The Skinny Short Film Competition 2014 Winner: Misery Guts

Video | 13 Apr 2015

All Julie wants is a cat.
All Jenna wants is her coke.
All Tom wants is a friend.
You can’t make everyone happy.

Last year, The Skinny launch a competition to find the best micro-budget short film (produced for less than £1000) made in Scotland and give its filmmakers a modest budget to help take their creative vision to the next level. After a fantastic response, our judging panel chose Rory Alexander Stewart's Good Girl, a genre-hopping mockumentary about a German Shepard who may also be an extraterrestrial, as their winner.

With his prize money, Stewart took the same cast to make the equally wry Misery Guts, a low-key comedy set in Edinburgh. Speaking before the film’s world premiere at Glasgow Short Film Festival, Stewart discussed his methods: “I would write a pretty basic outline and then we would just go through the scene and sort of get it on its feet – it’s a lot like editing a documentary to be honest.”

This more improvisational style, used on both Good Girl and Misery Guts, is a departure from past films, where Stewart admits he was far more rigid about sticking to the script. The catalyst for his change in method, he explains, was making The Port, his 2013 short documentary on the Port O'Leith pub in Edinburgh. Rory said: “After I did my documentary I kind of realised a lot of the energy you see on screen comes from the tension between the people you've cast.”

The result is that he’s found a looser, more responsive approach to storytelling: “I suppose it’s just realising that you’re always writing: you’re writing when you’re writing the script, you’re writing when you’re directing and you’re writing when you’re editing. It’s just bringing the headspace of writing to all the different stages.”

You can watch Stewart’s film, made with the support of Innis & Gunn and The Skinny, in the player above.

Submissions are now open for our 2015 competition – this year's competition is sponsored by Olympus who’ll give the winner a package of camera equipment worth £3000 to make a second film to screen at Glasgow Short Film Festival in 2016. If you’ve made a micro-budget short film in the last year (specifically, a film for less than £1000 made in the UK between May 2014 and June 2015) and would like to enter, click here to find out more.

More from The Skinny:


Behind the Scenes of Misery Guts: Rory Alexander Stewart and Cast