While he flirted with the wrong side of the law as a teenager, Shane Meadows found his true calling when he borrowed a camcorder and started making short films with his friends as actors. After producing some 30 shorts, he was tapped to helm the TV documentary "The Gypsy's Tale" in 1995. Meadows also wrote, produced, directed, edited and co-starred in the 60-minute film "Small Time" (1996), about a group of twentysomethings who survive by petty theft and their girlfriends who pass the time watching TV. Later that year, a retrospective of his work was featured at the Toronto Film Festival and his short "Where's the Money, Ronnie!" went on to earn a Channel One/NTF award in the short category. Produced Stephen Woolley was impressed enough to approach Meadows about producing a feature. The hyphenate had a script written for Bob Hoskins and once the actor viewed Meadows' videos and read the script, he signed on. The result was the acclaimed "TwentyFourSeven" (1997), shot in black and white, and centering on the efforts of a charismatic man who tries to rescue the dissolute youths of a town by opening a boxing club. Meadows then signed a two-year, two-picture deal with the newly formed Company Pictures. One of the projected projects was a Western set in Wales.