Saturday, 27 June 2015

David Lumsden discusses his graphic novel and film Boat

After completing an MA at the Edinburgh College of Art, David Lumsden worked on independent projects from short dramas to behind the scenes, working internationally with acclaimed talent.

His achievements include award winning shorts films, awards at the Roses creative awards and a movie viral award. His current position is Director and Editor at Freakworks Edinburgh.
David’s has just finished his short film Boat, a post-apocalyptic short film, and is in the process of developing ‘Prion’ his first feature length project about the return of the 1645 plague to Edinburgh.
He was recently selected for the 2013 Edinburgh International Film Festivals Talent lab scheme.
Boat premiered in competition at the Glasgow Short film festival 2015 where it was nominated for Best Scottish Short & the Channel 4 Innovation in Storytelling Award. It recently won Best Design at the Bafta New Talent Awards.

GKV: Tell us about the book you're nominated for...
Boat Vol 1 is based on my short film Boat . It is a post apocalyptic Scottish drama about a father and son looking for home in a futuristic flooded world. I wrote the script in 2011 and completed the film in 2014 after a long post production process. From the beginning, I wanted to create a comic book version of the film.

We had some really stunning graphic concept art of a flooded Scotland, created by Anthony Devine, which we used with the film as a guide to create the comic book with artist Mark Weallans. We completed the Graphic Novel while finishing the VFX on the film last year. It was a great experience and I am hoping to continue the story with the next volumes this year.

How did you get into comics?
Since I was a pretty young I've always loved film, my mum remembers taking me to the cinema at the age of two and i never made a sound or took my eyes of the screen for the whole movie. I discovered comics through reading comic books set in similar worlds such as Newt's Tale and Predator.

How far is your work a collaborative process?
Its a very big process and hugely collaborative, just like working on the short film I've had help from many talented people. It was my first comic so I was making lots of mistakes, but Mark (artist) and I discussed illustration style and panel story boarding. The lettering and additional artwork was by Andrei Stariuala and Tammy Le Vasan: everyone involved brought something unique that made the book better. I loved collaborating with them, it was a big dream to make a graphic novel and they really made it possible.

Do you see yourself as part of any particular Scottish tradition?
I don’t really know if I do, but as I've grown up in Scotland you kind of get immersed in its dark history. I like to feature an element of Scotland in my work, as it is my home and what I have known for many years. There are so many Scottish styles and literary traditions but it is definitely the darker side that I lean towards.

If I saw a film that I really loved, I'd try to find out every detail about it, the writers and the actors. I remember it started with Aliens and this was how I discovered comics, through reading comic books set in similar worlds. I used to spend all my wages at Dead Head comics and Forbidden Planet in Edinburgh. I was a big fan of 2000AD, The Crow, Punisher, anything I could get my hands on. I was pretty hooked on certain writers and artists and I always wanted to get into writing my own comics. I was developing Boat for a long time but I couldn’t draw to save myself so I went down the film-making road. Now I try and do both. The good thing about comics is there aren't the same budget constraints when telling a story.

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