AN unusual film-shoot this summer is the first drama production by Media Co-op, a new Glasgow-based co-operative specialising in films for the voluntary and social sector.
‘What's love got to do with it?' has been especially commissioned by a number of Scottish agencies for a very specific audience: male offenders and ex-offenders who abuse women physically or emotionally.
The film will be used in workshops to help such men to get an insight into the effects of their behaviour on the women and children in their lives.
Producer Louise Scott explains: "Media Co-op's slogan is ‘bringing broadcast-quality video and DVD to non-profit organisations'. We're a team of award-winning film makers who have chosen, after many years working in television, to make films on social issues.
"Unlike the average corporate video company, Media Co-op is a non-profit co-operative of individuals with a lifelong activist commitment. We believe that film can be an effective tool for social change and we want charities and socially-aware organisations to have the very best quality."
Workers' rights aren't a priority in the commercial film and video industry but Media Co-op takes co-operative values seriously and also operates an equal pay policy.
‘What's love got to do with it?' is directed by Alison Peebles whose ‘Afterlife' film featuring a Downs Syndrome lead actress, won the Audience Award at the Edinburgh Film Festival.
Other members of the production team have taken time off from TV commitments such as Taggart and The Bill to work for the co-op.
As one member of the team said: "It's different from the normal work I do in television. I've found the shoot very moving on a personal level: I think all of us know someone who's been affected by domestic abuse in their lives."
As well as film-industry freelancers brought in for this production, the film-crew included Media Co-op members Lucinda Broadbent, winner of an Amnesty International Award last year for her BBC film on asylum-seekers; Inigo Garrido, whose film with homeless people in Glasgow has been screened at festivals internationally, and Aimara Reques, winner of a BAFTA New Talent Award.
Media Co-op was chosen to produce ‘What's love got to do with it?' following the success of their documentary ‘Listen Louder', for Scottish Women's Aid.
Focusing on the testimonies of children, the film is screened in schools, and has been effective in lobbying Ministers for funding.
Clips have been shown on BBC and ITV news; and ‘Listen Louder' will be broadcast in full on the Community Channel later in 2005.
Media Co-op offers free consultations to co-operatives who are considering using video or DVD: see www.mediaco-op.net for further details and contact information.