by Margaret Chrystall
THERE will be a close-up on Carrbridge at an Inverness arts festival next week when a young film-maker screens his documentary on the village’s Golden Spurtle World Porridge-Making Championships.
Top Oats by Carrbridge student Fergus Thom (22) – in second year studying digital TV and film at Glasgow’s Royal Conservatoire of Scotland – will be screened twice as part of goNORTH’s film showcase event.
He said: "I’ve been involved with the championships for a few years making promotional videos that have been seen at fevents like the Kingussie Food on Film Fest and also the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival.
"But with the 20th year of the championships, I realised there are so many characters who take part that I wanted to make a full documentary."
Fergus has ended up with a 19-minute film following two of the competitiors.
He said: "Ian Bishop has entered every year and was planning on retiring after the championships – and Neal Robertson had won before, so I thought that would also make a good story.
"I’ve put Top Oats in for competition to the New York Food Film Festival, but I haven’t heard if it’s in yet or not
"I’ve put Top Oats in for competition to the New York Food Film Festival, but I haven’t heard if it’s in yet or no.
"It’s quite exciting because they serve the food that’s being shown on the screen. I think it would be really cool with porridge being such a healthy food – and a speciality one too."
Fergus has already made a film, Brocken Spectre, but decided he wanted to go and study film before continuing to make his own productions and decide what part of the film-making procuess might be the best fit for a future career.
"I wanted to come and learn how to do it properly," said Fergus, who is currently making a 90-second film as part of his coursework.
"I also run my own business called Wee Epics doing promotional videos and design, so I’m hoping to do some of that this summer too."
Brocken Spectre focused on the legend of the Big Grey Man on the top of Ben Macdui.
But a delay getting the original film composer to come up with the soundtrack meant Fergus attached unlicensed music, just so cast and crew could see the finished movie at a screening last year. But now it will make it difficult to get it shown elsewhere.
Maybe experts at goNORTH could offer advice?
But there has been an unexpected bonus from making the film.
Fergus laughed: "I seem to have found myself becoming a Big Grey Man expert!
"I had a reality TV show get in touch the other day to see if I knew anyone who had seen the Big Grey Man.
"But unfortunately I hadn’t and I don’t know anyone who has!"
You can see Top Oats as part of the goNorth film showcase next week on Wednesday (June 4) at noon and 3pm next Thursday (June 5) at the Mercure Hotel, Inverness. Find out more about Fergus’s work at his website www.fergusthom.com