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biography

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 26th December 1972.


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After dropping out of school before reaching his O-Levels, Shane Meadows originally set out to become an infamous, criminal mastermind of legendary proportions. Things didn't go to plan however.
After being caught buying a stolen set of 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 criminal charges against him were read out in court and laughter could be heard from the gallery and the judge's bench. The charge was for theft of a breast pump from Boots the chemist. It was after this humiliation that Shane put his breast pump pilfering days behind him and began to put his energy into film-making.

In 1994, Shane's first step into the world of film making was to volunteer his services to 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 him 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, many of his friends watched them and became sufficiently impressed to want to become involved in future video shorts. As their enthusiasm grew, they were soon making nearly one new short film every month.
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With a growing catalogue of short films, Shane and his friends soon became frustrated that there were no real festivals or venues in which to screen their films. This frustration lead to them setting up there own 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'.

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The first of Shane's short films to grab the attention of the film-industry was 'Where's The Money, Ronnie?'. The acclaim won by this short lead to Shane being given a shot at making a documentary for Channel 4's 'Battered Britain' series. The film was called 'King of the Gypsies' and was a short documentary about Bartley Gorman, a bare-knuckle boxer born in Uttoxeter amd a man that Shane had known for many years. A full length feature of Bartley Gorman's story is still the dream project that Shane is waiting to get underway.

From the Channel 4 documentary, Shane got the money to make 'Smalltime'. Originally to be titled 'Left', Smalltime 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. Smalltime 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.

From Twentyfour Seven through to This Is England, Shane has continued to make hearftfelt films that attract an ever growing collection of fans.
Sadly however, the critcal acclaim and success of his films at various festivals throughout the world has yet to be reflected in box office takings. Because of this he still remains a somewhat unfamiliar name to most cinema-goers. Differing reasons for the lack-lustre box office performance of his films can be sighted. The blinkered un-willingness of the majority of modern film-goers to watch a black and white feature (Twentyfour Seven), or the lack of film prints available for screening (A Room for Romeo Brass opened with only ten prints nationwide) and more obviously, the small budget for the promotion of his films (most Hollywood releases in the UK have promotional budgets that exceed the entire budget of one of Shane Meadow's films).
Thankfully this trend seems to be coming to an end with the success of This Is England at the UK box office!


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As Shane looks to future feature length projects, he still likes to return to the creation of short films as often as he can. As This Is England was released in the UK, Shane was busy shooting a short documentary about his life-long friend, the singer/song-writer, Gavin Clark.

As well as still returning to short films, Shane is still keen to share his knowlege and experiences with new film makers. After a Room For Romeo Brass, Channel 4 approached Shane 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. 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 tenner for a raid on a charity shop.



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shane meadows top links

IMDB Entry

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BAFTA VIDEO INTERVIEW
Shane (and Warp Films producer Mark Herbert) talk about their own routes into the film industry.
PART ONE

PART TWO


GUARDIAN.CO.UK
Shane talks about his favourite films



TELEGRAPH.CO.UK
Shane talks about the film Mean Streets



SOUTH BANK SHOW
A press release for the Shane Meadows edition of the programme.



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