming was underway that afternoon, disaster almost struck when Shaun called in to say he had taken unwell, although, he did manage to get on set in time to carry out a great performance. While the crew worked non stop from early in the morning till about 6.00pm at night, it’s fair to say that a lot of fun was had with the films Are you a 'Win At All Costs' Parent? and Being A Positive Parent. Editing was completed in the middle of March in time for a private showing in Glasgow to the supporting organisations.

Filming at stadium
Actors Shaun Miller and Katrina Elman (Mother & son) walk off toward green screen to be replaced in-post with a football stadium.

Film Production:

For those who are interested in the mechanics of filming a project like this, here is an overview. All filming was shot on a Sony PDW-700 XDCAMHD 422 camera system with HD lenses; this is one of Sony’s high-end broadcast cameras. Picture quality is absolutely beautiful from this camera as it can handle a wide latitude of lighting which is exactly what the crew had to deal with over the weeks of filming. Director of Photography Stewart Menelaws loves using this set up which allows for a fast working schedule with high quality results. On occasion, a polariser was attached to create contrast and control highlights.

DoP Stewart Menelaws with Grant Small (WSF) discussing usable match shots.
Hi-Def lens with follow focus.

Apart from the nine dramatised films there was also a number of Chromakey interviews with various football luminaries and the XDCAMHD 422 system copes well with green or blue screen work. Gregg McNeill was acting AC and lighting grip using a range of tungsten lighting heads and portable battery LED panels, another fabulous invention that allows for quick production methods. Audio engineer Keith Elman handled all the audio via Lectrosonics radio equipment which was transmitted back to the camera.

Green screen interview with former Scottish team footballer / coach John Collins. A mask is created knocking out the background allowing a choice of footage to be inserted post-capture.
Film frame: The Football Match with actor Billy Finesy


Back at the studio, scenes edited through the week were looking good. All digital data is recorded onto high quality XDCAMHD 422 discs which are, in turn, transferred via U1 drive into one of four high end edit stations at Studio Scotland. A number of music compositions were chosen to suit the feel of each film and colour grading was applied to give each drama sequence character. Grant Small and Stuart Grieve, from the WSF, viewed the first cuts and were very pleased at how it was coming together. We will leave concluding remarks to Grant Small:

"Studio Scotland have consistently produced an extremely high quality of work for the Positive Coaching Scotland programme. We presented them with a number of challenging situations, all of which they were able to understand and produce work of the highest standard. The professional approach from all of their staff has made working with them a pleasure. We have been delighted with the outputs; highly recommended!"
Grant Small, Programme Manager, Winning Scotland Foundation

Film frame.
Film frame: Good Coach / Bad Coach with actor Shaun Miller.

A Big Thank You:

A big thank you to all who made these films possible, all the guys in the Hillfield Swifts amateur team who are:
Matthew McGuire, Robert Wilson, Jordan Rashid, Tomas Sibbald, Liam Sloan, Andrew Clampett, Alex Murray, Cameron Walls, Cameron McDougall, Gregg Hazell, Dale Pratis, Lee Carstairs, Corey McArthur, Micheal Avery Jordan McBride

In addition to the players, a big thank you to all the youngsters who took part in the “Dropout” film:
Euan McGuire, Marc McGuire, Dylan Harrison, Kyler Harrison, Donald Bissett, Duncan Bissett, Gregor Jordan, Aaron Arnott, Ben King, Dylan King, Brogan Proudfoot

A big thank you to all the adults involved:
Eddy Spence, Janetta McGuire, Ian Carstairs, Gordon Roberts, Mike Henderson, Billy Finesy, Katrina Elman and all the parents

A big thank you to our professional and amateur actors:
Shaun Miller and Joseph Elman

The Films:

Below is a link for each film… enjoy!



Studio Scotland Ltd

Video Production Company based in Fife
Theatrical, Broadcast, Corporate, Industrial & Web Productions, Hi Definition, DVD, Multimedia & Web Formats

Video Production Services throughout Central Scotland:
Fife – Edinburgh & Midlothian – Dundee & Tayside - Perthshire – Stirlingshire – Scottish Borders

Over twenty-five years experience working worldwide.


When you contract the team at Studio Scotland Ltd… be in no doubt… YOU are in very good hands.

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