Friday, August 12, 2011

Coming soon, to a screen near you...

One of the ideas cast forth into the great litfest melting pot at the last committee meeting was this - how about making a documentary, following our adventures in pulling together, and staging, the first festival.

After a stunned silence, there were murmurs. A documentary. A film. Charting the ups and downs that we're bound to face over the next thirteen months. The looks around the table said, 'you know, that's not a bad bloody idea'. Then, of course, individuals started to realise they'd probably have to appear in the documentary. You know, be filmed and everything. Hmm...

Unpeturbed, we decided to investigate. None of us are filmmakers. Some of us have limited experience in certain areas, and the word 'limited' is probably stretching it. So we sought out those who do know a little bit. At lunchtime today I headed out to meet Christy DeHaven and Dave Armstrong, who along with their day job of looking after things at DAM Productions, are heavily involved in the Mannin Shorts initiative.

It was a good chat (thanks for the tea, Christy) and they've given us some great ideas. I'm not sure if there is enough of a market to produce a final documentary based on our experiences - the worthiness of such a project will, as we discussed today, depend largely on how things progress; if there are arguments of volcanic eruption proportions, flouncing strops that make X-Factor look serene and numerous cock-ups/letdowns mixed with ecstatic successes, then maybe, just maybe, it would make something to attract interest. If, on the other hand, the plans for the litfest run smoothly, with barely a word uttered in anger... well, who's going to want to watch that, apart from our mums, grandmothers and great aunts?

One suggestion is to chart the next year by way of developing these here ramblings into something of a video blog, which I think could work. We'd use our flip video camera to film meetings, site visits, interviews with those involved (including authors) and so on. And then we'd gauge how things are going from a content side, and perhaps get Dave and Christy involved for certain major meetings or events in the build up, cutting the two aspects (our amateur footage with their polished material) together for a final product - assuming we deem it worthwhile.

We've another committee meeting this coming Monday, when all this will be put on the table. And, providing we can convince those involved that they really don't look all that bad on camera, we might get somewhere.
Keep watching this space.


Monday, August 1, 2011

Dates confirmed for Manx Litfest 2012 - September 28-30

So, we're finally there. After much contemplation in the early days as to whether to stage a literature festival - indeed, whether the Island wanted a festival - and more latterly as to when might be the best time to hold such an event, we've finally announced the dtates.

Manx Litfest will take place over the weekend of September 28-30 next year, although it may well end up being a four-day event, starting on the Thursday (Sept 27).

Despite all the effort and meltdown of brains that has gone into getting us this far, as some vindictive soul mentioned on Twitter the other day, the hard work starts now. We're in the process of talking to possible venues, drawing up a list of authors to approach, continuing to publicise the litfest, working on a website and drafting sponsorship proposals to knock the socks of potential sponsors.

Although there's a long way to go, we know that the next fourteen months will zip by, and with the dates now fixed, Manx Litfest has suddenly taken some sort of shape, although at this stage it feels like The Mummy does early in that Brendan Fraser romp - it has taken on a physical and menacing presence, but is very short of actual flesh on the bones.

But that will come in time, with each announcement of either an author signing up to appear or an event/venue being confirmed.

Thanks to everyone for their continued support so far, be it on Facebook or Twitter, or here on the blog, or the encouraging emails we've received. Not forgetting our supporters/sponsors - the Isle of Man Arts Council and Appleby Isle of Man. We hope everyone is excited as we are, if that is indeed possible.