The Bravest Rescue Goes to Holyrood


Our wee film, now named “The Bravest Rescue”, premiered in Motherwell Civic Theatre in October. The local Member of the Scottish Parliament, Claire Adamson, came along and was impressed. So impressed, that she organised a screening of the film in the Scottish Parliament, Holyrood, Edinburgh.

Here’s a link to my sixth year journalism students blog about the event.…ttish-parliament/

Many thanks to Kenza for the photo curation and Wiktoria for the edit.

I was given the privilege of speaking before the screening, along with my colleague and friend from Saint Aidan’s High, Caroline. Here is the text of our thoughts on the value of partnership and collaboration in film and education.

Scottish Parliament Presentation Continue reading


Student Journalism

JMAC Landing Page


Hi out there,

This is just a wee plug for my student journalists in sixth year at high school. They have been developing a great blog with lots of student news and views and have been creating some great news pieces and images.

You can take a look at their excellent site by googling JMAC the blog experience

Have a look and leave a comment if you like what you see.


Zombie! Inside a Wrecked Mind

I have been using “The Enemy” by Christopher Higson for the first time with one of my lower school classes. We had a good dialogue about how the infestation that had wiped out the adult population or turned them into shambling Zombie may have left some residual human capacity in those affected by the disease.
I wrote the following short story to explore the background of the character “Small Sam” and to give the students a stimulus for their own creative writing.

A Zombie’s Story- Inside a Wrecked Mind

Ann felt so angry and sick and rotten. It had started with a sniff and a sore head, a bit like the flu, but she knew it was worse than that. It was the rage disease- the thing that was destroying the world and turning parents into monsters who wanted to devour their children. It wouldn’t touch her, Ann knew that her huge love for her babies would save her.

She was wrong.

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This is somewhere between poetry and prose.

Privet is a an evergreen bush, often used for hedging between houses in Britain


Intricate and supple twigs

Thin and pliant with green


Leaf and leaf and leaf

In fresh lime

In yellow gold

In dark olive

Like green fractals

Extending one idea forever

Tendrils shoot out,

They are clipped, cut, swept-

But the hedge persists

It wants to sprawl and prosper,

Send out its scent,

A note of high, green sweetness

That is the clean heart of summer.

But it is kept as a cool barrier between the houses

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The Queen’s Pyjama’s


If you would like a look at the script for the Wishaw Area Schools Film Project here it is.

It is rather long and it has lots of dialogue in Scots, but it will give you an idea of what we hope to produce when shooting starts in August.

The Queen’s Pyjama’s 

A dramatized account of Willie Angus V.C.


Wishaw Schools World War One Heritage Project


Gerry O’Brien, June 2018


This screenplay is the product of collaboration between students, teachers and Community Learning staff from the Wishaw and Shotts area.

After a series of development meetings and discussions the life of Willie Angus was settled upon as the focus for the project and this script was written.

It should be noted that whilst the script does its best to use the known facts about Willie Angus and the events leading to is award of the Victoria Cross, that it is a dramatization of his life. As such, dialogue, characters and places are intended to catch the spirit of the times. 

Copyright Gerry O’Brien June 2018



Page Break




Scene 1: The Football Field

Scene 2: Post-match analysis

Scene 3: The Changing Room

Scene 4: Hearth and Heart

Scene 5: The Fitba Strip

Scene 6: The Parade: the HLI leave Carluke

Scene 6.1: On the Tram

Scene 7: In the trenches- the raid goes wrong

Scene 8: The Aftermath

Scene 9: Have a drink of this Tommy!

Scene 10: “Ah cannae listen tae this”

Scene 11: Generals and Corporals

Scene 12: Going Over the top

Scene 13: The Rescue

Scene 14: In the Hospital- The Queen’s Pyjamas

Scene 15: At the Palace

Scene 16: Homecoming



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Are Ye Bound for France my Dear?


Are you Bound for France?  Margaret’s Song

Are you bound for France my dear, my dear brother oh!

Are you bound for France my dear, my dear brother oh!

Will you stand sae tall and proud

Hear the pipes blow sae loud

Are you bound for France my dear, my dear brother oh!


Are you bound for France my dear, my dear brother oh!

Are you bound for France my dear, my dear brother oh!

Will ye put your toys away?

Nae boys’ games left tae play.

Are you bound for France my dear, my dear brother oh!

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Willie Angus- WW1 Film Project


Young people in the four high schools around Wishaw have been collaborating on a major film project that will be launched to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of WW1.

Students from Saint Aidan’s, Coltness High, Clyde Valley High and Calderhead High have been working hard for the past year and the fruits of their labour will be on display in November this year.

The film will tell the story of Willie Angus, a Lanarkshire man who won a Victoria Cross in 1915. Willie saved the life of his officer, who wounded and stranded in no man’s land just yards from the German trenches. Willie brought the wounded man back to his own lines but suffered multiple injuries doing so.

The students been rehearsing a script that they will film in August. The recreation of Willie’s life is an exciting project and has been made possible by the award of a substantial lottery grant of £10000.

The trailer will give you an idea of the creativity and commitment that the young people of Wishaw. Click below to view the trailer…

World War 1 Film Project Trailer

The art work that a small team of students produced to help create the trailer is worth a look in its own rightP1040511P1040513P1040516P1040517P1040518P1040520P1040521




Running Remembered

I haven’t been running much lately and I haven’t been to Kintyre for nearly two years now. Then I stumbled across this old blog post from my days on the running site Fetcheveryone and thought I would share it with you.


Every so often I take the crooked road to Kintyre, driving North and West from Glasgow to skirt the edges of Loch Fyne, before putting the same distance into descending southward into the drooping peninsula. Over the last years I have come to love the long curve of beach from Westport into Macrahannish. An unprepossessing car park, oddly municipal in this wild place, sits next to an anonymous hunch of sand dune- it could be a mere hillock of bleached grass- but walk through the gate and the world, at its last margin between land and sea, opens up for you.

The beach, secret and tacit behind the sheltering line of dunes, curves away with a suction that seems to insist upon your presence. A sandy and grassy path meets your step with a springing, tuned thud. The first sand is dry and golden, fine and giving- too giving to hold a runner’s step. On your shoulder the dunes reveal a hollow amphitheatre: there could be children playing there, perched in the high dress circle but the bowl of sand traps their voices in its stillness.
Distances stretch, the beach is far wider than your first perceptions of it. The dry golden sand gives way to a tide-washed darker edge. Here the Atlantic waves imperturbably steamroller a hard and flat way for you on the edge of the land. This is where you can dance between waves and shingle and sand. This is where the sand gives just enough. This is where you can run.

Continue reading