Compact Pictures, the Glasgow-based indie founded by TV and film writer/director John McKay (Life on Mars, We’ll Take Manhattan, Crush, Tina and Bobby) is expanding to create two new businesses under the parent label.

Compact Films will focus on producing independent features, while Compact Vibe will develop and create a range of young adult and genre series for television.

Compact has appointed Laura McBride as its first head of development. McBride joins from Synchronicity Films, a company she had been with for a number of years, supporting creative director and founder Claire Mundell during recent Synchronicity projects, including psychological drama series The Cry and feature film Only You. Her other credits include Sigma Films’ Get Duked and World Productions’ upcoming BBC drama series Vigil starring Suranne Jones.

She will be bringing in and developing new projects, as well as working closely with John McKay on Compact’s existing development slate. For Compact Films, this includes The Empty Space Inside My Heart, the debut feature of BAFTA-winner Tim Courtney (My Loneliness is Killing Me) and David Harrower’s crime saga 9 Deaths. For Compact Vibe, the current slate includes My Brother is a Superhero, in development for CITV, and Baltic noir series Chosen, being developed in collaboration with Canada’s Reel One Entertainment.

Compact has also recently recruited Misha McCullagh in a development support and communications role across the business. McCullagh, an actor and creative arts producer, is best known for being one third of podcasting collective Persistent and Nasty, which seeks to create more opportunities for women and gender minorities in film, TV and theatre. Her production credits include Compact Pictures’ A Glimpse, the debut film from renowned theatre director and screenwriter Zinnie Harris (Spooks, Partners in Crime). Just wrapped, A Glimpse received SFTN (Scottish Film Talent Network) Emerging Talent funding.

John McKay, Compact Pictures’ CEO says: “Compact Pictures has gained a great deal of traction since I launched the business and on the back of recent International Emmy, BANFF and BAFTA success with Katy, and a rapidly growing slate, the time felt right to re-focus the company with the launch of the Compact Films and Compact Vibe labels. I am delighted to have Laura and Misha now join me; while I have a lifetime of experience in making films and TV series, their fresh perspectives, broad experience and youthful energy will be sure to define Compact’s output going forward and make it even more distinctive.”

Laura McBride adds: “I am thrilled to be joining Compact Pictures during this exciting period of expansion and am really looking forward to working with John on developing a diverse slate of projects. My focus is on finding engaging, contemporary stories from both Scotland and further afield, while helping to raise Compact’s profile and also reminding people what a vibrant creative hub we now have in Glasgow.”

Jon Creamer

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