Staff - Edinburgh Napier University

Prof Robin MacPherson
Director of the Institute for Creative Industries, Edinburgh Napier University

Robin is a BAFTA nominated producer and has made many broadcast documentaries as well as short dramas over the past 15 years. Including ‘Rebel Frontier’, a 65-minute documentary narrated by Martin Sheen, documenting the labour struggles of Irish and Finnish miners in WW1 era. More recently, Robin produced ‘Tree Fellers Revisited', a research project which looks at how documentary films are used and perceived by different audiences. He was Development Executive at Scottish Screen from 1999-2002 before joining Napier University where he played a key role in establishing Screen Academy Scotland.

Paul Holmes 
Programme Leader, MFA Advanced Film Practice,
MA Film

Paul Holmes started his career more than 20 years ago with the BBC, and he went on to make dozens of hours of film and television as a freelance writer and director for the BBC, ITV, and Channels 4 and 5.  He joined Screen Academy Scotland in 2006 and teaches screenwriting, directing and production as well as running the MA Film and MFA Advanced Film Practice programmes.  Since joining the Screen Academy, Paul has extended his creative practice to include the making of artists' films and video art, which now comprises his  principal research  interest.

James Mavor
Programme Leader MA Screenwriting

James Mavor leads the post-graduate courses in screenwriting and combines teaching with his work as a professional screenwriter. His credits for television span 20 years across soaps, series and single dramas, including The Bill, Monarch of the Glen and Split Second starring Clive Owen. He has also written award-winning work in short film, theatre, radio and short fiction. Since joining Screen Academy Scotland in 2007, James has been involved in a number of adaptations and collaborations with crime author Ian Rankin, including Reichenbach Falls (2007) and, most recently, Doors Open (2012), a 120' comedy thriller for ITV, which was produced by and starred Stephen Fry.

Current work in development includes The Pros, a TV comedy drama series which James is writing with writer/director John McKay (Not Another Happy Ending) for BBC Scotland. Research interests include adaptation and developing collaborative projects and links between students and industry.

Nigel Smith
Lecturer, Screenwriting

Nigel has worked as producer, series producer, executive producer, development executive, screenwriter, script editor and story analyst in both public and private sectors in and beyond the UK (BBC, Scottish Screen, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer), allowing him experience of a variety of screen narrative development practices across a range of film and television genres.

Credits include sci-fi sitcom series ‘Intergalactic Kitchen’ (BBC1) and multi-award-winning short films ‘Cry For Bobo’ (BBC1/Tartan Short) and ‘The Return Of Peg Leg Pete’ (Fox Searchlight).

In addition to working on the MA Screenwriting programme, he delivers the Academy’s CPD screenwriting initiatives (Introduction to Screenwriting and Feature Film courses).

Oscar Van Heek 
Lecturer in Film Production

Oscar recently produced the feature film Blinded starring Peter Mullan and Jodhi May. He regularly works as a freelance script editor and assessor for Welsh media agency SGRIN and the Irish Film Board. Prior to setting up his own company, Oscar was Director of Development for Scottish Screen, commissioning and script editing screenplays by both new and established writers producers and directors, including Gillies MacKinnon, Craig Ferguson, and Saul Metzstein. During this period Oscar also attended and tutored at several training programs as well as originating, financing and managing FIRST DRAFT - a scheme set up for first time feature writers to develop screenplays with the help of experienced script editors.

David Griggs
Learning Technologist

David has a background in Visual Anthropology, Documentary Production and Web Design. He has produced and directed documentaries in Lesotho, RSA and recently has consulted in Web based productions for Health Online Project and JISC as well as producing a short documentary for Learning and Teaching Scotland. Presently he is involved in the production of 'Word Made Flesh' a series of interviews directed by Devlin Crow for the MS Society. He was the researcher for Media Masters Online and continues his interests in online pedagogy in his role as Learning Technologist. For the last 2 years he has been lecturing on the subject of interactivity, focusing on Virtual Worlds, Alternate Reality Games, Pervasive Gaming and Web 2.0 tools.