Atom Town

Atom Town: life after technology – a film by Gair Dunlop (UK, 2011)

“Dounreay Atomic Research Establishment is a sprawling monument to solidity, optimism and analogue engineering. The intangible alchemies and sense of romantic science at its heart are trapped like amber in archive film and in its colossal structures. Over the last two years, unprecedented access to the facility and to the UKAEA Archive at Harwell have allowed Gair Dunlop to explore the dream and the consequences of high science in a remote community”.

Sound design and original music by Mark Vernon.
Sound post production by Zoe Irvine.

Duration: 22min

Serenity Showers

Serenity Showers – a film by Benedikt Rugar (Germany, 2009)

Soundtrack to a short animated film by Benedikt Rugar. The film was short listed for the German MuVi awards in 2009 and has since been released on the DVD compilation ‘Under Control’.

Track originally released on the Gagarin LP ‘The Tune The Old Cow Died Of’ by Vernon & Burns (GR2012).


A Trip Down the Clyde

Produced for a micro-radio broadcast as part of an exhibition at the Fairfield ship yards for the Glasgow international festival of visual art in 2010 this nostalgic documentary features oral history interviews with people who used to work in the shipyards or holidayed on the river Clyde. The recordings were gathered during a series of  memory sharing workshops at the Lighthouse in Glasgow. The final piece is an evocative blend of voices, found tapes, music and sound effects. Part of the programme was originally commissioned as a soundtrack to accompany a film compiled from clips of amateur films from the Scottish Screen Archive edited by Rob Kennedy. It was screened as part of the exhibition, ‘The Clyde – Films of the River 1912-1971’ at the Lighthouse, Glasgow in 2009.

Featuring the voices of:
Hugh McGeorge
Tom Urie
John Alexander
Harry McColl
Claire Harker
Rita Harker

The radio version was also aired on Resonance FM and Glasgow’s Sunny Govan Radio 103.5fm in 2011.

The Lens Prism

The Lens Prism – a film by Corin Sworn (UK, 2010)

“A man steps into the spotlight of a theatre, hangs up his jacket, takes a sip of water and begins the narration. A series of vignettes weave together autobiographical anecdote with history, and past events with present day interpretation. Corin Sworn’s video piece deals with the discursive wanderings of the actor’s mind. His voice is confident and convincing throughout, yet the narrative thread tangles and we become witness to the fractals of a subtly short circuiting thought process.”
Talitha Kotzé, The List.

Shown at Tramway, Glasgow and Berwick Upon Tweed Film & Media Arts Festival, 2010.

Sound design by Mark Vernon.


Nobody – a film by Rosie Toner (UK, 2011)

A short experimental film exploring identity and existence. A female cleaner drifts through houses, her unseen thoughts concealed from her employers and the world.

Sound design by Mark Vernon.

Duration: 12:00


Charity – a film by Kate Davis (UK, 2017)

Inspired by the ways in which the work of film-maker, poet and artist Margaret Tait (1918 – 1999), invites us to contemplate fundamental emotions and everyday activities that are often overlooked, Charity takes artistic representations of breastfeeding as its focus. The film explores how the essential – but largely invisible and unpaid – processes we employ to care for others could be re-imagined.

Charity was commissioned by the Margaret Tait Award which is supported by LUX/ LUX Scotland and Glasgow Film Festival.

Sound design by Mark Vernon.

Duration: 16 minutes.

Some Distance from the Sun

Some Distance from the Sun – a film by Dalziel & Scullion (UK, 2007)

“Mark Vernon’s, minimal, muted and sharply alien electronica, which was composed expressly for Some Distance From The Sun, believably conjures land plants’ possible interior sound realms, their root systems as well as their visible trunks and flowers, as well as the more primitive sea borne algae and seaweeds… Vernon’s soundtrack explodes the minutia of things – maybe the soundworld really is in the ear of the beholder.”

From the essay, ‘Some Distance from the Plant World’ by Oliver Lowenstein.

Commissioned soundtrack for a film by Dalziel and Scullion. Exhibited as an installation at Aberdeen Art Gallery, February – April, 2007.


Yellowcake: atomic modern – a film by Gair Dunlop (UK, 2017)

A 66-minute film which traces the rise and fall of the UK nuclear fission research programme, seen through its sites, archives, memories and consequences. It explores the psychic realms of the nuclear- whether as postwar dream of a post-empire future, apocalyptic terror as entertainment, or zone beyond our understandings of time.

The film can be seen as a three screen full-HD installation with quad sound (preferred format) or as a single screen video with stereo sound.
UK Preview of full 3 screen installation took place at VRC, Dundee Contemporary Arts, Dundee on 8th and 9th April.
Single screen version was premiered at Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh from April 1st – May 7th.
Its international premiere was at Rome Media Art Festival on 27th April- 1st May 2017 at MAXXI.

Sound design and original music by Mark Vernon.
Sound post production by Zoe Irvine.

The Dividing Line

The Dividing Line – a film by Mark Vernon (UK, 2014)

The Dividing Line is a film about the people of Plymouth and their relationship to the Tamar; the river that divides Devon and Cornwall. More importantly, it is a portrait of one specific riverside community and their complex historical ties with the Navy. Barne Barton is a housing estate on the outskirts of Plymouth overlooking the naval base. It was built originally as married quarters for naval families. The film documents the difficult transition from MOD to civilian housing and the many changes that have taken place in the area over the years. The story is told through the voices of the people who live and work there using present day oral histories and archival film to create an audio- visual snapshot of a community that will hopefully enable a better understanding of how this area’s history has directly influenced its present. It is also a celebration of the green spaces, community spirit and naval heritage of a remarkably situated housing estate.

Barne Barton is often referred to as an island because of its isolation from the rest of Plymouth. Essentially it is a peninsula with one main road in and out of the area. As former MOD housing, the estate lacked much of the infrastructure that would normally be considered essential for such social housing. It is an area suffering from social deprivation with wide spread poverty, unemployment and many of the other problems inherent with these conditions. In addition to this, the proximity of the naval base and the fact that the vast majority of the shoreline is owned by the MOD means that whilst many residents have a view of the river there are very few points of actual access to it. Given that the Navy is steadily reducing in size and its need for land is reducing, many local people are frustrated and angry at how heavily restricted their access to this precious resource is.

The Dividing Line attempts to examine some of these issues through first-hand accounts from the people who live in the area, whose work relates to the river or who make use of it for leisure. The film looks at both sides of the line – between Devon and Cornwall, the MOD and the civilian population and the economic divide between rich and poor.

The Dividing Line was made from archive footage sourced from the South West Film and Television Archive with editing and additional footage shot by James Ellwood of Fotonow. It was a joint commission by ‘Take A Part’ and the ‘The River Tamar Project’. The film was screened at a special event in the Barne Barton community and as part of ‘It’s All About the River’ an international film festival on the banks of the Tamar in 2014.

Concept, sound recording and sound design by Mark Vernon.

Additional filming and archive film edit by James Ellwood.


Achterhaven Splinters

Achterhaven Splinters – a film by Fowler, Vernon & Burns (UK, 2007)

Achterhaven Splinters is a fragmented portrait of Achterhaven, a working class suburb of Rotterdam. Shot over the course of 24 hours, a series of fleeting moments of everyday life are scrutinised and exploded in the process of hand printing. The documentary sequences begin to take on new meanings when subjected to the physical manipulation of light, chemistry and material. Strategies that allowed chance elements and fortuitous accidents were brought into play and combined with a distinct approach to filmmaking which eschews both documentary and materialist film histories. The soundtrack was recorded whilst on location and then composed to the images. The dynamic texture of the soundtrack mirrors the images in its fluctuation between reality and abstraction.

Achterhaven Splinters is a collaboration between Barry Burns, Luke Fowler and Mark Vernon shot on 16mm film. It was produced at WORM’s Filmwerkplaats in September 2007 during a short residency. The film was first screened at the Gilmorehill Cinema, Glasgow, 2008 in a programme curated by Magic Lantern.