Stirring the Scots

Location Edinburgh Filmhouse | Mood Intrepid | Date 13 January 2009
Author (full name): 
Daniel Vockins
Edinburgh Filmhouse
13 January 2009
Current crisis: 
No seats on the train home
Current silver lining: 
Bicycles had reservations
Next job: 
Write People's Premiere screening guides

Hello, my name is Daniel Vockins and I’m Not Stupid's new Campaign Coordinator for the coming year. I’ll be overseeing the premiere, release week and lots of the Not Stupid campaign work in what is almost without doubt the best job in the world.

Reactions after the screening


First, a little on me: I’ve just returned from the UN climate negotiations as a UK youth delegate, am a campaigning film-maker, enjoy cooking (the success of which disputed) and spent last year as President of the University of Sussex Students Union. I thought I’d write my first post about the fantastic experience Franny and I had at the NGO/Parliament screening in Scotland on Friday. If Scotland is anything to go by, then both the people's premiere and release week are going to be huge.


Edinburgh 01

Franny talks, the Edinburgh NGOs listen


After an eventful night on the sleeper train (booking tickets is clearly not my strong point - bring back Lizzie), we started the day by screening the film to 81 members of Scottish NGOs, activist groups and MSPs followed by our first big, public explanation of Not Stupid. Both the film and campaign went down extremely well and afterwards we exchanged plenty of our shiny new business cards (which, in true Spanner style, had been delivered to the actual cinema that very morning). After offers of yet another parliamentary screening and some "it's the best film I've seen" reviews, it was clear that the event had been a resounding success. Then onwards to a roundtable with the biggest NGOs in Scotland (with well over 1.5 million members between them) to talk specifics.

Edinburgh 03

81 people representing 38 organisations


Over hoummus, crisps and slightly suspect salsa, we discussed plans to coordinate 28 events (!) within the opening week alone from a themed night on aviation through to eco-action church groups. In short, they’re very keen and extremely capable.

Perhaps our best conversation was saved for the last meeting of the day with our Edinburgh release week cinema - the Filmhouse. Quite apart from the beautiful venue, I knew that we were welcome when the booking manager recognised Franny as "that one who sold out a double-bill screening of Drowned out and McLibel on a freezing cold Tuesday in December".

From there we were laughing, with talk of campaign URLs on tickets, 4 screenings a day (if we can guarantee 10 events), boxes for collecting E-mails, special areas for people to meet and discuss the film after screenings and all sorts of promotion starting as soon as possible. For them it was "the most exciting thing happening all year".

Biggest thanks has to go to our two key Scotland organisers Simon Bateson (Take One Action) and Dan Glass (Plane Stupid Scotland) who made the whole event possible. So good was the local planning that we’ve spawned a new idea – key contacts responsible for each of the release week cinemas with the mega-organised Simon Bateson first to take the helm in Scotland. Welcome on board. Action points galore and complete with four bicycle reservations, but no seats, for our train from Edinburgh to London (more great booking by me) we were on our way back home - inspired, ready for the challenge and just a little closer to achieving it.

As for next steps, I'm spending the next fortnight locked in a dark room, writing guides for how to pack out the Peoples Premiere and release week with events and people. Watch this space, it’s going to be big.

Here’s to a Stupid year!

Not Stupid Campaign Coordinator


Edinburgh 04

In-depth planning meet with eight key NGO partners


Some Feedback

"I think I must have been the only normal member of the public at the screening. I didn't have a clue about global warming. I was totally blown away by the film. I'd really love to help. I'm going to get as many people as I can to watch it in March. I think I'm a good example of what the film can achieve." - Charlie Moore

"It is really moving to see how real people's lives have already been touched by climate change and how our narrow focus on consumption could bring us to the bleak scenario of the Arctic archive. The film makes you realise it could happen all too easily - we must not be that stupid!" - Simon Allen, University of Edinburgh

"The film was fantastic. Dealing with climate change is like riding waves in the ocean; while you are working in your community you sometimes lose sight of the big picture. The film put me on top of a wave with the energy to ride it." - Hannah Buss