Cancer Survivor Writes, Directs, and Stars in New Indie Feature “The Hit”

the hit poster

“Not every story has been told…”

Although many people still remember the graphic incidents of the Rettendon Murders in Essex back in 1995, and the story has been adapted into a number of film versions, husband and wife film-making duo, Brad and Tanya Wall, insist, “Not every story has been told…”

At first glance, when you hear this movie was not only written by Brad Wall, but was directed by him, he plays one of the leading roles, and his wife produced it, you could be mistaken in thinking this indie feature is just a ‘vanity project’. You couldn’t be further from the truth.

Like every truly great story has a backplot, when you discover that Brad is a cancer survivor (he was diagnosed with AML, blood cancer) it puts a completely different spin on things. It’s hard enough writing a full length feature script (I should know, I’ve written a few of them in my time!) and the business of acting, although highly rewarding, is much more demanding than most ‘outsiders’ think. Just the concept of all the preparation and planning that needs to go into a film production, even a short, let alone a full length feature, is daunting to a healthy chap like myself – although I’d love to direct a movie one day, the thought of it scares the poop out of me!

So, when you think about this dynamic duo a huge round of applause is called for JUST FOR EVEN THINKING ABOUT making this film a reality! The fact that they have finally wrapped on shooting, and all concerned are eagerly looking forward to reuniting for the wrap party later this month deserves pause for thought.

Brad and Tanya are no stragers to the business, though, having met each other whilst working in the industry. They both shared a passion for film making, and the completion of “The Hit” is a serious feather in their caps. Although, as I said earlier, many people know the story already, through their ‘connections’ (I’ll leave that part vague – Brad’s originally from the East End – ‘nough said?) they insist that this is the definitive version of events, which holds quite a few surprises! I was priviledged to have a very minor role in their production, and was intrigued by the secrecy surrounding the script, but they assure me this is not merely a ‘cloak and dagger’ marketing ploy, the plot really is quite a sensitive matter.

Working with Brad and Tanya it was easy to forget what Brad had overcome to create this piece, as he is not only professional and ENERGETIC, but very humble and approachable (even if he does look quite scary some times!) The same is true for Tanya, having the thankless task of producing and ensuring things run as smoothly as possible – and anyone that’s been involved in the business knows that nothing ever goes exactly to plan.

hit companion


It has been refreshing to hear the support they have had whether from the huge cast of actors, people who have helped to source the classic cars needed for the shoot, businesses offering locations, and the million-and-one other little details. The work doesn’t stop there however… With a release date set for December to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the events, they have some epic fundraising plans for their next project (Crowdfunding Campaign) and have a fantastic, photographic companion to the film which you can buy now on Amazon. Click on the picture to the right to order your copy now.

Personally, although my involvement was very small, I’d just like to say a very big thank you and well done to this new film production partnership. All I can say is WATCH THIS SPACE…! More great things are coming, I’m sure.


The Shepherd Cover ArtANTHONY DONNELLY blogs about all things writing, inspirational, and motivational. He has published a number of books for children and adults. His latest book, a short, inspirational parable THE SHEPHERD  is currently climbing up the Amazon charts, and is available in Kindle or paperback. When not sat at his keyboard writing, he can be found in Costa Rica, North America, or somewhere in Europe motivating and coaching individuals and groups in self-development techniques and life-balance. Most recently you can see him back on the sets of films and in front of the modelling camera again.