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    Mackenzie Had Gravitas to Bring Hollywood to Scotland - Outlaw King Props Master

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    David Mackenzie’s ‘Outlaw King’ is coming at a pivotal moment in Scottish politics. As protests demanding freedom from the shackles of Westminster erupt across Scotland, Robert-the Bruce’s story seems more relevant than ever. In light of this, Sputnik spoke with Scott Keery, property master for the Outlaw King.

    Sputnik: When Braveheart was released in 1995 it caused a major political stir and awakened among many in Scotland a sense of their own history that they had not been aware of before. Will this film (Outlaw King), released at this time, have the same effect? Could the film drive a fresh wave of identity nationalism in Scotland?

    Scott Keery: I wouldn't have thought that the way that we are these days, with movie releases and effects that they have on society are to the same extent. I think we are sort of over saturated with information. Lots of people can choose to ignore it as well. I would like to think that it could get people to start thinking about who they are, why they are, and where they are.

    Sputnik: As a props master working on the film, how accurate have you been to the past?

    Scott Keery: Very much so. It's a well-researched period. So, aye, we're pretty good. We had a historical advisor, with us for the majority of the time as well, so he was a source of information, and also a source of criticism if we were getting it wrong. We tried really hard, props wise, we're quite proud of it. We managed to get most things on point.

    Sputnik: On the subject of accuracy, Robert the Bruce actually sided with the English for a long time. Will the script remain accurate to that?

    Scott Keery: The movie starts off with Bruce turning his back on Wallace, and heading the other way. So it starts out with Bruce siding with the English, Bruce's father, as times goes on it shows the brutality of the poor treatment of the Scots by the English overlords- it changes them. It doesn't allude to the fact that he was mostly a Frenchman as well, there's lots of stuff that is not historically accurate, like that, but he's the King of Scotland, siding with the English, and then he gets fed up with the whole set up, and he rallies the troops against the English. Which is all good, it's more entertaining I suppose.

    Sputnik: Speaking of entertaining, can you tell me anything about Chris Pine and his 'full frontal nudity' scene?

    Scott Keery: **Laughs** I wasn't there! We weren't allowed in. I think he wasn't that bothered about doing it. Was it necessary for the telling of the story? Well. People have bodies, and it's just one of those ones. If we are telling the story about the way that things were, then why not! I don't see anything wrong with it! But I haven't seen it yet!

    Sputnik: Outlaw King- Some people are calling it a 'Braveheart Spin-off', but what differentiates the two films?

    Scott Keery: I think Braveheart was quite sensational. They were really going for the big, William Wallace, Mel Gibson, grand scale event. Outlaw King is more downplayed. Obviously it's Robert the Bruce, he was who he was. I don't think there is the same hype behind Bruce, there was a lot of things that William Wallace did wrong, and people choose to neglect in Braveheart. There's a lot of selective Wallace information in that. They are similar though. They are both Scottish heroes, Scottish Kings, trying to fight back against the English. So there are a lot of parallels, and obviously it was the same time period as well. But I think this is a more honest approach to it.

    Sputnik: What was the biggest hurdle for you working on the film?

    Scott Keery: Well, the battle scenes, we were just trying to make all that safe. There was lots of potential for it to go wrong. We had horses, men, trapdoors and special effects guys putting in all sorts of flip rigs. There were guys running about fighting in the mud, and we were just making sure that everybody was safe. We had ditches full of big spikes lying about. That was always the biggest worry, to make sure that nothing would go wrong, and nobody was injured.

    Sputnik: So, the whole film was shot in Scotland? That's quite a big difference from Braveheart.

    Scott Keery: Yes it was, thankfully. That's the beauty of it really. David Mackenzie, the director, having the gravitas to bring Netflix, and Hollywood money to shoot the whole thing in Scotland. Berwick was the furthest south. Aye it was all shot here, brilliant. My whole department was Scottish, all local crews. I know every makeup department in Scotland was involved in it too, and all the other folk, like the special effects guys, and specific camera people. So it really was brilliant for the Scottish film industry.

    Unfortunately this all happens despite not having a studio space in Scotland. It's still working from factories and stuff. Thank fully, we shot everything on location. It was a huge location shoot. We went up to Skye- really, Scotland can do locations better than anywhere. But the whole not having somewhere to go when the weather is too bad is a bit of a drawback. Weather cover is something that we require, and we should have a studio to support it.

    I can't speak for Mackenzie, but for me, as a Scotsman, shooting it anywhere else would have been very odd. Fair play to him. He insisted on bringing it here, and it was great, it worked really well.

    The views expressed in this article are those of the speaker, and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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