"little films, BIG VISION"


Writers Gathering Jan 18th - last one before Screenplay Comp deadline..

Ahead of the January 24th competition deadline we're holding a final Writers Gathering to help whip those scripts into shape before submission. Any interested writers are invited to bring along one or two copies of their scripts/screenplays, completed first drafts or even a few basic scenes which we can run through, bringing the ideas to life, and helping to identify any adjustments before the initial deadline. Drop in and see us at Thie Ellyn (The IoM Arts Society building, just off Withington Road in Douglas) from 10 'til 12.30(ish) this Saturday (18th January).

Here's a link to the location: http://isleofmanartsociety.com/location-2/
Look forward to seeing you there!

Monthly Filmmakers Gathering - Tues 14th Jan

Come along and see what we're all about! This month, we're going on tour... will be meeting at The Ship Inn in Castletown at 7pm. Gatherings are open to all.

'Pitch and Plot' Session January 4th 2014

Firstly, HAPPY NEW YEAR to you all and here's to 12months packed with moviemaking fun and festival successes :) And all that could begin right here... At the end of last year we announced a brand new screenplay competition. The first deadline is fast approaching (Jan 24th) so be sure to get your scripts over to christy@manninshorts.com asap.

In the meantime, we'll be holding a free and informal "PITCH AND PLOT" session on Saturday (January 4th) from 10am. Writers will have the opportunity to informally pitch their screenplay ideas to UK film producer (and co-Founder of MannIN Shorts) Phil Gates, for honest feedback and guidance. There will be round table discussions and an open forum, no-pressure feel to the session, so this is a great opportunity to get instant feedback on your project before committing to final draft.

Venue details will be posted on our Facebook Page.

STORYTELLING WORKSHOP with JIM HAMPTON - Monday 16th December 7pm - £5

To help with the overall storytelling process, we will be holding a fantastic workshop at The Forum (Mount Havelock in Douglas) on Monday night, with our very own Jim Hampton (Editor). The workshop will be looking at the script to screen process from the point of view of the edit, where all the material is put together in order to tell the best possible story. We will identify and discuss the questions all writers and filmmakers should be asking themselves before the material reaches the edit suite.

Thanks to PokerStars generous sponsorship, we're able to offer this workshop at a hugely subsidised rate of just £5. The workshop is open to everyone, and is a really great opportunity to get perspective on the whole filmmaking process, so the more the merrier!

Ahead of this workshop, we will have the next Writers Gathering on Sunday 15th at the Northern Lights Community Centre in Ramsey from 3pm – 5.30pm. Come and sample the delights of the North for a spot of Christmas shopping or maybe a bite of lunch and then join us for a coffee and a creative get-together.

All writers welcome! Bring along your ideas and let's have a go at writing and creating together. It would be really useful to bring either: a short treatment (the full story in its simplest form, themes, characters, detailed synopsis), a few pages of the script or, if possible, the first and final scenes written and then we can discuss how our ideas are developing.

We're hoping to follow up with further gatherings in January, with the opportunity to have your work read by actors in order to put your dialogue through it's paces, and a pitching session to promote your work and network with interested producers/directors.

In the meantime for further info, the links below provide some great resources for aspiring writers and filmmakers alike:

BBC Writers Room
Filmnetwork - what-makes-a-good-short

2014: Not the title of a new disaster movie, but rather, the year that we should finally be able to run the scheme in the way we had always envisaged, back in 2010.

Yes, it looks like we may have locked in enough support - from names that will be revealed very soon - that should enable us to: hold monthly workshops; regularly invite guest professionals to come speak to us/share their skills with/ work alongside us; hold regular screenings and film nights; re-start our Writers Gatherings; create a really great website packed with filmmaker fun stuff and training elements and lots, lots more. Not to mention MAKE SOME FILMS! Every film starts with a story.

That in mind, at the meeting we announced the:-

2nd MannIN Shorts Screenplay Competition
Get writing NOW, as the initial deadline is going to be midnight (GMT) January 24th 2014.

Screenplays will be sifted and shortlisted to final 6; those 6 will then be workshopped with professional screenwriters then resubmitted to the Judging Panel, who will choose the three MannIN Shorts Screenplays for 2014. Those three films will then be made in conjunction with a series of monthly workshops to get crew/cast up to speed. The shoots themselves will be the final part of the 'training' for 2014, as they will also be run with an element of shadowing from industry professionals.

Each of the three films will qualify to have up to 50% of their budget provided by the scheme (via a party we will reveal very soon) - with the Producers then sourcing the other 50% as part of their training.

Return of the Writers Gatherings

Whether you're already a seasoned screenwriter with festival wins under your belt, or have never written a screenplay in your life but have an idea you're desperate to bring to screen, we all need creative encouragement and inspiration. So we thought we'd bring back our 'Writers Gatherings' to help kickstart the process. These are very informal, fun and a really great way to get started. You just need to show up on the night, no need to book a place. They will be led by the lovely Rosie, who will offer a few tools at the start of the night to get things moving, but then it's up to you all to make of the evening what you will.

The first one will be a week today - on the evening of Tuesday 3rd December meeting at the Crosby Pub at 7pm.

Isle of Man Film Festival 2013

Check out all the fantastic stuff happening at IOMFF2013 here: isleofmanfilmfestival.com. The programme of events includes feature film premieres, Future Shorts film nights across the Island, screenings with Writers/Directors in attendance, panel events and the legendary Guerilla Filmmakers Workshop.

We are also excited to be previewing three of the films made within our scheme over the past year, on the Saturday night of the festival, so be sure to get your tickets well in advance as the venue is limited on space and several of the nights are expected to sell out!

Acting AND Writing Workshop

This weekend (July 27th and 28th) we're doing something a little bit different...a great opportunity for actors and writers to work together.

Actor and long time supporter of MannIN Shorts Lee Boardman is coming over again with the lovely Anne Marie O'Connor, creator and writer of Sky's hit TV series 'Trollied'. They are going to work together over the weekend - AnneMarie will work with the writers developing dialogue and stories, while the actors, under the guidance of Lee, will workshop that material so that both sides can see the process working in real time.

Thanks to PokerStars, we're able to offer the workshop at a reduced rate of just £30 per day, or £50 for both (definitely beneficial to attend both days). It will start at 10am each day and finish by 6pm on Sat, and 5.30pm on Sunday, with a break for lunch around 1pm. If you're interested in taking one of the few remaining places, please email christy@manninshorts.com by lunchtime on Friday 26th July.

UPDATE: Watch Dave Armstrong being interviewed by Paul Moulton - about the above workshop but also about the IOM Film Industry in general - on MT TV here

Easter Film School success

We recently called a Wrap on our latest Manx Arts Development Film School. Run over two weeks, we started with 8 to 12 year olds, then 13-16 year olds the following week. Each group was split into crews of five and had just two days to write, shoot and edit a short film - which they did, brilliantly!

Run by Dave Armstrong and Christy DeHaven, assisted by Georgia Quilliam and Emily Cook, the feedback has been fantastic and we're looking forward to the next instalment over Summer. Dave said it was "..great fun, what a lovely group of students! It's so encouraging to see tomorrow's filmmakers being given an opportunity to get hands on experience and to see the levels of creativity and talent that emerge. Thanks to Manx Arts Development for making it possible."

For more photos, along with regular updates about all our events, visit our Facebook Page.

Film School 2013

New Year, lots of New Projects

We've hit the ground running this year, with lots of exciting new projects already in the pipeline among the Isle of Man filmmaking community, some of which we talked about at the first meeting of the year last night (Jan 8th) - including:

  • a series of IOM Arts Development Summer Schools for the Under 18s;
  • another workshop, this time in Sound Recording
  • filming the first in the 'On The Benches' series, written by Christine Hill
  • developing the 'IOM Red Cross Volunteers Film Challenge'

and not least...the 2013 MannIN Shorts Film Festival! Dates are now confirmed as September 13th-15th, details of the event to follow soon.

Isle of Man Film Festival 2012, all wrapped up!

The first Isle of Man Film Festival was a great success! Thanks to all who took part, who turned up, who screened something, wrote something, said something, won something, printed something, asked something, created something, promoted something, applauded something... you are all Stars in our book! There's a post-fest update on our Film Fest Blog and we will be adding some photos and video clips here shortly. In the meantime, check out the piece on MyTV.im, which includes interviews with organisers Dave Armstrong and Christy DeHaven, special guest Lee Boardman and writer/actor Zoe Guilford.


Check out our blog and our rather enthusiastic Film Festival Facebook page - which is currently on a crazymission to get to 5000 likes by Friday 30th...We're currently boasting a massive 139 and have less than 24hrs to go. So that's only *countsonfingers* 4861 to go, by my reckoning. Think big tho eh?!

Names of visiting guests released so far include Danny Lacey (who is going to show "Love Like Hers" starring Vince Regan and shot on Super16mm, and "Host" shot on the Red Epic by Philip Bloom) and Raff Degruttola, actor from "Saving Private Ryan" and "Quantum of Solace" who is also a filmmaker in his own right and will be previewing clips from this forthcoming mockumentary "FLIM (The Making Of...) and his moving short film "The Other Side of My Sleep" (Official Selection Boston Film & La Showbiz Expo Film festivals 2010).

Introducing...the Isle of Man Film Festival 2012

We can now confirm that we will be running this year's Isle of Man Film Festival, in association with Isle of Man Film and the Arts Council. It will run from September 14th-16th at the Broadway Cinema in Douglas and we have a really exciting list of special guests from the film making world.. We will be announcing them in a teaser-type, drip-feed, edge-of-seat excitement kinda way over coming fortnight, so stay tuned! Ticket details / programme of events to follow soon...

It's a WRAP!

The two latest films from the MannIN Shorts 'film camp' (?!) finished shooting this past weekend. Solace in Wicca (see below) and 'Closet' (wr. John Craine, Dir. Chris Gore, Producer Debs Gwinnell) shot at various locations around the Island, from Cregneash to Jurby beach. The latter starred free-running filmmaking sensation Will Sutton in his first dramatic role, as 'Bobby'.

We hope to be able to show you both films - or at least, sneak previews - at the forthcoming MannIN Shorts Isle of Man Film Festival (Sept 14th-16th). Details of that to follow.. but in the meantime, here's a few photos from 'Closet'.

Closet - A Short Film Will Sutton Closet A Short Film James Hills Closet A Short Film Sam Waters
Will Sutton as 'Bobby', and DP John Craine on camera (fore)
James Hills, Assistant Camera with Emma Poyntz, continuity
Sam Waters clapping the Closet


Behind scenes pics from first day of 'Solace' shoot

Solace in Wicca Solace in Wicca

Writer Nat readies for Shot 1 Take 1; Liam, Daniyel & Bruno prep the shot; Andy(Dir) & Andy (AD) ponder the heavens...

Another of our Finalist Films went into production today. Nathan Russell-Raby's 'Solace in Wicca', which is based on the true story about the unfortunate Margaret Quaine, started shooting in the dungeon of Castle Rushen.

The film has been supported by the Manx Heritage Foundation, whose generous funding has allowed Nat, his Director Andy North and Producer Jazz Garrett to really push the boundaries of the look and feel of the film to make it as authentic as possible - even enabling the creation of authentic, bespoke costumes for all the cast and dozens of extras. The nature of the film has also attracted the attention and support of CinemaNX / Isle of Man film who also recognise the future potential of films dramatising and documenting Manx historical events.

Today went extremely well - congrats to all involved! We'll post more on the shoot as the week goes on. And tomorrow, it's over to "Closet"...

Three shorts to shoot in next two weeks!

This Saturday (14th July) Bev and her crew shoot the second of our 'MannIN Shorts Scene Stealer Challenges' (not to be confused with FilmFour project of the same name- we got there first! ;)

The clip they have to recreate as faithfully as possible (in order to help expand ideas on lighting, design, cinematography, sound, acting etc) is the 'Here's Johnny!' scene from The Shining. Which means they're going to need a whole lotta doors and a very sharp axe... *nervous shudder* We hope to be able to broadcast via Livestream throughout the shoot, as we did with Emily Cook's 'The Graduate' scene, but it depends on how good the wifi is on location - at the moment, its' non existent so we're trying to work something out. Will keep you posted!

Then next week (from July 20th), Finalist screenplays 'Closet' (poster left, by Bruno Cavellec) and 'Solace in Wicca' are both in production. John Craine's script is being Produced by Debs Gwinnell and Directed by Chris Gore, while Nat Russell-Raby's film is being Produced by Jazz Garrett and Directed by Andy North. We will have updates from each shoot as they progress.

MannIN Shorts - The Story So Far...

MannIN Shorts - From SCRIPT to SCREEN and BEYOND! from Dave Armstrong on Vimeo.

Garden Party Festival - Film Tent is ON

The Garden PartyMassive thanks to Steve and the lovely folk at SMP, whose generous 11th hour sponsorship has made it possible for us to run a Film Tent for the excellent 'Garden Party' music festival next weekend (July 6th and 7th). Our programme of films will include a mix of narrative shorts, music videos, documentary and behind the scenes footage from our productions and workshops over the past year. We're even hoping to show some exclusive clips from forthcoming DAM Productions film 'The Watchmaker's Apprentice'...

The festival, held in Begoade on the Isle of Man, is in only it's 2nd year but boasts a fantastic line up - The Charlatans, Reverand and the Makers, Newton Faulkner and Turin Brakes amongst others, alongside a fabulous list of homegrown talent that includes Harry Radford fronting current Kerrang! favourites "Yashin". Our very own Dave and Christy will be performing too - firstly as part of Truman Falls, then Christy will join Christine Collister and Anna Goldsmith to headline the Jabberwocky Acoustic Tent on Saturday night with their vocal harmony stylings.

Isle of Man Film Industry - developments!

June 10th 2012: Visit our blog to read our thoughts on the recently published Oxford Economics Report and resulting announcement about the Isle of Man's financial ties with Pinewood/Shepperton...

 "I Do" in production

I Do Poster by Bruno CavellecOne of our MShorts finalist screenplays, "I Do" written by Zoe Guilford, has been in production this week (May 10th-14th with a few picks up to follow) thanks to kind support from the Isle of Man Arts Council and DAM Productions.

Directed by Sonya Quayle with Alison Lodge Producing and Christy DeHaven as DP, and the fabulously creative Dawn and Gemma from Interior Rehab on design duties, it's been a really ambitious shoot with a lot of hard work & pre-production planning, which has led to some fantastic results on camera.

It's also been a perfect example of how MannIN Shorts works - with professional advisors Dave Armstrong, Lynda Reiss and John Craine providing invaluable advice where needed and with additional support throughout from long term MannIN Shorts contributors. The unstoppable Danny Lacey, Leeds-based filmmaker & MShorts supporter, even came across to get a bit of the action!

Paul Moulton from MT-TV came down to the shoot in Marown Church on Saturday and got video behind the scenes, and an interview with Sonya and Alison - watch it here: Latest Isle of Man Film

Check out photos and updates on the "I Do" Facebook page.

Scene Stealer Part One? Done.

'The Graduate' - recreated

Congrats to Producer Emily Cook, Directors Gary and Katy Myers and the fabulous crew that worked on our first 'Scene Stealer Challenge', shot on Monday and being edited as we speak (or type).

With Lacey MacDonald on design duties and the unstoppable Ady Hall as DP and camera op (assisted by Dave Armstrong), the team had to deconstruct then recreate the iconic 'Are you trying to seduce me?' scene from the film, as faithfully as possible.

They did an incredible job, as did Matt Corcoran (as Ben) and Ashley Bentley (as Mrs Robinson), with extreme attention to detail that is sure to pay off. Especial thanks to Dorothy at The Hop Garden - her support as location owner went well beyond what was expected, she even supplied sarnies & pies for the hungry crew!

Next up, Bev Lawley and her crew are to recreate the 'Here's Johnny!' scene from The Shining. Rumour has it she's been on the phone to Jack Nicholson's agent, in an attempt to surpass Emily's efforts & distract the judges by playing the A-List card...tut tut Bev! ;) We can't wait to see the finished shorts.

Hide & Seek new trailer! Edited by Laura Moore:

"Hide and Seek." NEW TRAILER.

Guerilla Masterclass

We're very excited to announce that CHRIS JONES, author of the hugely popular 'Guerilla Filmmakers' Handbooks', has agreed to hold his Guerilla Filmmakers' Masterclass on the Island! Thanks to our PokerStars sponsorship, we are able to part fund Chris's visit, which also means the usual fee for the course can be reduced to attendees. This is a big deal for the tiny Isle and we're really grateful to Chris for accepting our invitation. Chris is a long time MShorts supporter, visiting the Island for our launch night in 2010 to take part in a Q&A panel (alongside Hamish Morrow from Future Shorts, Leeds based filmmaker Danny Lacey, actor Lee Boardman and Director Lesley Manning), and he's really looking forward to the course. Dates and details to follow.

Acting for Screen Workshop

LEE BOARDMAN returned to the Island to hold a special PokerStars weekend workshop in Acting for Screen in March. We interviewed him about the workshop, and his thoughts about MannIN Shorts - he said some very lovely things, like "with the work Mshorts is doing, there's a huge outlet for people who want to be involved in film, a bigger opportunity than there is in some cities in the UK, for actors, crew members, Directors, writers, it's incredibly exciting" We love Lee :)

Watch the full video here:

MannIN Shorts Acting Workshop from Dave Armstrong on Vimeo.

Writing For Screen Workshop

We're excited to welcome DANNY STACK to the Island for a one day PokerStars workshop in screenwriting on March 3rd. A former story analyst for UK Film Council, Working Title Films, Pathe, Miramax, etc. and co-host of the popular UK Scriptwriters podcast with Tim Clague, Danny is extremely well respected in the world of script writing and it's an honour to have him share his knowledge with our little film scheme. He was also our guest judge and had the unenviable task of shortlisting our Finalists in 2011.

Feb 2012: Would you believe it's a YEAR since we held our very first practical workshop (Film 101)?! And this weekend, we proved that our filmmakers have gone from strength to strength in those 12 months.

Following on from Danny Lacey's workshop 'Producing on a Budget' recently, our latest PokerStars sponsored weekend was a Directing workshop with respected UK Director and NFTS tutor Lesley Manning.

Video and pics to follow, but in the meantime, check out Paul Moulton's interviews with Dave Armstrong and Lesley Manning for MT-TV at this link and with Danny Lacey at his workshop at this link

Jan 2012: A group of our MShorts crew crafted a fab entry into the Empire Magazine / Jameson 'Done in 60 seconds' competition. Written and Directed by Ady Hall ('Hide & Seek'), and shot in under 6 hours, the film is a witty homage to the multi-award nominated 'Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy'. All the best to our team - fingers crossed this will be the first award of many for us, but either way it's been a great experience and testament to what our troops have learned in the past year.


Nov. 2011: MShorts held it's first POKER STARS sponsored workshop over weekend of Nov 12th/13th, a Production Design workshop run & hosted by Lynda Reiss of Lynda’s Prop Shop.

Lynda lives on the IOM but has a career in the industry that’s taken her all around the world. She passed on her experience & knowledge from having worked on everything from no-budget shorts to blockbuster movies("The Bourne Ultimatum", "American Beauty", "Benjamin Button" to name a few), showing attendees props from various films & relating fantastic stories of her time in Hollywood.

MannIN Shorts Production Design Workshop from Christy DeHaven on Vimeo.

She also used 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 was provided by the wonderful Molly Reiss, who even made cupcakes from her bakery business, Sweet Baby Cakes!

MShorts opens Isle of Man Arts Council Film Festival 2011. We hosted our 2nd 'Short Film Night' to open this year's IOM Film Festival last week (Sept 1st), at the beautiful Broadway Cinema. We showcased both Manx and International talent (in collaboration with FutureShorts.com) and exclusively previewed clips from 'Hide & Seek'. Read all about it on our blog here.

"Hide And Seek" - first MannIN Shorts film - completes shooting
The first of our six finalist scripts went into production this weekend (August 20th). Writer Ady Hall, Director Laura Jones and Producer Debs Gwinnell, with fantastic help and assistance from Lynda Reiss (Lynda's Prop Shop) and John Craine (Cinematographer, 'Ghostgirl', 'Pig Tails'), raised funds themselves for the MShorts scheme which then went on to help fund their film. They recruited various MShorts trainees to work alongside professional crew, and the shoot is due to wrap as I type this... Fantastic job by all, we can't wait to see the rushes - and finished edit! Find out more about how they did it on our blog and loads more about their journey on the excellent Hide & Seek blog.

Film 102 Workshop - June/July 2011
We held our latest workshop on the last weekend of June.  We split our workshoppers into two crews; each team was given a different scene from the same indie film* to shoot in one day (*'Blue Valentine' - but this wasn't disclosed til after the screenings), with just over a week's prep to find locations, audition actors, source props, storyboard etc. Lynda Reiss provided props & design expertise, while Dave Armstrong and Christy DeHaven were on hand to advise throughout and supplied all of the camera gear/lighting FOC.

Christy then spent two days with each editor from the teams, teaching them the basics of Final Cut Pro and the edit process in general. Watch the edited scenes & read more about the workshop on our blog here, but also check out the behind the scenes video below to see the incredible effort the teams put in:


Welcome to MannIN Shorts!

“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.

To find out how you can be a part, get involved, learn from the scheme etc, visit 'the scheme' page.

Also, if you're an aspiring filmmaker, visit our 'tips&tools' section for links to useful resources on everything from scriptwriting to directing actors to special fx.

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Associated Links: DAM Productions / Isle of Man Arts Council / “MannIN Shorts” by Juan Moore