News & Blog

Read the latest business news, blogs and thought leadership articles from our members, as well as updates on the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce's work in the city.

News & Blog

Inspirational filmmaking puts businesses and destinations on the global map

Posted: 2nd June 2015

Queen Margaret University is just bursting with filmmaking talent. Its award winning filmmaker, Walid Salhab, is known globally for his stunning time-lapse footage of the Kelpies in Falkirk and his glorious portrayal of Scotland’s capital in his suite of Kinetic films. He has recently returned from the Cannes Film Festival where he screened his new stop-motion/time-lapse film ‘Avaritia’.

Kinetic film work puts Scotland on the map

Walid’s unique style of filmmaking blends stop-motion with time-lapse filming which builds in dynamic movement. Normally, time-lapse filming is rather static with a camera positioned in one place capturing, for example, a building being constructed from the bottom up. However, Walid – the man with the patience of a saint – takes thousands of images. By moving an inch at a time over many hours, he builds in movement, making his film far more dynamic and interesting than a standard time-lapse. Thousands of photos are carefully pieced together to create the illusion of sweeping movement in the final film.

His success with this technique has earned him the name ‘Mr Kinetic’, and his masterpieces –  Kinetic Edinburgh II and his commercial film of the Kelpies – have received millions of hits on social media. The Helix Project and Falkirk Council rate him as one of the very best time-lapse filmmakers. His talents in creating ‘The Kelpies’ and ‘Kinetic Falkirk’ has put Falkirk on the global tourist map. Visitor numbers to the Falkirk area have surpassed all expectations with Falkirk no longer a half day tourism destination.

Importantly, the experience that Walid has gained trialling new techniques and on international film festival circuit, is fed back into teaching practice through QMU’s film and media degree courses.

Talented graduate film companies are open for business

Having the opportunity to learn from inspirational media lectures has resulted in a pool of talented graduate film companies which are winning commercial contracts and making their mark on the festival circuit. Hungry for work and keen to develop their video production businesses, these young filmmakers are offering high levels of creativity at very reasonable prices – giving some of the larger more established creative agencies a run for their money. Specialising in PR videos for websites, live event coverage and corporate advertising, these young graduates are helping organisations communicate key messages to new audiences. Raw Film Productions and Smart Films are high flyers amongst this group of entrepreneurial filmmakers. In the last two years Raw Films has worked for the likes of the Royal & Ancient, East Lothian Council, and the charity 500 Miles, and has filmed in some interested locations capturing golf courses in Canada and documenting the plight of amputees in Malawi.  Smart Films is now specialising in the streaming of live events such as conferences.

A bank of stunning film footage for commercial purposes

Michael Grant, from Raw Film Productions, also supports Walid’s work at Queen Margaret University. The dynamic duo has created a video library of striking aerial film (shot with the use of a drone) and stop-motion/time-lapse footage of Edinburgh and South East Scotland. Commercial companies and broadcasters can now purchase sections of film footage for a very reasonable price, and slot this into their programmes and promotional campaigns. They can also contract the Kinetic Film Project team to capture bespoke film footage to fit their specific requirements.

The University has chosen to support, nurture, value and promote the talents of its filmmakers – whether they are staff, graduates or students – and the output is very impressive.

If you think the Kinetic Film Project could help you, contact Michael Grant and Walid Salhab on E:


Business Comment

Business Comment is the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s bi-monthly magazine. It provides insight on Edinburgh’s vibrant business community, with features on the city’s key sectors, interviews with leading figures and news on new business developments in the capital.
Read more here