Transforming Edinburgh’s cobbled back streets into a dark dreamscape that brims with supernatural menace, Night Kaleidoscope tells the story of Fion (Patrick O’Brien), a cynical psychic investigator who peddles his ability to anyone with the money to pay for his services. Shot in under a week on a weeny budget Night Kaleidoscope is our kind of movie.
Since Edinburgh is the Hothouse’s second home so we tracked down director Grant McPhee. Cornering him in one of the city’s darkest wynds, there was no way he was going to get away without spilling the beans on the movie.
So by way of introduction who is Grant McPhee and how did he become a filmmaker?
‘I started working as an assistant cameraman. I was lucky enough to work with some very talented DPs such as Chris Doyle, Peter Deming and Robert Richardson. I shot a lot of indie features and shorts in my spare time before deciding on a whim to direct my first feature, Sarah’s Room in 2013. It’s impossible to not be influenced by anyone. I probably like Nicolas Roeg – his directing and cinematography more than any other film-maker but I’m more interested in trying to do my own thing whether successful or not.’
And without giving too much away about the plot what is Night Kaleidoscope all about?
‘It’s about a psychic investigator who is hunting down a group of right-wing vampires. He’s helped along the way by psychedelic drugs, a dead girl and an old hippie. We shot in around a week on a super micro budget though most went on trying to pay the small crew something. We wanted to see how far we could take our constraints and build upon our last film.
The movie is now in the final stages of post production so we should be good to release it mid-Summer’ in the mean time take a look at the trailer we like it very much.
Night Kaleidoscope is one of a very few horror movies to be shot in Edinburgh, which given the city’s imposing architecture and dark past the Hothouse has always found surprising, Grant agrees:
‘That’s a good point. The city has the history and fantastic dark locations. Most films about Edinburgh’s dark past have been gothic thrillers and horrors are still very thin on the ground. There’s a great film called Outcast (2010) with James Nesbitt and Kate Dickie, that every horror fan should watch. Hopefully more people will take advantage of the architecture for the horror genre.’
We agree Outcast is an excellent supernatural thriller that will be featured in a future Bargain Basement of Terror feature, but Grant is more than just enthusiastic about Scottish film he involved with the Tartan Film collective actively supporting the work of other Scottish filmmakers:
‘We’re taking a very DIY punk attitude and making our own brand. The approach we are taking is to treat our collective as though it were an Indie record label, a bit like Factory Records. We’re hoping to bring together like-minded filmmakers and releasing our films through the TF umbrella. The idea being that if one is successful it will help the others, simplify marketing and allow non commercial films to gain a little interest through more commercial films. We’re working with Lauren Lamarr, Andrew Lanni and John McPhail amongst others who share the same mindset of rather than sitting and waiting for something to happen – to go out and do it yourself.’
So what’s next for Grant McPhee?
‘A documentary feature called Teenage Superstars. It’s the story of the Glasgow Indie bands scene from the 80s-90s. Bands such as BMX Bandits, Vaselines and Teenage Fanclub, all part of a group of friends who would later have a very big influence on Nirvana. It’s the second in a series of three films about Scottish DIY bands.’
Grant McPhee Thank you for speaking to the Horror Hothouse.