David Hayman created the programme back in 2002, using his vast knowledge of the industry to empower young people and give them a voice through the medium of film. He is now Executive Producer on every Shooters Project.
Shooters is currently run by a small team of industry professionals who have been working together since 2008. The combined knowledge, skills and experience the team have developed make them a driving force in Scotland’s independent film scene. The team specialise in working with those who have fallen through the net, who are disengaged and often with little access to cultural activities. Shooters have been active in the filmmaking industry since 2002 and have a huge success rate, as well as an award-winning body of work. This includes ‘Time to Tell’, which won the Koestler Platinum Award and ‘Water of Life’, which won the Islay Creative Arts Award. “Wasted Time” also received an official selection for The Glasgow International Film Festival.
Shooters have made over 80 films, involving over 1000 young people from over 30 different nationalities. These include films made in partnership with schools, prisons, homeless organisations and youth clubs. These films have highlighted issues such as knife crime, bullying, mental health, addiction, domestic abuse and sex trafficking. Shooters also have a catalogue of films that have been produced abroad. In 2010, Shooters travelled with Spirit Aid to Khayelitsha, a squatter camp in the heart of Cape Town, South Africa. Alongside a documentary, The Shooters Team worked with a group of young people in the township on a film project about gun crime in the area.
Shooters mentor young people to conceive, produce, direct, shoot, and perform in films about those issues and the direct impact they have on their lives. During the process, they learn valuable lessons about teamwork, the technicalities of filmmaking, self-expression, new skills, creative writing and confidence building. In addition, they gain hands-on experience in the operation of camera equipment, sound equipment, prop sourcing and logistics, as well as roles in make-up and costume departments.
In the past, Shooters have been commissioned by Strathclyde Fire Service, NHS Scotland, NHS Argyll and Bute, Scottish Prison Service, Argyll and Bute Education Department, Highland Disability and North Lanarkshire Council. A number of these films have been circulated around local Schools and emergency services and used as an educational tool.
Over the years, The Shooters Team have built up a network of some of the best industry professionals in Scotland, including script writers, crew members, directors and well-known working actors. These Shooters Associates host workshops and skills sessions and have been invaluable to participants.
The Shooters Legacy is of great importance. The team believe that keeping a continued relationship with the participants is what makes the programme unique. After completing the programme, the graduates can become mentors themselves on future Shooters projects. Shooters will also assist any graduates who wish to pursue a career in the creative industries.
The creative spirit brought to each project is one of empathy and understanding. The team’s professionalism is paralleled with a fun- orientated and free-thinking environment. This participant led and non- authoritative approach allows the team to build trusting relationships with the group and encourages them to express themselves fully.