Tayside and Central Scotland

Dundee film Schemers hits the big screen

Schemers Image copyright Black Factory Films
Image caption Schemers is set in Dundee in the late 1970s

A Dundee music promoter has turned his youthful exploits into a new film.

Schemers follows Dave McLean and his two friends on their money-making ventures in the city in the late 1970s.

The film won the audience award at the Edinburgh International Film Festival. where it had its world premiere on Saturday.

McLean went on to co-found Riverman Group, who have promoted UK shows by acts including Nirvana, Green Day, and Oasis.

Image caption Dave McLean (L) is played by newcomer Conor Berry (R) in the movie

The movie was filmed in and around Dundee in 2017 and 2018, with a mostly local crew.

Locations included the Caird Hall, Groucho's record store and the Beat Generator Live music venue.

McLean told BBC Scotland's The Edit: "It's a story about three guys in Dundee from the schemes who were bored, unemployed, weren't doing anything, and didn't want to work in factories.

"So let's think of plans to make money, let's put concerts on, let's put discos on, let's run buses to football matches.

"It's all true, everything in it is true."

Image copyright Black Factory Films
Image caption The Caird Hall is one of the Dundee locations used in the film

McLean said he "stumbled into promotion" in the late 1970s, culminating in booking Iron Maiden to play the Caird Hall in 1980.

He said: "I can play the paper and comb that's about the extent of my musical knowledge.

"We had loads of gigs. We did stuff like Skids, Angelic Upstarts, Rezillos. We kind of built up gradually.

"More by accident than design we booked this band called Iron Maiden and had sold virtually zero tickets on the day because we didn't put up any posters or anything until the last day."

The film is the result of four years of effort and the writer and director is pleased to see the film on the big screen, as well as a festival competition nomination.

McLean also hopes that the festival premiere will lead to the film picking up wider distribution.

He said: "It's pretty exciting, it's just good to be in the game.

"It's good to have your name in the hat, with a little competition, if people like it they like it, we gave it a good go."