"little films, BIG VISION"


“MannIN Shorts”, based on the Isle of Man, is a new initiative to provide a platform for hopeful filmmakers of any age to build their skills, develop their ideas and make films right here on the rock, developed by Dave Armstrong and Christy DeHaven of DAM Productions IOM and their Producer partner Phil Gates of Sonic Productions.

The first scheme started early 2011; an incredible 30 scripts were submitted for consideration before the end of Jan, and our first practical workshop 'Filmmaking 101' was over subscribed. After consultation and writing workshops, the scripts were submitted to Danny Stack for judging (award winning screenwriter, and reader for Pathe, Working Titles, UK Film Council etc); Danny had the hard task of shortlisting six finalists for us.

By the end of 2013, we have now run dozens of workshops with visiting professionals in everything from scriptwriting to producing on a budget to acting to directing to sound to cinematography and so much more. Members have received consultation & expert advice and we are slowly building a dedicated community of crews and cast with varying levels of experience, all who are talented, passionate and determined to progress in the field.

Although we initially planned on making just three of the shortlisted six films, FIVE of them have now been made - 'Closet' (John Craine), 'I Do' (Zoe Guilford), 'Hide & Seek' (Adrian Hall), 'Barry Brown' (John Brimble) and 'Solace in Wicca' (Nathan Russell-Raby). All are in the final throes of post production and are soon to be distributed to international film festivals.

Filmmaking Workshops 101 and 102

We introduced the idea in October 2010, with a hugely successful Short Film evening to open the Arts Council's Isle of Man Film Festival; our panel of invited guests inspired the packed Broadway cinema & paved the way for new talent. Contributors on the evening were:

- Chris Jones (Guerilla FilmMakers Handbook) who showed his excellent Oscar shortlisted 'Gone Fishing' (35mm print)

- Hamish Morrow from FutureShorts.com, whose three films were shining examples of the standards that can be reached today in the short genre

- Lee Boardman (actor, HBO's Rome) and Lesley Manning, who gave a sneak preview of 'Leila' their collaborative feature made with students from the London MET

- Dave Armstrong (DAM Productions), one of the Directors behind MannIN Shorts, with the premiere of his much talked about short 'Ghostgirl' (shot on the 5D)

- John Craine, new young filmmaking talent from the Island, recently graduated from London Film school and previewing rushes from his short film 'Pig Tails', (shot on Red)

Each contributor gave a fascinating insight into the industry from their own experiences & all have given their support to the MannIN Shorts scheme.

The Details..

The scheme is intended to enable new and emerging filmmakers on the Isle of Man to make innovative short films using digital technology. It is intended to focus on narrative fiction films but will also consider documentary projects where appropriate.

It will be Director driven. Filmmakers & filmmaking teams will be invited to submit proposals for short films. Each year three directors & projects will be selected for the scheme; successful applicant’s films will then be developed through the course of the programme.

Short Films will be produced at the culmination of 6 months of intensive training and completed within 4 months of commencing production. As far as is practicable all films will be crewed and cast locally.

Though each of the key participants in the scheme will leave having directed their own film, the scheme will concentrate on the collaborative nature of filmmaking.

Workshops will be based on the key elements of Writing, Directing, Producing, Cinematography, Sound, & Post Production. Additional workshops will include storytelling, script analysis, working with actors, film music, production design & production. During the early stages of the programme each participant will develop & shoot a ‘without words’ narrative film.

Workshops will also be open to other Isle of Man based film-makers thereby developing the local skillbase and providing opportunities for those who might wish to work in other areas of the film industry.

Film Productions
Each participant will be expected to commit a significant amount of their free time to the scheme. During the course of the programme each participant will attend a series of weekend master classes & workshops with leading industry practitioners. Participants will be expected to actively commit to utilising their own time developing their projects towards production, as well as preparation and research prior to each workshop.

Though the 3 main participants will be directing their own films at the culmination of the programme they will also be encouraged to take senior roles and to assist on each others projects.

MannIN Shorts will actively work to develop a local crew base to help in the production of these films. Our hope is that these crew members will be able to develop their own careers in film & television industries and that we will also be able to nurture the talent of the future through their involvement with the scheme on a long term basis.

We will work with the local screen academy & drama groups to seek to cast productions from the Island where possible. We will actively seek to work alongside these organizations to pool training and other resources. The production of the films will be scheduled and planned to mirror a professional film production.

It is intended that each film would have an Isle of Man Film Festival premiere, and that each screening would also provide an opportunity for the filmmakers to discuss the development & production of their film.

Completed films will also be entered into UK & International Film Festivals as appropriate and distributed actively through all available avenues.

To apply for the scheme, or to find out more, please contact christy@manninshorts.com.