Debs Gwinnell on Go Team! First ‘proper… Debs Gwinnell on First workshop? Done. Dominic on First workshop? Done. Tweets that mention… on Scripts ahoy!
Just a quick pre-blog to show you some media from our PokerStars-sponsored Acting Workshop this past weekend with Lee Boardman (HBO’s “Rome”, and yes, Jez in Corrie 😉 )
We will blog about it properly soon, but in the meantime, you can watch Paul Moulton’s interview with Lee for MT TV here and see the photos of the weekend – which we think tell a pretty good story in themselves – below.
We had a fabulous weekend with Danny Stack. At our PokerStars sponsored Screenwriting workshop on Saturday, we started out by looking at the history of short film, watching clips from the inception of the movie industry with the Lumiere Bros films, right through to the likes of “Alive in JoBerg” (Neill Blomkamp’s astonishing short that led to the making of his feature District 9).
Danny then shared his journey as a Script Reader, Writer and, more recently, a Director – even allowing us a special screening of his excellent 2nd short and Directorial debut ‘Origin’ – inspiring both our new and established writers to just “GO OUT AND DO IT!” His anecdotes from the industry were great; Danny’s own ‘story’ is a rollercoaster of a biopic in itself – honest, humbling, inspiring and hilarious in equal measure.
Then on Sunday, Danny took time out to meet with four of our Finalist writers from the MShorts 2011 Screenplay Competition. Zoe, Nat, John B and Chris are all well on the way to shooting their films in the coming months, and benefited from Danny sharing excellent hints and tips about their work and how to progress in the industry.
Do check out Danny’s excellent blog, and his now legendary podcasts with BAFTA nominated writer Tim Clague. In the meantime, took copious notes from both days with Danny, and thought it would be useful to share some of the choice soundbites – below are the notes from Saturday, not in any particular order, but all extremely insightful. Sunday’s notes to follow soon. Enjoy!
Generally, any film can be broken down into:
Short film history:-
Gaspar Rainbow Dance – brilliant short!
So..it’s a bit late, but HAPPY 2012! At least we just managed to sneak this through in the first month of the New Year 😉
And already we’ve been busy!
Before we go on, though, we have to extend a mighty congratulations to long time MannIN Shorts supporter – and the designer of our logo, no less – the lovely JUAN MOORE.
Speaking of Oscars, our most recent workshop was with the the extremely talented and very determined filmmaker Danny Lacey, who came over from Leeds last week (Jan 26th)
to share his experiences making three highly anticipated low budget shorts in the course of just 18months. He shot one of them – “Love Like Hers” – immediately after visiting the Isle of Man for our MannIN Shorts launch night in Sept 2010, where he appeared on a panel alongside Hamish Morrow (FutureShorts) and Chris Jones (Guerilla Filmmakers Handbook). Since then, Danny has also written, shot and almost finished cutting ‘Host’ – with DSLR guru Philip Bloom as DP – and is on the final draft of script ‘That Day’ which is due to shoot next month (again with Bloom on board).
Thanks to our sponsors PokerStars, we were fortunate that Danny was able to take the time out of his ridiculous schedule to return to the Island and speak so openly and at length with our crews; sharing his mission to win on Oscar within five years – and seeing how close he has come already – left our would-be Producers inspired, enthused & determined to make their own marks in the industry.
Speaking of which…thanks to the forward thinking of MannIN Shorts Finalist Ady Hall, we could be on our way to winning our first award! A small group of workshoppers had great fun on a one day shoot to bring Ady’s tongue-in-cheek minute long version of ‘Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy’ to life, which we entered into the Jameson sponsored ‘Done in 60 Seconds’ competition (championed by Empire Film Magazine). At last count, it was looking like there was a good chance of the video getting into the next round…we’ll keep you posted!
Look out for our next workshops, which are ‘Scriptwriting’ with Pathe/Working Title/UK Film Council story analyst Danny Stack on March 3rd (still a few places left), ‘Directing for Screen’ with Writer/Director Lesley Manning who also tutors at National Film and TV School (which is now full and closed) and we also have Cinematography and 1st AD workshops being planned for next month.
Thanks to our recent sponsorship from Poker Stars, we are able to hold our next MannIN Shorts workshop over weekend of Nov 12th/13th; it will be in the fascinating art of Production Design and is being run by Lynda Reiss of Lynda’s Prop Shop.
Lynda lives on the Island but has a career in the industry that’s taken her all around the world. She will be passing on her experience and knowledge from having worked on everything from no-budget to blockbuster films (Iron Man, American Beauty and most recently Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy).
She will be using two of our MannIN Shorts ‘Finalist’ scripts as case studies for the workshop -partly to help the writers/teams associated with the scripts to realise their vision, but partly so the workshop attendees can see the process from the very early stages – how you can bring the words from a page to life through design.
Catering is being provided by the wonderful Molly Reiss, who has even promised cupcakes from her bakery business!
Video and pictures to follow…
Tis a sad fact, but it’s true – you can’t run a film scheme without it. Money for equipment, money to hire venues, money to pay professionals to host masterclasses/workshops, money to cover the cost of flights and accommodation for aforementioned professionals – hell, I’ve not even mentioned the most important expense yet – you gotta have cash for coffee & biscuits!
Until yesterday, the funding we’d been expecting for the past year had yet to materialise. The Isle of Man Arts Council has been continually supportive (we love them lots :)) but the truth is that we were STILL running the scheme from our own limited resources. Yesterday, we finally received a generous sponsorship grant from the scheme-saving folk at Poker Stars Isle of Man, and this will pay for future workshops, (hussah! bring on the training!!) but this money is not to fund the short films themselves.
We have to admit we were extremely disappointed when, after over a year of meetings and attempted communications, we were finally told recently that apparently, the relevant area of Govt couldn’t support the scheme. We are still endeavouring to make direct representations, to find out who could (or should) be supporting Mannin Shorts. We will persevere, as we believe 100% in the passion and dedication of our trainees – their screenplays, their vision, their potential – and in the value of helping to build a community of well trained film makers on an Island that promotes itself as a ‘great place to make movies’.
Our plan was to have finished three shorts by Sept of this year, after having run half a dozen intense weekend workshops on the major areas of filmmaking (Directing, Design, Editing, Producing etc). Although we haven’t had the budgets to produce the shorts, we have held several technical workshops using gear loaned by DAM Productions (which led to our crews being able to cast, produce, shoot and edit short scenes); we have had writers meetings/discussions and worked with 30+ screenplay entrants to help hone their scripts down to what is now our final 6; we have trained Editors in the marvels of Final Cut Pro; we hosted a Film Tent at The Garden Party music festival in conjunction with Future Shorts; we held another Short Film event to open the IOM Arts Council Film Festival 2011; and we assisted in the production of ‘Hide & Seek’.
As mentioned in previous blogs, ‘Hide & Seek’ was one of our finalist 6 scripts. The enthusiasm of the writer (Ady Hall) and his production team led to them raising private funding for MannIN Shorts so that the film could be shot in August of this year. The shoot was fantastic; crewed by MShorts trainees, shadowed by a number of experienced professionals, they are now well underway with their edit and the cuts we have seen are brilliant. It will be a perfect ‘first film’ for the MannIN Shorts scheme and we’re extremely grateful for their hard work (and very very proud of them, awww!)
Now to make another one! 🙂 Our remaining five writers are currently putting together ‘production packs’ so we can find out how far along they are with planning and pre-production on their shorts. Whichever one is most advanced, will be the one we make next…. As soon as the funding is in place.
In the meantime, we will at last be able to hold some more workshops – thanks to Poker Stars. The first will be in Storyboarding (with Guardian contributor/ Chico & Rita illustrator Juan Moore), then two in Directing (‘An Introduction to Directing’ with Lesley Manning from National Film School) followed by a masterclass to be led by an internationally renowned and influential Director (who we cannot name yet, but is very exciting!), and we’ll also have a workshop in Design with Lynda Reiss (of Lynda’s Prop Shop, who worked on films like ‘American Beauty’, ‘Iron Man’ – and most recently supplied materials for ‘Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy’).
So, although its been a hard slog to get this far, we are finally making *some* headway. We hope to hear final confirmation about one part of the funding for our shorts before the end of this month. Either way, we’ll keep you posted. Funnily enough, it all sounds rather like the frustrating but ultimately extremely rewarding process of trying to make a film…
It’s been a busy few filmmaker days on the tiny Isle!
Firstly, “Hide & Seek” wrapped just over a week ago, which means the very first MannIN Shorts shoot ‘proper’ is finally in the can.
The team are now well on the way with editing the footage, which is looking excellent and which had it’s first public preview just a few days ago…
This preview was at the Isle of Man Arts Council Film Festival 2011. As with last year, MannIN Shorts was asked to host the opening night. As we’re yet to fully complete any of our own films, we called on the services of the brilliant FutureShorts.com to put together a bespoke programme of their favourite shorts especially for the night. To that, we added a selection of shorts by exciting young Manx based / born filmmakers:
These films were followed by an introduction to the ‘Hide & Seek’ project from Producer Debs Gwinnell, Director Laura Jones, Writer Ady Hall and Designer Lynda Reiss, then a short clip from the behind-the-scenes video before the exclusive preview of the opening sequence of the film itself.
The standard of film making from all contributors in this IOM section of the night was staggering, & hugely inspiring to those in the audience and the excitement building around ‘Hide & Seek’ was palpable.
The FutureShorts reel was a superb selection of shorts from the international film circuit – funny, beautiful, moving, surreal, dark, empowering – but all from filmmakers at the top of their game and hopefully inspiring to those in the audience.
Yesterday was the Arts Council’s Young Filmmaker of Mann and Short Film Competition, at which Will Sutton won two awards – one for his Free Running reel, and the ‘Best Comedy’ prize for Operation S. Congrats also to long time MShorts supporter Emily Cook, who’s come a very long way in the past year and won Best Documentary for ‘Unkept’.
Next for MannIN Shorts, we hope to run our first Director’s Workshop, and will soon have a workshop in storyboarding courtesy of excellent IOM based artist/illustrator Juan Moore.
Keep checking our social networking sites for updates: