Compact Pictures hires Synchronicity’s Laura McBride for expansion

LR: Laura McBride, John McKay, Misha McCullagh

Scottish producer Compact Pictures has appointed Synchronicity Films’ Laura McBride as part of the company’s plans to launch two new businesses.

Compact, which was founded by writer/director John McKay (Life On Mars, Katy), is expanding to create feature-focused Compact Films and TV-skewing Compact Vibe, which will develop and create a range of young adult and genre series for television.

McBride has been hired as the company’s first head of development and will work across the two labels’ slates, which include Compact Vibe’s Baltic noir series Chosen – in development with Canada’s Reel One Entertainment – and The Empty Space Inside My Heart for Compact Films.

She joins from Synchronicity Films, where she worked with creative director and founder Claire Mundell on shows including psychological drama The Cry and feature film Only You. She also has credits on Sigma Films’ Get Duked and World Productions’ upcoming BBC drama series Vigil starring Suranne Jones.

McBride joins Misha McCullagh, who was also recently hired in a development support and communications role across the business. She is best known for being behind podcasting collective Persistent and Nasty, which seeks to create more opportunities for women and gender minorities in film, TV and theatre.

McKay said: “Compact Pictures has gained a great deal of traction since I launched the business and on the back of recent International Emmy, Banff and Bafta success with Katy, and a rapidly growing slate, the time felt right to re-focus the company with the launch of the Compact Films and Compact Vibe labels.

“I am delighted to have Laura and Misha now join me; while I have a lifetime of experience in making films and TV series, their fresh perspectives, broad experience and youthful energy will be sure to define Compact’s output going forward and make it even more distinctive.”

McBride added: “My focus is on finding engaging, contemporary stories from both Scotland and further afield, while helping to raise Compact’s profile and also reminding people what a vibrant creative hub we now have in Glasgow.”

Compact Pictures was set up in 2016 by McKay, who before that had worked as a writer and director on films such as Crush and Piccadilly Jim, along with BBC TV drama Life On Mars.

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