It’s not that unusual for a twelve-year-old to be a whizz at computers. But what is remarkable about Oliver Smith is that he entered Digital Eden, a competition for adults as part of the 2006 Inverness Film Festival, and was one of six winners. His winning entry, a 6-minute animated short film based on the 1970’s hit MASH!, was described as ‘clever, inventive and humorous’. It was a great success with the public.
The prize was to produce a film based on this idea, with mentoring from a film professional. Oliver demonstrated creativity, determination and maturity way beyond his years to those who worked with him on this further project. In 2007 his film was short-listed out of over 120 entries for the National Young Filmmakers Award.
Oliver began his interest in animation by producing animated sections on his primary school’s website. In 2005 when still in Primary 7 Oliver, along with a friend of his own age and using a camcorder and basic movie making software, won an ‘Albert’ prize (Arts in Motion) for their live action short film ‘The Pillow Killers’.
At his young age, it is impossible to say what Oliver will do professionally. But at the moment, he is keen to pursue a career in film-making.
All we can say is, his creativity and interest in film-making are rare in someone so young. He may well be an important Scottish film-maker of the future.
How the Award Helped
The Dewar Arts Award enabled Oliver to buy a computer and software to help with develop his next film-making project.
Since the Award
November 2007 - Oliver's short animation film 'Go Practise' was nominated for a BAFTA.
April 2008 - Oliver received the 'Up and Coming Youngster Award' at the Moray Firth Radio Awards.