A film director who grew up in Aberdeen says the Granite City’s 90s rave scene has inspired his latest film.
Beats, which goes on nationwide release tomorrow and tells the story of a couple of techno-mad teenagers, was directed by former Cults Academy pupil Brian Welsh, 37.
Brian said he channeled his happy memories of the north-east rave scene of his youth into the movie, which is set in West Lothian.
Originally from Falkirk, Brian moved to Aberdeen when he was around nine years old.
He said: “We lived near Garthdee, across the water and near Ardoe House.
“I’ve got fond memories of Aberdeen – it has a big personal connection to the story of Beats.
“I used to go to the Pelican Club on Market Street, under the Hotel Metro.
“I loved that place and it introduced me to a lot of the music in the film.
“I still come back to Aberdeen when I can as I met a lot of friends here through the music scene.
“Aberdeen during the 90s had a well-respected connection to the scenes that we are depicting in the films.
“The guy who ran the Pelican was part of a lottery-winning syndicate and he would bring Detroit techno legends like Carl Craig and Derrick May to play there.”
Beats is set in 1994 after the Conservative Government has started to crackdown on the rave culture, and follows teenagers Johnno (Cristian Ortega) and Spanner (Lorn Macdonald).
The best friends’ lives are starting to diverge, with Johnny moving away and Spanner stuck with his bullying older brother, but when word travels of an upcoming underground protest rave, it seems like an ideal chance for one last big night.
Actress Amy Manson, who plays Cat in the film, is also from Aberdeen and Brian said he frequently reminisced about their time in the north-east during filming.
Brian added: “She had auditioned for another role at first but I had a picture of the Cat character in my head and when she read for it she nailed it instantly.
“We ended up speaking about Aberdeen a lot. I believe she grew up in Westhill and a lot of my pals were from there but we had never crossed paths.”
Brian and Amy are to take part in a question-and-answer session following a special screening of the film at the Belmont Filmhouse on Saturday.
Brian said he even managed to enlist Hollywood heavyweight Steven Soderbergh to support the movie.
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The Academy Award-winning director, who directed the Ocean’s trilogy and Erin Brockovich, came aboard as executive producer.
Brian said: “Steven had seen an episode of Black Mirror I directed and he was a big fan of that. He was keen to do something together.
“Steven had suggest I concentrate working on Beats and that’s when I asked him to get involved and he said he would be the executive producer.
“His name helped open up doors for us. He is a legend in cinema.”