An inspirational story about two unlikely school friends from Yorkshire with a dream to become film makers is about to receive its premiere at York’s Everyman Cinema.
Premiere: Everyman Cinema, Mar 7
Showing at City Screen on Mar 7 & 9
Released in cinemas Mar 9 and on DVD / digital download on Mar 12
Scott And Sid is tipped to be the next Billy Elliot, and much of the film was shot in York – including scenes in the Assembly Rooms, the Biltmore bar, Gray’s Court Hotel, Aviva and Huntington School.
And it was made after best pals Sid Sadowskyj and Scott Elliott, who had never written, produced or directed before, raised over £1m to make their movie dream a reality.
The movie is a fictionalised version of their own story. It begins with the pair as teenagers – both are isolated, underachieving and a little lost when Scott transfers to Sid’s school in Bradford.
Their friendship takes root and they find something in each other that helps them to glimpse a bigger goal.
Sid, now 32 and living in York, tells their story….
‘York is like a giant movie set’
At 15 I met Scott at grammar school and we just hit it off. Scott has dyslexia and he was in the D and E sets. Our paths didn’t really cross so it was only by accident that we met.
I thought he was like a breath of fresh air and though not academically smart he is the smartest guy I know.
In a careers lesson we were asked what we wanted to do when we were older. Scott said he wanted to earn £300,000 and then the teacher turned to me and said: “I suppose you want to be an astronaut?”
One day after school we got frustrated with the whole situation and the light bulb moment sparked. We wrote down all the things we wanted to do in life and made our ‘Dream Chasers’ list. Top of our list was to make movies.
But this was all about getting expertise together to get into film making. We’ve learnt a lot about taking a product to market and that’s saved us a lot of time and money. As you can imagine you have to knock on a lot of doors to sell oven cleaning!
We didn’t speak and next morning I looked at him and apologised and pulled out the dream chasers list we wrote when we were 15. I said: ‘What’s next?’ We sold the business to get out and focus on making movies.
By 24 we’d learned all about marketing, sales and selling products across different industries. We took all this experience. Sold up. Travelled the world. We went to New Zealand for three and a half years. We created businesses in New Zealand.
We got around 15 investors. The first investor who backed the film put in £250,000 – the first thing you think is ‘we have to do this now’.
The movie budget was £1.2 million but at same time we thought we have a long way to go. The 18 months nearly broke us. We flew out to New York to meet a potential investor – we were skint and trying to make the dream possible. Our meeting was cancelled twice and we were really dejected and saw no one.
We realised we needed to target big people, all the people who invested were self-made people.
We accidentally met filmmaker David Yates over two cappuccinos and a croissant. We ended up cutting our film sitting in Warner Brothers with the likes of Eddie Redmayne.
Our editor was Chris Gill who did the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. We convinced him to work on our film for free. I think he saw something special in our script.
To me York is like a giant movie set. Nothing really iconic has been filmed here and we thought why not?
It was such an important part of our growing up. It’s in essence a Yorkshire story and York is the capital of Yorkshire. We had lots of help from the city council too.
We realised we wanted to do it ourselves. So the film will be exclusively sold in HMV, on iTunes, Amazon and on Virgin.
But we are responsible for bringing the film to market at cinemas, not just on home entertainment. We wanted to keep all the rights and all the royalties.
We have a great publicity team in London. We hope to be on the Chris Evans show the One Show, we’ll be on Calendar, etc. Welcome to Yorkshire and Visit York are behind it. Leeds United are behind it.
We have an idea to write about Guy Fawkes and we’re developing the idea around that now, the other is about the Yorkshire Ripper.
We want to make movies in Yorkshire about Yorkshire, I love Yorkshire people we’re two Yorkshire lads, there’s a grit and determination and the people are so down to earth.