GROWING up in the schemes of Dundee, David McLean had no idea his life would become noteworthy enough to form the basis of a film.

Determined to escape his background, however, he went on to become a successful music promoter and has now made Dundee’s first full-length feature film which will receive its world premiere at the end of this month.

Described as Dundee’s answer to Trainspotting, it is expected to attract more attention to the city which is already capitalising on the new V&A museum on the waterfront.

Schemers is based on McLean’s attempts to make a living in the music business in the late 1970s.

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In Dundee the old industries were dying and the outlook was grim for lads like McLean growing up in schemes that had become blighted by poverty and crime.

McLean saw a way out through music and began promoting gigs in his home city before moving to London where, with Alex Weston, he formed Riverman, a company which became the main promoter in the UK of American grunge bands such as Nirvana.

They managed Placebo to global success and also now manage Kyle Falconer of the View who has a cameo in the new film along with fellow bandmate Steve Morrison and Dundee United FC legend Dave Bowman.

“I wasn’t sure what the film would be like but it’s looking like sheer dynamite,” said Falconer. Bowman added: “It’s like the Trainspotting movie – people probably thought ‘this will never take off’ but look how successful that was. When it goes nationwide it can only be good for the city and the people.”

McLean’s experiences in the music business have spawned many legendary stories and some have found their way into Schemers, which he has written and directed with Weston producing.

It stars Conor Berry who plays the young McLean, Sean Connor of Anna and the Apocalypse, Grant R Keelan of Automata and Tara Lee of The Fall and was filmed in Dundee. It premieres on June 29 at the Edinburgh International Film Festival.

Asked what he thought of the finished product, McLean said it had proved to be a more expensive commitment than he had bargained for.

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“Unfortunately, we had to spend an extra two weeks reshooting scenes and recasting a few characters after the initial shoot, which was expensive but, in the end, made for a much better film,” he said.

McLean praised Berry for the quality of his acting, saying he was so good it made seeing himself portrayed on screen seem “fairly normal”.

“I suppose if he had been terrible, it would have felt different,” said McLean.

Despite being involved in all of Placebo’s video productions, including their ground-breaking Unplugged in 2015 and their art documentary Alt Russia, Weston said making the film had been a “steep learning curve”.

“It was a struggle to find the right team and of course it cost a lot more money than we had ever intended,” she said. However she said Schemers was a story that “needed to be told”. “It’s a story I know well as it’s a very small piece in the long, emotional, dangerous, ambitious but most often hilarious life of my business partner of 30 years,” said Weston.

“There’s another 50 episodes in his life that also need to be told – all of them intriguing and exciting.

“I’ve been encouraging him to write for many, many years.”

In the film, former Danny Wilson band member Kit Clark plays McLean’s father Wellie.

“It’s so funny because I knew Dave from many years ago when he used to promote my first band, The Very Important Men,” said Clark.

“It’s amazing, all these years later, I’m now playing Dave’s dad.

“There’s a real dignity in Wullie’s character. He retains his own moral code and dignity despite his

family’s challenges in their council flat in Whitfield and is determined to keep helping his son.”

Weston and McLean are already working on their next film which will begin shooting in Scotland later this year.

“It’s called the Mill and it’s about land grabs and corruption in Dundee in the late 60s, how a family lose their farm and are destroyed – all seen through the eyes of a 12-year-old boy which, funnily enough, is based on me and my family,” said McLean.

Edinburgh International Film Festival begins on Wednesday (See Scottish Life magazine). Schemers will be screened at Edinburgh Filmhouse on Saturday, June 29 and Sunday, June 30. It is nominated for a festival audience award.