Devil's Plantation - Elemental Films

The superficial inducement, the exotic, the picturesque has an effect only on the foreigner. To portray a city, a native must have other, deeper motives - motives of one who travels into the past instead of into the distance. A native's book about his city will always be related to memories; the writer has not spent his childhood there in vain.

Walter Benjamin


what is the devil’s plantation?

When I first picked up Harry Bell’s The Secret Geometry of Glasgow I was captured by it. So when I won the Scottish Arts Council’s Creative Scotland Award to make a website about my native city his book became my mother lode, together with the casenotes of Mary Ross, an ex-patient of Leverndale Psychiatric Hospital.

The Devil’s Plantation is many things. A long walk – a dérive. It’s 66 films about my native city. It’s a website and a compelling riddle. It’s a search for the soul of Glasgow and for the magic in ordinary places.

In 2010 the project won a Best Interactive BAFTA. Time moves on. Now I’ve completed a feature-length film version, narrated by the acclaimed actors Kate Dickie and Gary Lewis. A new App of The Devil’s Plantation is also now available.

and who am I?

I’m May Miles Thomas, a writer and director from Glasgow.

I’ve made factual TV, music videos, commercials and feature films. In 1995 I founded Elemental Films to produce my own work but I also do the occasional freelance job. Check out Wikipedia to find out more.

Though I’m proud that all my projects have won awards, more than anything I just love what I do and the people I do it with – well, most of the time.

Please follow me @deilsplantin or subscribe below – and all comments very welcome.

the devil’s plantation: 2007-2017

posted on
11 May 17
written by
May Miles Thomas
1 comment


To mark a decade since work began on The Devil’s Plantation I’m writing this post as a coda to sum up my feelings about the project and how for the last four years events have conspired to keep me involved. Made with the support of the Scottish Arts Council’s Creative Scotland Awards in 2007, the […]

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