How the real-life experience of two Yorkshire best friends inspired new film Scott and Sid

Two Yorkshire entrepreneurs made a film about themselves... Tony Earnshaw reports.

Tom Blyth and Richard Mason in Scott and Sid based on the experiences of Yorkshire businessmen Scott Elliott and Sid Sadowskyj.
Tom Blyth and Richard Mason in Scott and Sid based on the experiences of Yorkshire businessmen Scott Elliott and Sid Sadowskyj.

The old saying that truth is stranger than fiction really applies to Scott and Sid, the drama feature based on the real-life experiences of entrepreneurs and best friends Scott Elliott and Sid Sadowskyj.

As teenagers they set out to conquer the world as they saw it, drawing up a list of ambitions and achievements that included fast cars and making a movie.

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Now they’ve done it.

Moreover, they’ve done it on their own terms, and the end result is a bouncy, effervescent joint biopic that is as brutally honest as it is inspirational.

Two diverse characters with markedly differing personalities, Elliott and Sadowskyj wrote, produced, co-directed and cast their £1.7 million film, premiered across Yorkshire this month.

But the rollercoaster ride that it represents has a rudimentary message: anyone can be a success. They call it the dreamchaser spirit.

“The film shows the harsh reality of chasing your dreams and how hard it always is,” muses Sadowskyj, 32. “You have to put down Instagram and Netflix. You have to get rejection after rejection. You have to work seven days a week.” His comments are echoed by Elliott, also 32 and like Sadowskyj from Bradford, who says the naked vulnerability of their on-screen selves served to underline the severity of ambition.

“We wanted to show fellow dreamchasers how vulnerable chasing your dreams can be and how difficult it can be. You literally are jumping off a cliff, falling and not knowing if a safety net is going to catch you. It was terrifying at times.”

And that’s just the movie. The story presented on film is culled directly from their shared experiences in publishing and event management and includes the moment when Scott met with loan sharks and agreed an arrangement that so many people have made and later regretted.

The warts-and-all approach serves Scott and Sid well. “It was a therapeutic process and at times painful,” says Sadowskyj. Elliott offers his own thoughts. “It is brutal in places and there were a couple of scenes where Sid left the room in tears. I found it a little easier than Sid because, to me, Scott and Sid were two characters in a film, not the real Scott and Sid.”

Newcomers Tom Blyth and Richard Mason play the titular characters. Blyth has since landed a scholarship for Juilliard in New York and Mason’s CV includes Stutterer, which won an Oscar in 2015 for best live action short.

Seeing their younger selves, albeit via actors, led Elliott and Sadowskyj to ruminate on their remarkable journey. “Sid and I are constantly outside our comfort zone,” says Elliott. “And we are constantly jumping into the unknown. It’s very uncomfortable at times and you really do feel vulnerable but it is where the magic happens. I believe we have a responsibility to dream and a responsibility to chase that dream.”

Scott and Sid is in UK cinemas from today and on DVD and digital download from March 12.