The Making of a Homegrown Movie

The women from Scam

It’s not long to go now before the premiere of the new movie Scam, directed by talented Narberth cinematographer and musician Nick Swannell.

This first screening will be on 7 May at Theatr Gwaun in Fishguard – which is fitting, since both the building and the town play major roles in the film.

Pembrokeshire.Online has already had the privilege of seeing and reviewing Scam, but it was intriguing to find out a little more about how it came to be made.

Nick explained that there was a certain amount of what he calls “reverse engineering” involved. Resources were limited, so it was a question of beginning with what was available in terms of locations, actors and filming time.

Shooting was to take place over 16 days in June 2021. “Covid restrictions were still in place,” said Nick. “The theatre was empty and available to us and so that became the starting point for the story. A lot of thought went into the writing, bearing in mind what we had to work with.”

So the story and script by Alison Rayner developed around an empty provincial theatre – and the woman who owned it, and her two very different daughters.

Props and cars were borrowed, and lots of filming was done out on the streets of Pembrokeshire towns.

“I’d previously done half a dozen short films,” said Nick. “But this was going to be my first full-length feature. Initially I was thinking about a film something like Ocean’s Eleven…”

But the twists and turns of Scam took it quite a way from being a superficial crime caper. “It starts off light,” said Nick, “and it gets darker as you go along.”

With shooting complete, he spent a lot of time between last August and this March working on editing the film and also masterminding the excellent musical score.

Is he happy with the results? “I’ve achieved what I set out to do,” he says modestly. “I’ve made a full-length film.”

And he’s done more than that. On a limited budget and with many constraints, he’s created an entertaining drama that he – and Pembrokeshire – can be proud of.

The premiere of Scam will take place on 7 May at Theatr Gwaun, Fishguard. You can read our review of the film on Pembrokeshire.Online.




Nigel Summerley

Nigel Summerley retired from The Oldie magazine to return to freelance journalism. He previously held executive staff jobs at the London Evening Standard, The Daily Telegraph, The Sunday Telegraph and the Daily Express before freelancing for 20 years for newspapers including The Times, The Sunday Times, The Independent, The Guardian and the ‘i’ paper, plus a wide range of magazines. He continues to write about music, travel and health, and blogs at

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