Setting off into the Highlands with an over-filled rucksack, no sense of direction and a misplaced belief in your ability to pitch a tent in the dark is an age old tradition for Scottish teenagers undertaking the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme – though pity those who ever find themselves encountering the challenges dreamed up by Edinburgh-born pop video director Ninian Doff for his debut feature, Get Duked!

The film, which premiered at last year’s Edinburgh International Film Festival under its original title Boyz In The Wood, follows marginalised teens Dean, Duncan, Ian and Beatroot, an aspiring rapper – respectively actors Rian Gordon, Lewis Gribben, Samuel Bottomley and Viraj Juneja – as they embark on a Duke of Edinburgh excursion. But the trip takes a turn for the weird and potentially fatal when they wander into a remote area and find themselves being hunted for sport by The Duke, a mysterious masked aristocrat toting a shotgun (played with relish by Eddie Izzard). James Cosmo, Kate Dickie and Kevin Guthrie also star.

The idea for the film just popped into his head one day, he says. “That was the very beginning, the first idea I had was four kids on a Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and they think they are being hunted by a duke. That was it, that was the one sentence, and this whole thing spiralled out of there”.

The film, which Doff also wrote, is autobiographical – up to a point, at least. “I did go on the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme and I did definitely get lost multiple times and probably wasn’t as wholesome as I should have been the whole time,” he says. “But I never fully hallucinated or got shot at, so I did better than the cast of the film.”

Both Gordon and Gribben also took part in the Duke of Edinburgh’s scheme themselves when they were younger and their experience pretty much tallies with Doff’s. “Both of us failed, spectacularly,” says Gribben. That said, the role of a smart aleck city kid felt like a good fit for the Edinburgh-based actor, whose first break came playing a drug dealer in Danny Boyle’s Trainspotting sequel T2. “I thought Duncan was me, so I was like ‘If I don't get this part then I've failed at being me, so I have to get it, I need this part. I need to play myself’.”

The young cast all embraced the anarchic nature of the film, which stemmed from Doff's background in music videos. Among the bands and artists he has worked with are the Chemical Brothers, Kasabian, former Blur guitarist Graham Coxon and American hip hop duo Run The Jewels.

“I love music videos,” he says. “I’ve always used them in a way that maybe other people use short films. I’ve played with different genres and so as I was going into my film I really wanted it to be a natural extension of that. If you like my music videos, you’re going to like this film.

“So visually, unashamedly and openly, it’s like a love letter to the past of my music videos … there are ridiculous visuals [where] I just plagiarised myself, I just went through my own back catalogue and stole my own ideas, which was fun to do.”

There is one thing he is very keen to point out, however: the character played by Izzard is a duke, rather than the duke. And just to make sure he wouldn’t receive a royal summons of the wrong sort, he had a lawyer look over the script.

“I was like ‘This is where the whole project collapses’, and then they came back and were like ‘No it's all fine’.

Get Duked! is streaming now on Amazon Prime Video.