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Troy-Based Scottish Society, Ferndale Studio to Produce Cultural Videos

The three-part video series will focus on specific aspects of the Scottish experience in America.

The Troy-based St. Andrew's Society of Detroit recently chose a Ferndale-based video production company to create three videos, each dealing with an aspect of Scottish culture or history.

The group selected of Ferndale to make the videos, which are funded in part by a grant from the Michigan Humanities Council.

Howard Petty, grant coordinator for St. Andrew’s, said it was a tough decision but M-1 Studios stood out.

"In the end we are very happy to select M-1 Studios, not only because of their portfolio of work but also their history of working creatively with non-profit organizations like ours," Petty said.

The project - formally called “Preservation of Scottish-American Cultural History in Storytelling and Dance” - will involve three half-hour videos focused on a specific aspect of the Scottish experience in America, each hosted by an expert in the field.

Rob Gulley, producer at M-1 Studios, said the company has several other cultural heritage associations as clients and will bring that experience to this project.

”It's great to be chosen for this project," Gulley said. "We think it's incredibly interesting what they're doing and it'll be just as much fun I'm sure for us to shoot and edit and produce it as i'm sure it will be for the audience that will end up wathcing these videos."

The video topics include:

  • Telling the Story of Scottish History with historian Elliot MacFarlane. MacFarlane is chief of MacFarlane’s Company, a historical re-enactment group that travels as far as Scotland each year to tell the old stories of Scottish history and bring alive the people who created what has become modern-day Scotland.
  • The Highland Dance with Kate DeGood. The ancient art of Highland Dance is alive and well in today’s world, and dance instructors such as Kate DeGood keep it live and relevant. DeGood has acquired more than 80 career championship titles throughout the world. She teaches both at the St. Andrew’s Society Kilgour Scottish Centre in Troy and also at Alma College in Alma, MI.
  • Conflicts Before Culloden: 1745, a Pivotal Year in Scottish History with William Phenix, Ph.D., local historian of military history and former curator at Detroit’s Historic Fort Wayne, examines two Jacobite conflicts in 1745 in northern Scotland that led to the key Battle of Culloden and explains how the outcome at Culloden forever decided the shape of Scottish history.

The videos are being called a "first-ever" project of its kind, focusing on what it's like to be a Scot in America.

“The skirl of bagpipes and flash of tartan kilts has always caught the video camera’s eye, so making a video of Scottish life is not new,” said Bob Giles, a trustee of the St. Andrews Society of Detroit. “What is new is our commitment to create a series of cultural videos in Michigan about what it is to be a Scot in America and the wonderful stories behind each of us who can claim this history. Even though it’s about us, this is something we can share with the community - to explain where we came from and what we are most proud of as Scottish Americans.”

For more information on the society, visit http://www.detroitscots.com.

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