Resources

Interview: James Merron, Saltire Stories

 

 

CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF AND YOUR CREATIVE BACKGROUND?

 

I have always been creative but my longest experience so far was in the music industry. I started as a singer songwriter turned electronic music producer, worked in A&R freelance for a while, sorted tapes, made tea and twiddled knobs for a few recording studios. I worked up and down the country before setting up a record label and production company with a friend. After a while I went into artist management, hated it, took a job selling audio visual gear in London to get away. Discovered I really wasn't terribly good at being an employee. Set up a new record label just in time for iTunes and such to make much of the industry obsolete and took a little time out to study for a degree in philosophy whilst working out what I wanted to do next. As it turned out the combination of experiences, including courses in film and video production and photography whilst in London, put me in a good position to take advantage of where I am now and my new media production company.

 

 

CAN YOU GIVE US AN INSIGHT INTO YOUR PRACTICE AND WHAT YOU DO?

 

Basically, I tell stories. The core of what I do comes from a love of storytelling, especially nonfiction. The digital technology that largely destroyed what seemed to be my future when I was younger is the medium and opportunity of choice today. Through video, blogging and photography I aim to tell compelling and interesting stories. I guess if I was having to explain it in a more technical sense I would have to say: I produce new media content, with a longer term strategy to include feature and television production. But that's so dull it almost makes me sound comatose. I tell stories.

 

 

ANY EXCITING PROJECTS OR EVENTS YOU HAVE ON THE HORIZON?

 

The beginning of May will see the launch of the first YouTube channel and ongoing project "Saltire Stories." This project aims to tell the stories of creativity and innovation in contemporary Scotland. Each week will see two 10-15 min episodes on YouTube, each one covering an individual, company or organisation. I'm currently seeking interesting stories and have already reached out as far as Lewis and Harris in the Hebrides in my search. I've been really taken aback by the creativity and drive that seems to exist across much of Scotland today, something I witnessed whilst sailing last summer. Ever since then, and with my return to Edinburgh, I've had this itch to tell these stories and I'm now finally getting to scratch it.

 

 

WHAT MAKES EDINBURGH A GOOD CITY TO BE BASED?

 

It's alive. That may sound odd but I'm originally from a town in Lancashire that could be described as many things, alive is not one of them. There are groups, communities, assistance, and professionals of all types that you can collaborate with and learn from. There are so many opportunities and such a "can do" attitude in Edinburgh today. Plus, it's beautiful. You've got to try really hard to not find inspiration when you live in Edinburgh I feel.

 

 

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO PEOPLE THINKING OF PURSUING A CAREER IN THE CREATIVE INDUSTRIES?

 

I guess I'd start with the obvious cliche of love what you do. It can't just be something you fancy or feel like, you have to have something that will keep you going and loving doing it is the best option. I'd add, learn to be resilient and surround yourself with as many positive people who share your love as you can, remember you are the average of the five people you associate with most. My final bit of advice would probably be, learn to like muesli or porridge, it'll keep you alive when you can't afford anything much but rent. Plus, practicing poverty and realising you can survive it is a great lesson in life, take it from someone that spent a month in India with little more than a bucket to wash myself and my clothes with.

 

 

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