Arts, Culture, Heritage & Leisure

Trading Pictures has been involved in making films in the art, history, culture and leisure field for twenty-five years. John Thirlwell, Creative Director, has been producer, director and finally series producer on several BBC History series (98 programmes in all), working for BBC4, BBC2 and BBC1. These series (variously presented by Rory McGrath, Adam Hart-Davis, and Jayne Constantinis) covered local and regional history - and involved working in museums, stately homes, industrial premises, theatres and a range of outdoor locations. He has led large production teams, and safely delivered multi-episode series on time and budget - working through Screenhouse Productions, and latterly Tigershark TV.

Making films for the leisure / museum sector has involved Trading Pictures in researching the geological and botanical story of the world, as the lead artistic partner for a new multi-million pound purpose-built attraction in the Fens. The eco-centre had as its main theme the environmental crisis facing the planet. This involved devising and making AV presentations, helping to create interactive displays, and producing a stunning Doomsday film, using archive material from the Survival Foundation based at Anglia TV.

For Tigershark, John Thirlwell has led the creative teams behind films for the hugely popular Scotland and the World gallery in the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh. These included a celebration of the city states - the Burghs, a look back at the golden age of the the Textiles industry and a celebration of the incredible diaspora that has left more Scots living outside their homeland than stayed behind. John has also produced one-off films for single exhibitions - a Jean Muir retrospective, a tribute to Livingstone and his place in the story of Malawi, and a special film tracing the history of taste and style through five centuries of European history - this last for the Royal Museum, adjoing the NMS in Chambers Street. Working with Stewart Campbell at Tigershark, John has also produced a 'behind the scenes' film for the Royal Assay Office in Edinburgh. Given rare access to the assay labs, the science and history of this essential skill were explained in a short film to be shown to visitors.

John Thirlwell's latest collaboration with Tigershark (2013) has involved researching, writing and directing the making of the centrepiece film for the new Mary Queen of Scots Exhibition at the NMS. This is the museum's premiere cultural event for 2013, and the film - told through re-enactment, archive images, special FX and dramatic reconstructions - runs in a specially constructed surround sound cinema at the centre of the new exhibition.

The Story of Kirk o'Field and the Mystery of who killed Lord Darnley...