Edinburgh scriptwriter vying for top prize

A local screenwriter in the running for a top prize in an international competition after his affectionate and gritty portrayal of the city in the 1980s and 1990s is shortlisted.

By Caitlyn Dewar
Thursday, 1st August 2019, 5:56 pm
Ruaraidh Murray's script is inspired by Casuals, gangs and the youth of Edinburgh in the 1980s and 90s.
Ruaraidh Murray's script is inspired by Casuals, gangs and the youth of Edinburgh in the 1980s and 90s.

Ruaraidh Murray’s script for Big Sean, Mikey and Me is a coming of age story that follows the adventures of a young Edinburgh lad, his imaginary friend Big Sean Connery and pal, rough diamond Mikey, at the time of the Casuals and gangs of the late 80s and early 90s in Scotland’s capital.

The script was submitted into the Academy Nicholl screenwriting competition, which is part of the Oscars, and awards up to five $35,000 fellowships to amateur screenwriters from around the globe.

The characters in the script are inspired by people, Casuals, and gangs which Ruaraidh encountered in his youth and received invaluable help with his research and development of the scipt from his childhood pals.

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Ruaraidh said: “Mikey was a real rough diamond, he was one of a kind and was always looking out for us or was there if we ever needed him and his family have been really supportive of the whole journey of Big Sean, Mikey and Me.”

In 2011 Ruaraidh started to attend Stewart Permutt’s writers group in London when he began to develop the script.

“Big Sean, Mikey and Me started off as a one man show at the Gilded Balloon in 2012 and was really well received,” said Ruaraidh, “It’s semi-autobiographical, and about these youngsters finding their way in life, so from that I focused on when the characters were younger, and growing up.

Ruaraidh, 43, who grew up around Stockbridge has also performed the script at the Vaults in London and also on Soho Radio but is working to develop the script into a feature film.

The script is currently in the quarterfinals of the Academy Nicholl screenwriting competition.

Out of over 7,000 applicants, Big Sean, Mikey and Me has reached the final 365 scripts.

The scripts are judged by industry professionals on the categories story, voice, characters, craft, and meaning and magic.