Film 102 Workshop & update

Hello hello! Wow it’s been a long time since we’ve posted a blog.. and not because we haven’t been up to much, ohhhh no..

Our Tent at The Garden Party (courtesy Christine Collister)

The organisers of a fab new music festival over here on the tiny Isle, called The Garden Party, asked if we’d like to host a film tent. ‘Of course!’ we said. But realising we wouldn’t have enough material yet from our own scheme, we approached our friends and helpers at Future Shorts. They supplied us with their July Selection for FS One, a collection of the best short films from that month from all over the world. It included the fantastic video promo for Battles single ‘Ice Cream’ and the video for ‘Uberlin’ by REM, so fit really well with the music festival vibe.

Testing the screen with Anna Goldsmith 'Night Fever' video

We added a reel of films by local film makers Glenn Whorrall, photographer Daniyel ‘Ducky’ Lowden and parkour genius Will Sutton, alongwith various music video promos we’ve produced (as DAM Productions) for people like Anna Goldsmith, Jacoba, Truman Falls etc.

We also had a special screening of ‘Ghostgirl’ – split into two halves between Anna Goldsmith, The Heights and Davy Knowles sets – really encouraged to see the place packed out, with people standing outside the tent craning to see in!

Festival folk flocking to see Ghostgirl!

The weekend before the festival, we had an intense two day film shoot for Film 102 workshop. The idea behind the workshop was to progress from our Film 101, where we taught the very basics of film making on day one, then allowed the group to ‘play’ with the gear and shoot a very short scene from Lost in Translation on day two. This time, we met with the group two weeks before, split them into two random teams, gave each group an unmarked envelope with a different scene in from a mystery indie film. One scene had a lot of action and several set ups to work with, the other was – on paper – very static and focussed on performance.

Each team then had to choose a producer, and decide how they would assign the crew roles. Once that was done, they had to hold proper casting sessions to choose their actors (with a lot of help from Carl Parker and in association with the Isle of Man Acting Academy), then find locations, draw up shot lists, storyboards, schedules etc. So, not much then!!

In the week prior to shoot, Dave and I held a very compacted evening class for the camera & sound teams, who would be using the 5D & associated gear and the Edirol R44 sound recording gear/lavalier(tie pin) mics/boom etc. (bear in mind some of these guys have never even heard of this gear before, let alone used it!)

And on the last weekend of June, they each had one day to shoot their scene.

The effort these teams went to was just incredible. They’d each sourced great locations with full facilities & parking on site, had gone to town on design, pulling in assistance from Lynda of Lynda’s Prop Shop and each team brought at least one professional on board to help things run smoothly.

Dave and I were on hand on both shoot days, to assist with lighting, sound, camera, direction etc

The scenes then needed editing; a member was chosen from each team, neither of whom had any previous experience with editing before… it was clearly a mighty task they were taking on, not only to learn the practicalities of how to use Final Cut Pro, but also to try and grasp the finer points of editing, the intuition needed to get the ‘look’ and ‘feel’ that some of us are still learning after several years of using the gear…!

Although our Directors had requested to be present at the edit, we made exception this time as we really needed our editors to be able to concentrate on the training as much as the edit itself, and we decided that the pressure of having their Director in the room would be too much! Both girls (yes, our Eds were female hurrah 🙂 were incredible, taking to the software and to the intuitive nature of editing extremely quickly.

Dave and I took notes throughout the whole process of each shoot, pre-and post production, and we’ll post the general pointers here in the next day or two (you may find them useful if you’re a new film maker yourself.)

Meantime, here are the clips – both scenes were revealed at a debrief to be from the excellent indie film ‘Blue Valentine’ starring Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams. We think both teams did a superb job and are looking forward to the next workshop.

Our six script finalists are well on the way to getting their final proposals in for consideration – in fact, the game has changed slightly on the MShorts competition front, and we’ll tell you more about that in the next blog (which we promise will be considerably quicker than this one has been!)

Thanks for following 🙂
Christy D.


About MannIN Shorts

"MannIN Shorts" is a brand new Isle of Man film initiative set to provide a platform for hopeful filmmakers.  Young or old, local or international it provides a launch pad to develop skills, ideas and actually make films, right here on the Isle of Man.
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