By Tommy McGrory
Last year, my youth music charity Loud n Proud finally got our recording studio and digital work station up and running.
It took us two years of fundraising and then around a year to build it. Then about six weeks ago an absolute moron set fire to the building we are in. We thought that we came out of it relatively unscathed and we would be ok. Unfortunately, it was a false sense of hope. We have to move out as the builders need to rip the whole building out and rebuild the total inside. We have no money to rebuild somewhere, and at that, we can’t seem to find anywhere suitable in terms of cost, location and size.
It was all looking dire, but one positive out of all that chaos is that we are making a movie. Yes, a movie.
It all came about when we were about to put the final phase of a musical stage play together and then we went into lockdown. Initially, I was annoyed it stopped our plans and we were totally bored with nothing to do.
During last summer my son Jamie started to record some of the tunes that were to be in the stage musical as backing tracks just in case we need them. The songs are mainly Scottish traditional folk favourites, which have been about for hundreds of years. We set out to give them a more modern feel Scottish and when the arrangements started to take shape, we realised that the songs were beginning to sound amazing. So much so, that we felt that the tracks shouldn’t be backing tracks they should be part of something bigger.
And then we thought ‘how about we use them as a soundtrack for a movie’. The next step was to figure out how to pivot the stage play into a full length feature film. That’s when it got kind of difficult. It was time to build a team of local buddies who wanted to be part of an exciting project that would promote our town.
Que my friend Alan McEwan who runs Brick Lane Media in Paisley for advice on what we need and what we could and couldn’t do as far as the technical side was concerned and Karen Herbison, of H-Arts for putting together a group of experienced actors. Karen was already involved helping to develop the script and knew the stories and the potential of turning one of Paisley’s best known historical tales into the big screen.
Duncan McDonald, a director for BeesNees, a Glasgow based Production Company, well known for their work in documentaries, dramas and live music, has kept us in line and set us on the right path.
We have appointed Paisley man Craig McKirdy as our head of photography with a view to help in direction. The script has been helped greatly by Kate Burton, a professional writer and director to make the story adapt to film, and local film maker Martin Heron has also helped with good sound advice, giving us a good insight to what we are likely to encounter.
So what we have ended up with is an amazing soundtrack, a gripping screenplay, great actors and singers and a professional film crew.
The project is needs some help. First of all we need over 100 extras to recreate the Sma’ Shot Parade of 1856.
Participants need to hire a costume which costs £25. Get your name in the credits and be in the movies!
If you want to be part of this one off event, all you need to do is send a message to us on The Sma’ Shot Movie Face book page.
Secondly you could really give the project a boost by buying a ticket to the premier of the movie at www.crowdfunder.co.uk/the-sma-shot-strike. Be the first to see the film online and get an exclusive preview before it gets released to the public.