Snares are small wire ligatures that are usually hidden in hedgerows and forests in order to trap wild animals. These ‘land-mines of the countryside’ are legally killing an estimated 1.7 million animals a year. Snares are indiscriminate and trap both wild and domestic animals in the most horrendous circumstances.
The League Against Cruel Sports approached director Paul Murphy to conceive and create a film, as part of their ‘What If’ campaign that would portray the plight of a trapped animal.
The result is a powerful and at times hard to watch film entitled Silent Enemy.
“As an animal lover I have seen a lot of videos that show animals in pain. To be honest, I find them really distressing and I struggle to watch them, which is probably the same for lots of people. So I decided to script the film from a human perspective and not show an animal suffering. I wanted to create a film that would really make people think,” says writer Paul Murphy.
After auditioning twenty-five actors, Murphy asked Shaun McKee to play the role of a jogger who heads off into the woods for a run.
Murphy says, “While writing the script I tried to imagine what it must be like to be held for days by a thin piece of metal wire, just lying there, dying slowly. It must be terrible. Shaun really understood what I was after and gave me a great performance. He even did the stunt himself, for real, thirteen times”.
“Chris Turner at Jungle Studios really helped take the project to a new level. He created some great sounds, especially those for the ‘Death’ scene that really help you get inside the head to a man who is trapped and dying”.
Peter Egan, the BAFTA award winning actor and animal lover, stepped into the role of voice over and the film was produced by Grain Media.
Murphy goes on to say,“The film that I made for the League last year was really well received with millions of people having watched it online, so I am really hoping for the same this year. I couldn’t believe when I heard that it’s actually legal to use these vile things in the UK. I really hope the film goes someway to help having them banned.”
Chris Pitt deputy Director of Campaigns at the League says,“Silent Enemy is a stunning film which may cause a few people sleepless nights. I think it’s the perfect charity campaign video, it lures you in, then hits you, leaving you with no alternative but to ‘get it’. It’s not preachy, it’s not wordy, it just does exactly what we needed it to do.
“Snaring is something that we believe should be banned, so we needed people to know about it. We called on Paul Murphy because he made a previous film ‘What If It Was You?’ for us, and that went viral, helping people understand what fox hunting really feels like. Silent Enemy will do the same for snaring, I’m sure. It’s a fantastic film.”