Monday, August 04, 2008

Saturday’s often turn out to be interesting ...

Two week’s ago featured Eddie Mullan’s Podcasting workshop in the Waterfront, run as part of the Trans festival in conjunction with 4talent.

trans festival logo

Last week followed up with a Writing for Film workshop, talking about the basics of short film plots, storylines, plot narratives, plot points, the climax, the resolution. (The Trans website suggests that Vincent Kinnaird is running a repeat session in the Waterfront on 9 August.)

A couple of weeks ago at the animation training offered by the good people at NI Screen to the Tech Camp leaders had started off with a quick look at film grammar, and a listen listening to a short animated. No picture first time through. Trying to figure out the location, the characters and the action based on auditory clues alone. A really interesting way to get underneath the skin of a film.

The equivalent exercise at the Trans/4talent workshop was to do a read through of a short film’s script. Getting a feel for the storyline, figuring out the various plot points, and sensing the symmetry before watching the finished product.

It was really interesting. And despite being a non-writer of fiction (the blog’s not made up!) working along with Bob we managed to dream up a plausible plot for a short film inside twenty minutes and made a pretty good 70 second pitch of our idea. (And the more I think about it, the more I’d like to see the story developed and made!)

Oh, and there was an unexpected vicarage tea party ... a tea party, complete with cucumber sandwiches, lots of cake, and fruit punch, in the back garden of a vicar’s house. Quaint, yet delightful.

This Saturday’s excitement could have been breakfast at Sainsburys. Or the fun as Littl’un looked approvingly and climbed into her car seat in the back of the Aygo for the first time. (No more sitting in the front passenger seat of the two-seat Smart!)

But rather, the highlight of this Saturday was finding myself sitting behind at the side of the sound desk for a wedding. Sitting behind the sound desk wasn’t that exciting – though it has been a while, and sideways-on mixing (desk at right angles to the pew) really is a recipe for disaster. But there’s always something in the air at a wedding. A feeling of expectation. Couples in various states of union sitting in the rows facing the front, thinking about their pasts, presents and futures.

I hadn’t realised before the different shades of fake tan – can be scarily deep – and this year’s trend for strapless dresses is pretty strong – though I’m not sure I have the shoulders.!


The bride was a mere 25 minutes late, accompanied by the usual flotilla of bridesmaids and a film crew – one person with a camera, tripod and a backpack of tapes. Watch out for Stags and Brides appearing on BBC NI in the autumn (?), reliving the wedding preparations, parties, ceremonies and receptions.

Hats off to the Park Avenue Hotel for their great meal on Saturday night. Good soup and beef tha fell apart at the slightest threat of being cut into by a knife.

But all this Saturday excitement has distracted from the crucial task of clearing up the junk, paper, boxes and spaghetti cables in the study, and getting sorted out for Tech Camp.

Next Saturday, it’ll be the family and friends BBQ at the close of camp to showcase the campers’ work ... and the clear up to lug all our gear back home again! And the joy of getting home to catch up with family, my own bed, and mealtimes without dishes for eleven people!

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