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WHO IS SHANE MEADOWS?

Shane Meadows is a self-taught, British film-maker who hails from the Midlands in the UK.  He was born in Uttoxeter, Staffordshire, UK on the 26th of December 1972.

After dropping out of school before reaching his O-Levels, Shane originally had his sights set on becoming an infamous, criminal mastermind of legendary proportions.
Things did not go to plan. 

After being caught buying a set of stolen, limited-edition John Lowe darts, and later admitting to stealing and eating an egg-custard tart from the local Sainsbury's, it was clear that he just wasn't cut out for the hardened criminal underworld.
The final straw came when the latest criminal charges against him were read out in court.
Laughter could be heard from both the gallery and the judge's bench when it was revealed that Mr Meadows stood accused of stealing a breast-pump from Boots the chemist.
After this final humiliation, Shane put his breast-pump pilfering days behind him and began to put his energy into film-making.

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In 1994, Shane's first step into the world of film making was to volunteer his services at the Nottingham based Intermedia Film and Video Ltd.  The arrangment was that he would be allowed to borrow camcorders and use editing equipment in return for working there for free. Shane asked friends and family to get involved in his video experiments, but they were understandably quite wary at first.
After Shane had put together a couple of short videos that he had made entirely on his own (with the only actor in the films also being himself), many of his friends watched them and became sufficiently impressed to want to become involved in future video shorts.  As their enthusiasm for film-making grew, they were soon making nearly one new short film every month.

With a growing catalogue of short films under his belt, Shane and friends tried approaching local festivals and venues in an effort to get their films screened to an audience.  This effort soon turned to frustration as they discovered that nobody accepted films on VHS, so instead of giving up, they set up their own local mini event.
The event was called 'Six of the Best' and was held every couple of months in an old local cinema.  Anyone could bring along a short film they had made, and for a small fee have it screened to a small audience.  The event grew in popularity and eventually became an international video festival called 'Flip Side'.

The first of Shane's short films to grab the attention of someone already in the film-industry was 'Where's The Money, Ronnie?'.  Acclaimed producer Stephen Woolley was a member of the jury on the Channel One Short Film prize and was struck by this new, fresh and energetic film-making talent.  Not only did Shane win the top prize but Stephen Woolley would later produce his feature film 'Twentyfour Seven' for which he raised a budget of £1.4 million.  
The acclaim won by 'Where's The Money, Ronnie?' would lead to Shane being given his first commission which was to make a short documentary for Channel 4's 'Battered Britain' series.
The film was called 'King of the Gypsies' and was about bare-knuckle boxer Bartley Gorman who was also born in Uttoxeter and was a man that Shane had known for many years (watch King of the Gyspies on YouTube).  A full length feature of Bartley Gorman's story is still a dream project that Shane hopes to make in the future.

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From the Channel 4 commission, Shane raised the money to make 'Smalltime'.  Originally to be titled 'Left', 'Small Time' was a prime example of Shane's philosophy for aspiring film makers... Stick to what you know, and you won't go far wrong.
'Left' was written in Shane's lunch breaks while he was volunteering at Intermedia Film and Video in Nottingham, and was orginally simply written as a basis for improvisation.
'Small Time' won acclaim at a number of European film festivals and garnered enough favourable attention from potential future investors and distributors that Shane soon had the chance to make his first full length feature film. Twentyfour Seven.
As well as still returning to short films when his increasingly hectic schedule allows, Shane is also keen to share his knowlege and experiences with new film makers. Channel 4 approached Shane after he had completed 'A Room For Romeo Brass' to create a video masterclass for budding film-makers.  The result was the brilliantly exuberant 'Shane's World', a collection of short films and film making advice (watch Shane's World on the Shorts page).  Shane's own no-budget productions not only entertain, but are also there to inspire. Their raw energy and enthusiasm send out the clear message that any one can make a film with a little bit of talent, some borrowed equipment and a few quid for some charity shop costumes and wigs! 

ARTICLES & INTERVIEWS

Left Lion
Shane on his route into film-making and his early films.

The Guardian
Shane on two of his favourite films.

The Telegraph
Shane on Martin Scorsese's 1973 film 'Mean Streets'.

Empire Magazine
Shane talks us through his filmography on the eve of the release of This Is England '86 back in 2015.

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