The Sma' Shot Movie

by Tommy McGrory in Paisley, Scotland, United Kingdom

The Sma' Shot Movie

Total raised £950

raised so far



To make a Musical Film about the Paisley Weavers who went on strike against the town's elite in 1856 and started a class war which they won.

by Tommy McGrory in Paisley, Scotland, United Kingdom

We're still collecting donations

On the 22nd June 2021 we'd raised £825 with 26 supporters in 28 days. But as every pound matters, we're continuing to collect donations from supporters.


Short Summary

Described as Paisley’s Untold Story, The Sma’ Shot Musical is an ambitious feature length musical packed with great characters and a stunning soundtrack

It is incredible that the town of Paisley has celebrated 'Sma' Shot day' since 1856 and the story has never been told before in books, stage, documentary or film. You can help change all that. 


What We Need and What You Get

We have been funded by Renfrewshire Council to research the history of The Sma’ Shot Day, write a script and rearrange and compose music for the soundtrack. Now we have a great story and 18 of the best Scottish, Irish and English traditional songs there is all rearranged for today’s audience.  

We need the extra funds to create sets, make unique, era appropriate costumes, pay for editing and pay some production costs. In return for your contribution, we are offering a range of exciting perks, 

The Impact

We believe this project brings something new to Scottish film and TV, while creating jobs in an industry that has been decimated by the impact of the global pandemic.  We want to make something that gives everyone involved in the film pride in their local community, job opportunities and for the many young people involved, a unique experience working with a professional film crew. 



You can be part of; -

  • The first Paisley film made fully in Paisley. 
  • The first film about the Sma’ Shot story.
  • The first film using a full soundtrack of Traditional Folk Music. 

It will be filmed on location in Paisley using historic sites and buildings such as: Sma Shot Cottages, Tannahill’s Cottage, The Abbey, Oakshaw, Espedair Street, Craigie Linn, The Hamills, Forbes Place, George Street and John Neilson School. 




Set in 1856 the story is the true events of a 19th Century strike that occurred in Paisley, Scotland between the local Weavers and the town’s elite. Paisley was a famous Weaver’s centre producing the intricate patterned shawls that became the world-famous Paisley Pattern. The Sma’ Shot is a unique insight into one of British history's most pivotal workers’ rights events in Britain which has become the world’s longest celebration of workers’ rights – Sma’ Shot Day held in Paisley on the first Saturday in July. 

The music that forms the backdrop to this unique story features the best Scottish, Irish and English traditional music including classic and timeless songs from Robert Burns, Robert Tannahill, Lady Nairn, John Sim, Adam Skirving and other folk favourites. The music has been rearranged and although still has its traditional roots it has a more contemporary feel. This new modern twist gives the tunes more power, emotion and punch. The songs include; Wild Mountain Thyme, Ae Fond Kiss, The Work O’ the Weavers, The Four Loom Weaver, The Dundee Weaver, The Calton Weaver, Bonnie Heilan Laddie, Ye Jacobites my Name, Black Velvet Band, Kelvingrove and more. 

The story is gritty, tragic and powerful yet it has its fun moments as strong characters clash heads. Set in an amazing backdrop of old Paisley the viewer finds out why Paisley has a place in the history of social change in Britain.




Local weaver Robert Campbell, a proud family man has had enough of being treated unfairly and poorly paid for his work. He confronts the bosses to ask for more money for the work he isn’t being paid for which was using extra thread called the Sma’ Shot.  The intricate patterns of the Paisley weavers work were held together by an unseen strong thread called the Sma' Shot. This secret stitch held together Paisley's famous shawls and without the stitch the patterns would come apart. The weavers had to pay for the thread but the fact that it was unseen the paymasters either didn’t understand it or they simply didn’t want to pay the weavers more money than they wanted to. 

Robert is a quiet man and doesn’t see himself as a leader, but the townsfolk do, and they trust him, so they ask him to be their spokesman. He accepts and his decision changes him and the weavers’ lives forever.   After being refused again and again he calls the weavers to action.   He can’t take any more pressure from the town’s establishment to accept less than what he thinks they are worth, so he rallies the weavers to strike.


The weavers fight against the power of the establishment and as things get violent and the strike takes hold, it become tough for everyone. It divides families and the people of the town. 

While most of the weavers insist on nonviolence, others think they should show their strength by getting armed. 

Amidst all this his daughter falls in love with a young man. He has just been promoted to work in the boss’s office and he soon finds himself in the middle of a difficult situation. William is asked to keep an eye on the key players who are causing the bosses trouble and to report back. The family is torn apart and loyalty becomes a huge issue. Violence, death and mayhem hit the town and not only has a financial battle begun but personal ones too. 

Tempers flare and emotions run high, and a certain courtesy prevails. This civility is fragile and at any minute things can go wrong. Should the Corks offer modest improvements in the payment for the shawls in the hopes of quieting the fury? Offer nothing? Or should they respond with force?

There are constant clashes and beatings in the streets, the pubs and other public places. Things begin to get nasty and it all heads to a final confrontation. All’s well that ends well but a heavy price has been paid. 



Jon Cuthbertson – Robert Campbell             Weaver and Father                            

Jon has over 20 years of experience performing in pantomimes, musicals, comedies and dramas in theatres around Glasgow such as The Kings, Theatre Royal, The Tramway, The Crawford and many more. Jon has worked as a performer for RATS Theatre Company for several years and as such has performed in festivals throughout the UK. Jon continues to play an active role in theatre administration and works as a theatre critic. Recently, Jon completed an intensive stage combat course in London and is currently co-ordinating stage fights for children's pantomime. He is a Director of Punch Productions 

Karen Herbison – Morag Campbell               Weaver and Mother

Karen has over 30 years’ experience of performing, directing and choreographing in a variety of genres including musical, comedy and drama. She has produced and toured original and established pieces of work. She is highly experienced in demanding principal roles. 

She is the founder and Director of Punch Productions and H- Arts 

Her play “Say You Love Me”. Originally written and performed as dinner-theatre, it has since enjoyed several productions and casts, West Coast dates, full house/standing ovation status at the Edinburgh Fringe and Off (off)-Broadway, New York.

Zoe Clark – Mhari Campbell                                     Daughter

Sara is a young actress recently and a rising star from Starlight Music Theatre in Paisley. She has landed top roles in productions since a young age. She is a very talented singer.

Ryan James Miller – Thomas Campbell                    Son

Ryan is a young actor who graduated from West College Scotland. He has landed roles at the Edinburgh Fringe, The Bungalow Musical. He took the Acting For Camera Course at The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and has a diploma in Acting for Stage and Screen from Acting Coach Scotland 

Kai Ross – William Sneddon                                        Mhari’s Boyfriend

Kai is a promising young actor who is getting a lot of attention and great reviews. Recently graduated from West College Scotland and about to start 

Colin McGowan – Davy Maxwell                                Weaver

Colin graduated from Motherwell College with a BA in Acting. He has experience on stage, in serious dramas, musicals and film/tv work. He also is a juggler and has stage combat experience. He is a baritone singer. 

Scott Sutherland – Andrew Gilmour                        Weaver

Scott  is a highly rated actor and singer. He has performed all over the country in stage musicals.  He has had lead roles in many amateur productions.  

Gill McGowan - Annie Dunn                                    Barmaid in Terrace Tavern

Gill is a professional actress, singer and presenter. She has performed in stage plays and musicals for over 15 years. 

Roy McGregor  - George Forbes                             Cork

Roy is and Director, Actor and Theatre Creative. He studied drama at University College Northampton

Sabrina Mandulu - Grace Christie                            Barmaid in Terrace Tavern

Sabrina is a Graduate from Glasgow Kelvin College, and then went on to Queen Margaret University and Napier University to study acting. She is a very successful professional singer and recording artist. She is part of the band Kodak Ghosts who supported Paolo Nutini  at Paisley Town hall.



Director                                                          Tommy McGrory 

Tommy has over 40 years’ experience as organising International Events. He has written and directed 3 successful runs of I Was There at the SECC and The Bungalow at Paisley Town Hall.

He is the creator and writer of the Sma’ Shot Strike story and has assembled a professional production crew to pivot the original story from a stage play to a film.

 Co – Director and Technical Advisor             Duncan McDonald 

In a long career, he has directed events in more countries than the CIA but with much less collateral damage. He has worked on many programmes for BBC including Celtic Connections, Documentaries and drama feature length Billy Connolly 

 Director of Photography                                Craig McKirdy 

20 years Director of Photography Scots Squad 6 series of International Bannan serial drama won a bafta for STV BBC Documentary Still Game Dark Nature award winning Billy Connolly Currently working on 1 Newton Avenue Live music including Celtic Connections.   

Sound Engineer                                                          Duncan Reid 

Duncan has worked for big budget projects and 'Celtic Connections', 'Trad Winners' & 'Port'. He is a Football multi-cam sound recordist. He is a Director at Pro Sounds supplying industry leading sound equipment and professional crew for festivals, gigs, film and tv.                                                          

 Lighting                                                           Richie Miller                                       

16 Years Gaffer at BBC Scotland working across all areas including comedies, dramas and documentaries. Has worked with small and large crews and beginning to work on larger scale projects. Has worked on features, small budget short films, commercials and web content. 

 Film Editor                                                      Martin Heron

Martin is a producer, director and video editor with nearly a decade of experience across the industry. He has worked on commercial promotions, corporate communications, creative music videos and award-winning feature documentaries. His work has been broadcast on CNN, BBC and STV.

Production Crew                                           

West College Scotland Film and TV Students 

Assistant Director, assistant lighting, assistant sound, production assistants and other supporting production posts will be supplied by the college.

The college crew will be supervised and assisted by the tutors of the Media, TV and Radio department.

Assistant Film Editor                           Josh Farmer

Production Head                                 Alan McEwan

Production Assistant                           Elaine Campbell

Wardrobe Manager                            June Young          

Wardrobe Assistant                            Student


Script Writer                                       Tommy McGrory

Co Script Writer                                  Karen Herbision                      

Music Arrangements                          Euan Malloch and Jamie McGrory

Researchers                                        Melissa Hempkin  and Nathalie Rosset

Music Director                                    Jamie McGrory

Recording Sound Tracks                    Jamie Mcgrory

Musicians                                            Euan Malloch – Guitars

                                                            Jamie McGrory - Drums

                                                            Marcus Cordock – Bass

                                                            Chris Russell – Keyboard and Piano

                                                            Fiona Hamilton – Fiddle

                                                            Chris Waite – Pipes and Whistle

                                                            Marissa Waite – Bodhran



Loud n Proud is now in its 20th year. The impact Loud n Proud has had on young people who have been part of the organisation has been immense while their part in the local music scene has been pivotal. 

They have created a place for talented, hardworking young musicians and performers to thrive. 

They work an incredible mix of young people. Several have won National titles while most just love to make music in a safe and inspiring environment. The high number of students that have become full time professional players, teachers, technicians and music managers is a testament to the high-quality output of their work with young musicians. 


Their work with disadvantaged communities has had an amazing impact on young people's confidence, social practice, concentration, creativity and general outlook on life. They give their young students the confidence and encouragement to achieve their dreams whatever they may be. 

Loud n Proud has won Britain’s Young Drummer of the Year twice, Best Rock Band – Live and Unsigned UK, Winners of Quest for Talent and finalists Rock da Mic UK. 

Their work in the community has been awarded with the following:

Community Champions Award – Paisley Partnership

Community Music Award – University of the West of Scotland 

Renfrewshire Provost’s Certificate of Distinction for Community Work

Renfrewshire Provost’s Community Award

Police Scotland Chief Constable Award


This project will help young disadvantaged people get experience and training in: Acting, Camera Work, Sound Recording, Film Editing and Music through working in a real ‘hands on’ approach with professionals. By being part of the production crew, they will be an important part of the projects success and they will no doubt help them to reach their full potential and give them the confidence to apply for a further education course or improve their chances of employment.  








This project offered rewards

£15 or more

£15 Reward

Be first to own the full movie soundtrack packed with the very best traditional folk tunes such as The Work O' the Weavers, Ae Fond Kiss, Ye Jacobites by Name, Wild Mountain Thyme, A Mans' a Man, I Will Go and many more

£15 or more

£15 Reward

Buy a ticket to see the first time public viewing of the The Sma' Shot in an online premier exclusively for you in your own living room with all your family.

£20 or more

£20 Reward

Be at the test viewing and be the one of the first to see the full film just before the final edit. Includes complimentary buffet. We will be delighted to take your comments on board.

£20 or more

£20 Reward

Play an extra and get your name on the credits

£25 or more

£25 Reward

Get the soundtrack and a ticket to see the premier online

£100 or more

£100 Reward

You will receive an assistant executive producer credit and get your name in the opening titles.

£500 or more

£500 Reward

You will receive an Executive Producer credit in the opening titles

£5,000 or more


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