THIS week, we are shouting about a local filmmaker who is using his passion for movies to tell moving stories about the everyday lives of people around the town.

James Hackett from Stratton unexpectedly received dozens of requests from strangers after asking for people's inspirational true-life tales to raise awareness of good causes and help others who are suffering in silence.

The 31-year-old originally set up his Inspire Creative brand to promote local businesses with a series of short films but is now expanding his scope to include issues like mental health, crime victims and near-death experiences under the broader Inspire Series.

He said: "It's grown so much, my calendar is full of meetings after only starting five days ago. I had 50 people sending in their stories on the first day alone and a lot of them focused on sensitive subjects and how they dealt with them after being in a really dark place.

"It was surprising to discover that so many people were suffering, even people I knew, but they wanted to get something off their chest and this became therapeutic for them and for me. Now I'm looking to collaborate with the Samaritans and Men's Mental Health Swindon and other organisations.

"I myself was diagnosed with depression and anxiety while working as an operations manager at WH Smith in Greenbridge and it was hard to admit it to other people because when you are in a position of power, that sort of thing can be seen as a weakness.

"I was signed off work sick a month ago and during this free time, I decided to focus as much as possible on what I enjoy - filmmaking.

"Inspire Create will focus on three-to-five minute shorts to show a business' passion for the work its staff do and hopefully inspire others to start their own business like I did. The wider Inspire Series will be a series of free videos for teachers, charities, farmers, volunteers, anyone who loves what they do and have overcome adversity or a struggle to do it."

James used some of his sick pay and dipped into his savings to cover the costs of his new venture which he hopes will become successful enough to turn into a full-time job as he's just taken out a mortgage and has a daughter on the way. He's previously developed work for Harrods, Homebase and Intel, and made wedding videos with a difference.

He added: "I liked filming weddings where there was a touching story to tell, I really liked the narrative aspect of it, and I'd film the bride and groom reading letters to each other about their lives then their reactions really brought the emotion out. With this new project, I want what I make to be just as hard-hitting and emotional, hopefully I can do this forever.

"I'd like to get to the point where we have a big premiere in a hall with the charity or service that's helped the people in the film there in the audience so others watching can get support if they need it."

Call 07525 480358, email or visit to tell your story.

Is there something about Swindon that you want to shout about? It could be a well-known charity, an under-appreciated community group, a kind-hearted resident that helps out around town, or anything and anyone who makes a positive difference to the lives of people in Swindon.

Get in touch by calling 01793 501734 or email