Big screen launch for Tayvallich filmmaker

Anni Grönberg stars in Joe Osborn's new sci-fi film Seaweed Shrapnel.

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A new film created by a young Tayvallich director is to launch at a screening at the Oban Phoenix Cinema on Friday July 1.

Seaweed Shrapnel is the work of Joe Osborn and features some dramatic settings from throughout Argyll, particularly around his home in Carsaig, Tayvallich.

The atmospheric short sci-fi film is beautifully shot and has a dystopian darkness which suits its theme of a lurking ecological menace.

Classic storytelling tropes of promised lands, good versus evil and conflicted villains will be familiar to viewers, but these features are blended with clever animation and solid acting performances that welcome the audience into the realm of fantasy.

This strange world is achieved primarily by one of the main protagonists – the Argyll landscape.

The unmistakable local scenery is depicted here as magical and otherworldly – a characteristic easily portrayed through the mystical beauty of the ancient rainforest in which much of the later action takes place.

Seaweed Shrapnel’s creator allows the backdrop prominence in a way that is never overshadowed by the performances of his cast – rather the costumes and acting carry a complementary naturalness that blends seamlessly with the landscape.

Joe’s experience and skill as a filmmaker is on show throughout this piece and reflects his passion for the craft that began as a young child when he watched other young filmmakers screen their own creations.

He said: ‘When I was around eight some older kids in the village showed an awesome film they shot and edited in the village hall. It instantly made me want to go out and join them. It was brilliant.’

When asked about his influences, Joe added: ‘There are so many people I’ve stolen ideas from over the years –  I’m a huge fan of ’80s John Carpenter horror and I like a lot of cult classics and films that rely on practical effects rather than CGI. The cheesier and more terrible they are, the more I love them.’

And Joe’s ambitions to add his work to the genre will, like in Seaweed Shrapnel, champion the best Argyll, and Scotland more widely, has to offer.

He said: ‘I’ve lived in Tayvallich for almost all my life; it’s been brilliant to me and provided so many fantastic film locations.

‘Scotland is an amazing place to film in, and my future aim is to try and expand its small film industry and capture the beauty of the landscapes and coasts.’