Action! for new MannIN Shorts

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THE island’s new film making scheme has got off to a great start with writing and practical workshops held this month.

MannIN Shorts was launched at the end of 2010 with the aim of encouraging people to come forward with scripts and ideas for local short films. It is hoped that the best three submitted every year will be made into films in the island.

The team behind the inspiring film project are also holding workshops to teach people the art of film making and for film makers to learn from each other. The first workshops were held last week.

Firstly, packing out the back room of the Railway Inn in Union Mills, a group of script writers attended the scheme’s Writers’ Room workshop on the Tuesday evening, where they entered into a lively discussion about the craft of writing for film.

The scheme’s founders Dave Armstrong, Phil Gates and Christy DeHaven led the event, encouraging new writers to take a detailed look at the process and giving specific advice to those who had submitted their own screenplays for the film scheme.

Having received more than 30 scripts for consideration for the MannIN Shorts scheme, the meeting proved an invaluable resource for the writers and will become a regular event.

Then at the weekend, the first practical workshop – Film Making 101 – was held.

On the Saturday and Sunday, 26 aspiring movie makers took over the top floor of the Training Centre in Douglas.

The aim was to give a general overview of the industry, with practical experience and the chance to shoot something by the end of the two days.

Saturday morning was spent giving a condensed theory session on the industry, crew roles, screen writing and general tips on lighting, camera work and sound.

In the afternoon, the group was divided into two and basic crew roles were chosen (director, sound, lighting, actors, design and props) and each crew was given the same short scene from the Sofia Coppola film Lost In Translation to shoot.

They then spent the afternoon blocking, rehearsing and discussing ideas for the shoot, returning on Sunday morning armed with props and ready to go.

After two and a half hours on camera, each team then had a few hours in the afternoon to work on the edit, with Dave and Christy operating the editing system but directed entirely by the teams.

Attendees ranged from college students to professional photographers, and each member was urged to take a jump out of their comfort zone.

The workshop saw Ex-Isle casting agent Bev Lawley experiencing life in front of the lens, Debs Gwinnell of Big Fish taking on the role of a first assistant director and even free runner Will Sutton throwing himself into an acting role.

Christy said: ‘The results were extremely encouraging, and served to further confirm the MannIN Shorts team’s conviction that the island has serious and credible film making talent – extremely creative and passionate people who are simply in need of an outlet for their talents.’

She added: ‘With the next MannIN Shorts workshop already in the planning stages, and with funding coming together, this outlet is fast becoming a reality.’

Both workshops were funded entirely by DAM Productions, with support from Andy Stewart of Training Services and Andy North from Isle of Man College.

• Read the blog about the workshops at

• Watch the behind-the-scenes footage of the film making weekend at

• Watch the two scenes filmed by the workshoppers at “Big In Japan” - and “Lost In Some Station” -

• For more information about the scheme email Christy at

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