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Dark Travellers – The Rise of Scottish Crime Writing

By - Richard - 20th September 2021

Dark Travellers is a new documentary we have just produced which charts the rise of crime fiction in Scotland.

Presented by writer and broadcaster James Crawford, the film looks at the influence of William McIlvanney’s Glasgow-set, seminal novel, Laidlaw and how it inspired a generation of some of the world’s most successful crime writers.

The writers featured in the film are Val McDermid, Ian Rankin, Denise Mina, Chris Brookmyre, Marisa Haetzman, Graeme Macrae Burnet and Abir Mukherjee.

Commissioned by Publishing Scotland in collaboration with Bloody Scotland, the film had its premiere at the Bloody Scotland festival in Stirling on 17 September 2021.

Dark Travellers is the second film we have produced for Publishing Scotland. In 2020 we produced Second Nature – new Nature Writing from Scotland which was also presented by James Crawford.

Dark Travellers was filmed in Edinburgh and Glasgow throughout the summer of 2021. Produced and Directed by Richard Nicholls, second camera was provided by Ryan Blackwood. The Wester Ross aerial footage was filmed by Brian Bathgate.

Filming at the Mitchell Library in Glasgow with author Graeme Macrae Burnet
Behind the Scenes with author Abir Mukherjee
About the Author

Richard Nicholls - Managing Director

Before launching Swift Films, Richard worked as a broadcast TV director and editor, working on programmes for the BBC, ITV and Sky.

A multi-skilled and technically-minded filmmaker, Richard is equally at home coming up with creative concepts as he is on location filming or pulling footage together in the edit suite.

Richard is a member of Independent Producers Scotland and has a love of cats, football, chocolate and Film Noir (in that order).