1 man, 1 camera, 0 budget – How I made an independent film from scratch!


I’ve been telling stories since I was 4 years old, and learning to make films since I was 7. But for most of that time, I kept it to myself.

The reason was, I was embarrassed. I didn’t know anyone who made their own films. I felt like a weirdo for being so obsessed with imaginary stories. I thought people would laugh at me and tell me to grow up. And I didn’t think my films were very good!

I never went to film school, and I had no formal training. I was borrowing basic cameras from friends and family, shooting in the back garden, dressing up in costumes made from the clothes in my cupboard. I was a complete amateur, and filmmaking was just a hobby, right?

This is where I started…

The truth is, as shy and insecure as I was about my filmmaking ability, I desperately wanted to find a way to share my stories with people – so I kept going. I kept writing scripts, I kept playing around with cameras, and I kept using whatever I could get my hands on to try and bring great films to life.

Gradually, my confidence grew. As I began to take myself more seriously as a filmmaker, I found that other people took me seriously too! I started finding opportunities to collaborate with others and develop my skills.

Before long, I was successfully leading short film productions as a writer and director! Teaming up with a whole cast and crew for each project, I was finally living my dream – bringing stories to life on screen in a compelling, meaningful way, and sharing them with an audience!

So when the world turned upside down, and I found myself stuck at home, isolated, with no cast, no crew, and no resources beyond what I could find in the house…

It was time to go back to my roots, and see what I could make all by myself.


The idea for Paxford came as a natural next step in an ongoing journey…

For some time, I had been gathering notes for a new character: a young man with a career in covert surveillance/reconnaissance, whose job requires him to move unseen and be anonymous to the public.

As I sought out testimonies from veterans, both in the special forces and private military sectors, I wondered about the impact that such a secretive, isolating career could have on a person’s life and relationships – and how it might be something which the rest of us, having never shared that experience, could still relate to on a human level.

In developing the character of Cyril Paxford, I realised how much his situation reflected my own. Isolated from friends and community, working in solitude, I discovered how hard it can be to push forward and get the job done, with no team to back you up and no crowd cheering you on!

For a man like Paxford, as for myself, I realised the importance of mindset, of self-talk, of finding a way to motivate yourself when there is no one else around to do it for you.

This became a core theme in the film’s story – and it was certainly true for the production process too!


On 18th May, 2022, Paxford was released independently through Breaking Jar Ltd, to be shared with viewers worldwide. Since then, the reviews have been nothing but positive!

“A special piece of film work, potently mixing a questioning of the human condition with humour and charisma.”

“Really interesting character, great cinematography, and a real sense of the world that the film seeks to evoke.”

“Class. Really impressive that Hunter made every aspect of the film, from writing it, to acting in it, and making the sound track!”

After such a journey, I am absolutely thrilled not only to have made the film – proving without a doubt that it is possible to bring your own story to life! – but also to have created something which is having such a positive impact for every person who watches it. This really is the dream! Stories Changing Lives.

Here’s a sneak preview of the film –