In the Can! Tony’s Story

Packed day of filming the drama sequences for Tony Franklin’s interview.

Wonderful to witness the kindness, enthusiasm and hard work of everyone.

Many thanks to the great staff at the Laurieston Bar and the lovely neighbour who let their house be used as a location.

Top notch actors, incredible crew and the great director, Ross Donald. Very special thanks to the producers and those who work hard for months ahead to get everything ready for shooting.

A special guest was Tony Franklin himself. In true Hitchcock fashion he appears in the film as himself playing a customer in the bar. Here he is (back to camera) sharing a joke with Sean Trizzel, the sctor who plays him:

And here’s a picture of Tony, Sean and the man who started he whole thing, Martin.

The second scene is where Tony’s wife leaves him, taking their son with her. Watching it being shot, the real Tony said it hit him hard.

Last image is of the great young actor Adam who plays Tony’s son.


It’s a Wrap!

This weekend saw the shooting of Kelly’s story. Actress Debbie has a great facial resemblance to Kelly.

Great time had by all the crew and others. Enthusiasm and collective vibe. Great contacts made.

Next up will be shooting Tony’s, John’s and Martin’s tales. Well on course for having post-production processing in November with world premiere scheduled for December,


At Last! Filming Again and the END in Sight

Professor Gerda Reith, University of Glasgow

All interviews were completed a long while ago. Now shooting of drama sequences which will be edited into the interviews are starting in mid-July. Best say 2021 as we never know what’s around the corner!

The drama sequences will resonate with the stories told by John, Kelly, Martin and Tony.

The film should be completed late summer (2021!) and will be distributed online, via film festivals, and – very importantly – at community events.

Some more screenshots from the interviews below:

John whose son took his own life because of gambling
Kelly whose gambling drove her to despair. And her strong message of hope.
Tony – one of the UK’s most prominent campaigners – on 40 years of harms
Martin, founder of The Machine Zone, on despair and overcoming the damage
Ronnie Cowan MP Inverclyde, Vice-Chair All Party Parliamentary Group on Gambling Harms

Our final picture above shows Will Griffiths, Project Manager of Scotland Reducing Gambling Harms at the Alliance for Health and Social Care Scotland. He is moving to the Scottish Governmet as a Policy Officer in July (2021). He has been an inspiration and a joy to work with. He has set up a big network of lived experience folk harmed by gambling, and networked across sectors to help raise awareness and reduce harms. Without him and his support our film may not have been completed, and the momentum we now enjoy in Scotland towards a public health approach to gambling would be much less. We wish Will all the best in his new job and greatly look forward to inviting him to the premier screening of the film.


Not One Film but Two!

We really are behind schedule with One Last Spin. The lockdown situation has made it unsafe to film the second part of the documentary. This involves drama sequences and no way can distancing be achieved. We’ve even considered hiring in an animator to create these sequences. Animation, though, remains very much a fall-back in the event that lockdown constraints apply throughout the year.

With promising easing policies from governments on both sides of the border, we are hoping very much to bring in actors and shoot the sequences on location. Intended release of the film is the later part of 2021. It will be online. It will be entered for film festivals. And as soon as conditions allow, we want to take it out into community settings for screenings and discussion.

However, since we were last in touch, we received an award from Greater Glasgow and Clyde NHS Healthy Minds Anti-Stigma initiative, and we are producing a website to be delivered in March. At the centre of this is a very powerful filmed interview with Marion Paterson, our Director. This has been produced professionally to an extremely high standard of quality, and Martin’s words cover so much in such a very engaging way. We were able to produce this while observing strict protocols for safety during the pandemic.

After the filming during which Martin stresses the need to find good things to do in recovery – or discovery as he prefers to call it – Martin gave us a blast on his sax which he’s recently started learning to play. He’s always loved the saxaphone. He owned one for three days in his gambling time before pawning it for cash to play the machines.

We are hoping Gambling Watch Scotland will grow ove rthe year and we greatly look forward to finding a home for One Last Spin when it’s completed.


Production Underway!

Ross Donald (Director) with Martin Paterson

We’re delighted that production has started. A few weeks ago, Experts by Experience Kelly Field, Tony Franklin and John Myers came up from England to be interviewed and enjoy the sights of Glasgow.

Today, Ronnie Cowan MP ( Vice-Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Gambling Related Harm) was interviewed, along with Martin.

Ronnie Cowan MP with Marin

Professor Gerda Reith from Glasgow University will also take part (once she’s got the kids safely back to school!). Professor Reith has a long experience of gambling research.

We’ve invited one more person to be interviewed. The interviews will then be complete. Director Ross Donald has many hours of material to edit. Thereafter work will begin on producing some short drama sequences.

Kelly (above) from St Helens highlights how online gambling took her spiralling into debt. It’s not just men, it’s a growing issue for women.


Anonymous: a film about addiction

While our own production is still on pause during the CVD-19 epidemic, we are very pleased to publicise other film makers related work.

Here we highlight Alasdair Mackay’s production Anonymous.

The film deals with addiction – an affliction that comes in so many forms and that everyone is affected by at some point in their lives (either directly or indirectly) and a subject which is not highlighted enough by the arts, considering it’s power.

Check out the film’s website here and get involved by becoming a crowdfunder which will bring perks as detailed here.


‘When the Fun Stopped’ : short documentary

We came across this video by Will Varney. Well worth a look.

This documentary reflects the real impact gambling addiction can have on people’s lives. Follow the hard fought campaign of the ‘Big Step’ and ‘Gambling with Lives’ as their calls to further regulate the UK’s gambling landscape grow louder. The key aim…to prevent further lives being lost.