July 24 2014 Latest news:
Wednesday, April 30, 2014
A former soldier who sells replica guns is one of 1,000 Londoners filmed for a series of unique short documentaries.
Daniel “Griff” Griffiths, 24, gave up his seven-year Army career to settle down in Crouch End with his boyfriend.
He now sells replica firearms used in Airsoft, a sport similar to paintball where participants eliminate opponents by hitting each other with pellets, at Airsoft Supplies, Archway Road, Highgate, and is about to join the Army Reserves.
He is the focus of one of 1,000 short films about people from all walks of life, who live and work in the capital, being created for a unique portrait of London.
“I do miss the Army,” said Mr Griffiths, who signed up at 16.
“Being a civilian is a different way of life, it’s a bit slower and you have to have more self-discipline than in the Army.
“I was lucky to find a job at Airsoft Supplies and I was well placed to get it as I knew how the equipment works.”
Mr Griffiths packed in his career as an Apache ground crew member, refuelling and rearming the helicopters, in 2012 after it became “too samey”.
But he does not regret his time in the forces as it was while serving that he met boyfriend, civilian Hardy Skogstad, through mutual friends in 2008.
“Going to Afghanistan for six months was definitely a highlight, it’s one of those rare things to go to a war zone, even if you don’t see much of it,” said Mr Griffiths, who lives in Ferme Park Road.
“The Army is also where I met some of the best people I’ve met in my life, people who I know I can depend on.”
Located between two beauty salons, Mr Griffiths’s shop is not in the most obvious location for selling replica weapons.
But he said business at two-year-old Airsoft Supplies is booming as the shop is particularly popular with photographers who buy Airsoft accessories to keep their camera equipment safe.
Mr Griffiths was asked to appear in the documentary project after the director contacted his manager to ask if someone from the store could take part.
“I told the director there would be much more interesting people to film than me in the community,” he said.
“It’s definitely not something I’ve ever had experience of doing, but it was good to have the opportunity.”
The documentary featuring Mr Griffiths is made by Chocolate Films and is released online today (Thursday) at 1000londoners.com.