Based on Kieran Hurley's 2012 play BEATS, filmmaker Brian Welsh collaborates with playwright Hurley to write the script for their silver screen debut under the same name, BEATS. Welsh was impressed with Hurley's presentation of the rave scene using a limiting stage presence. Welsh had tried several times to come up with a compelling film narrative on rave but struggled with the right kind of balance of story and the historical cultural relevance.
Welsh says, "What Kieran's play did brilliantly was weave the personal of the two friends together with the wider socio-political discussion about Scotland in 1994, what the Criminal Justice Act meant, and the ideas it represented." He continues, "This may make it sound dry, but it's important to mention that this was all done in a way that was both hilarious and profoundly moving." These two aspects are delightfully transformed in Hurley and Welsh's must-see feature film BEATS through amazing storytelling, stellar acting and it's hardworking crew.
A unique coming of age story set to music of the mid-90s that was all about an electrifying techno musical beat that wooed teens to express with intensity their definition of freedom, wild, crazy, love and anything anti-establishment. In Great Britain and Scotland, it was the era of the free party scene and a large counter-cultural youth movement was on fire.
Best friends Johnno and Spanner have one last summer together to hang-out before each of their lives take on a new journey. Johnno's family is moving to a new town in hopes for a better life. Spanner doesn't have such a caring family and is left behind to figure out his uncertain future. The two could not be more diverse in their up-bringing but hard-core music was their connection and a commitment to friendship since childhood.
The last night the boys are together is their escapism to make this a night to remember. The local radio station announces their favorite techno music will be featured at an illegal rave that night. The news spreads and the boys are off to experience the time of their lives. Within a 24-hour period, their friendship is challenged when they encounter an underworld of anarchy connected to their beloved music beat. Freedom, rebellion and the power of a large group of uncontrollable youth has its consequences when their party is over.