Hidden Door Festival

Hidden Door is a volunteer-run music and arts festival that transforms derelict buildings and urban spaces into a platform for artists, musicians, theatre makers, filmmakers and poets. It’s been great to watch the festival grow steadily since 2014 into one of the city’s main cultural events, bringing in some of the best acts around.

Along with other members of Bloc Collective, we filmed last years event and produced a promotional motion graphics piece for the 2019 festival, as well supplying footage for this year’s promotional videos.. We’re really pleased to be able to support such an important asset for the city. Check out the video below.

Director / Design / Animation // Robbie Dickson
Camera / Animation // Nicol Craig
Camera // Tim Askew

Bloc Collective


There's been lots going behind the scenes since my last update, one of the main things has been setting up Bloc Collective, a co-working studio and filmmakers collective set within a converted factory in Leith.

Having worked in various different workplaces as a staff member and freelancer, I could see that there was a lot of potential for a better working environment. There’s also a great community of freelancers in the industry, who are very much open to collaboration, sharing work and supporting each other; so making it easier for people to work together under one roof seemed like a good idea.

There are some other great co-working spaces in Edinburgh, but most aren’t industry specific so are limited from a collaboration perspective. Having people from the same industry provides numerous benefits, not only for ourselves, but also to the clients and agencies we work with. For example, if we don’t have capacity to take work on personally there’s likely several other people in the studio we can put them in touch with. We can also team up as and when required. We have a huge amount experience between us, and probably an unrivalled amount of kit, as well as an extended network of other freelancers and small businesses who we can recommend - so it’s a great hub for people to be able to connect with. We very much want to support others in the industry, building bridges rather than walls.

I was also really excited to get an opportunity to redesign the space. The challenge was to transform it from a very generic, cluttered corporate office, to a stylish, functional space that didn’t feel too much like work - and on a very small budget. So after a few months of elbow grease, designing, reflooring, and a big team effort to help make furniture and redecorate , we were ready to move in.


We’ve now been in our new home since January and I couldn’t be happier.  We all get along great, the environment is super chilled, and there are already multiple personal projects and collaborations on the go. As well as the logistical advantages for working together, there’s also a fairly unique environment where people have the freedom to offer their time to support and share knowledge with each other.  It’s also a place where we can bring in other collaborators, colleagues and clients; creating opportunities to connect with even more people and build working relationships. For me it feels like we’ve got a perfect creative space to focus, collaborate and socialise. It’s only the beginning for now, but definitely very excited for the future.

If this sounds like something you’d like to be involved with feel free to get in touch. Currently we have a variety of different skillsets including drone operators, directors, DOPs, cinematographers, colourists, motion designers and editors. `We have both hotdesking and permanent desk spaces as well as edit suite and meeting areas. Website and interior photography are coming soon.


E4 Adverts

I recently got the opportunity to work on an exciting series of adverts for broadcast on E4. The unique interactive TV campaign, which was a collaboration between Channel 4 and Visit Scotland,   featured a cast of 6 young travellers making there way around Scotland in an old VW camper. Each day viewers were invited to vote on which activities they would like to see the group take part in the following day by using the hashtag #ScotE4

Part of this was to create the graphic identity for the adverts. Here is one of my original mockups for the graphics:

And here is one of the final episodes that were broadcast daily on E4. You can find the rest on Visit Scotland's YouTube channel

I really enjoyed working on this project, and it was all made possible thanks to a great team of people. Special shout outs to Andy Maas, Erika Iesse, Lewis Gourley, Gav White and Callum Rankine.

The House of Automata

“Automata are mechanical objects endowed with life by ingenious means.”

A short documentary film about The House of Automata

In a wood in the far North of Scotland there is a magical workshop where Maria and Micheal Start work preserving and restoring antique automata. With over 25 years experience they painstakingly bring these pieces back to life. 

To see some of these clockwork characters in real life there is an interactive exhibition with live demonstrations from The House of Automata at The Museum of Childhood in Edinburgh, Scotland this summer from 22ndJune till 18th September
Further details can be found via the link  

Director - Euan Myles, Camera/Edit - Jonnie Lewis, Motion Graphics - Robbie Dickson

Contact the Filmmakers:


Robbie Dickson

EIFF 2017


I'm delighted to have been appointed as in-house Editor for the Edinburgh Film Festival 2017 which is kicking off in a couple of weeks. Working alongside producer Andy Maas and the guys from Studio Something, we'll be producing content for the EIFF TV Channel throughout the duration of the festival.

There are some great films and speakers lined up for this year....check out the excellent preview by Ryan Blackwood below...

Japanese Drift Racing

Here's a sneak peek at some of the material from an upcoming edit I'm working on with Cinematographer Jonnie Lewis. The short film will be produced from the wealth of content he shot in Japan last year which centres around some amazing cinematic drift racing footage, moody landscapes and bustling city shots. Another project I can't wait to get stuck into!

Nike Air Max Day 2017

Nike, the Greek goddess of victory, sister of Strength, Force and Zeal. Headless Horse has delivered Nike Air Max, hand carved in white marble by sculptor Alasdair Thomson. We celebrate this Nike Air Max Day 2017, with an immortal representation of the grecian style, set in stone. Join us in our salute to the epitomy of both modern and traditional style. Find out more at www.Headless.Horse

Project by: Headless Horse

Sculpture: Alasdair Thomson

Art Direction: David Mahoney

3D Design and Art Direction: Billy Bogiatzoglou

Motion Graphics and Art Direction: Robbie Dickson

Photography: David Anderson

Move Summit

Proud to be part of the team organising Move Summit, set to be Scotland's largest ever commercial animation event. Taking place at Whitespace on the 23rd February Move summit is bringing creatives together from film, television, advertising, games, and visual arts - to celebrate the joy of making things move. Supported by some of Scotland top freelancers and animation studios the event will offer a variety or talks and workshops on the subject of animation. I will be creating some video content to be shown on the day.

SBA // Leonardo Dicaprio

I recently got the opportunity to create the opening film for the Scottish Business Awards with Leonardo DiCaprio. It was a great project to work on, particularly getting so much creative freedom from the guys at Campfire - who were great to work with! Unfortunately the film is not public, but I've added some screenshots below and private viewings are available on request.

DJ Shadow & The Leith Agency

One of my recent highlights was getting to make a motion graphics piece for The Leith Agency through Freakworks. Not only was it great to work with one of Scotland's top agencies, but I also got to use DJ Shadow as the soundtrack and take influence from an awesome typography video by Apple...so genuine excitement when making this one! Here the Apple video that influenced it - private viewings of the Leith Agency video on request.

So what is Surface Area?

Surface Area was originally created in 2016 as an outlet for my work and various creative hobbies, but after going self-employed it became the logical step to make it into my new business.

One of my drives behind becoming self-employed was to give me the freedom to work with whoever I wanted and eventually allow me to focus more on the type of projects I want to work on. It should also give me the time and flexibility to be able to work on personal projects, create work to a higher standard and collaborate more with other creatives.

So it's now some way away from what it was intended to be, and still not what it's going to be...but over the next year it will be transitioning closer to where I want to be. Keep an eye out for updates over the coming months with a full relaunch planned for 2018.