Young and Talented: Filming a rising snooker star

November 4, 2018
Ten year old Dylan Smith at his first ever Cuestars competition in Salisbury in 2018.

A few months ago, I started a personal video project to improve my videography skills, and also to capture the spirit and environment of talented youngsters as they follow their dreams, how they’re supported by their family and friends around them, why they chose their sport or interest as their passion, and recording their highs and lows.

As part of this project, I’m following young snooker players as they embark on the often long journey of going professional. Often the first time they’ll compete will be at Cuestars, run by John Hunter. Cuestars provide opportunities for junior players to play on full size tables.

My first video is a very short clip, showing ten year old Dylan Smith, at his very first ever tournament in Salisbury, where he made it to the final.

Why this project? Well, a couple of months ago I met Dylan and his Dad, Lee Smith, through the Victoria Snooker Centre in Tunbridge Wells. I’d been on the lookout for a project that would inspire me, and hearing about Dylan’s aspirations to become a pro snooker player and the challenges he faced intrigued me.

His Dad mentioned that he was playing in his first ever tournament with Cuestars in Salisbury and offered to take me.

I arrived, and I found it fascinating. It couldn’t be further from the stereotype of working class beer drinkers. The club was filled with young snooker players comporting themselves like seasoned snooker professionals, watched by their loving and often anxious parents.

I’m planning on producing a short documentary following what it’s like to be a young snooker player, and to compete and will be filming more of the Cuestars competitions over the next few months.

I’m looking for parents and young players who would be willing to be filmed and or interviewed as part of the documentary.

Please email me on heather@lightninginabottle.co.uk if you’re interested.