Beyond the Frame: A Critical Production Case Study of the Advance Party Initiative



Hutcheson L (2013) Beyond the Frame: A Critical Production Case Study of the Advance Party Initiative. Doctor of Philosophy. University of Stirling.

This study utilises a variety of research methods in order to investigate aspects often overlooked within Scottish film criticism, and indeed film studies more generally, namely: pre-production, production experiences, marketing and distribution, and reception. To date, Scottish film criticism has exhibited a preoccupation with questions of nation, national identity and national cinema, and overwhelmingly scholars have privileged almost exclusive analysis of the film text. Spurred by Jonathan Murray’s (2007, 2011, 2012) questioning of the continued relevance of the national framework, this thesis goes beyond the frame of the film text in order to consider new ways in which a national framework might be of relevance when analysing Scotland’s cinematic output. Concurrently, the chosen case study is also used as a means of critiquing existing literature on collective identity and national cinema. As the title of this thesis suggests, analysis centres on the Dogma-inspired Advance Party initiative and its resulting films, Red Road (Arnold, 2006) and Donkeys (McKinnon, 2010). Devised by Glasgow-based Sigma Films and Denmark’s Zentropa, the cross border collaborative dimension of the Advance Party framework initially appears to challenge the appropriateness of the national framework. As this thesis demonstrates however, such a simplistic conclusion is reductive and overlooks the complexities of the film industry. Throughout this thesis, questions as to the intended and eventual function of the Advance Party framework arise, and these are revisited by means of the thesis Conclusion.

Scottish cinema; British cinema; production studies; film marketing; film finance; film reception; production experiences; Red Road; Donkeys; Advance Party

SupervisorsNeely, Sarah; Blain, Neil
InstitutionUniversity of Stirling
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Qualification levelDoctoral
Publication date31/12/2013