Last night I was standing outside the gig venue I run, in Cork, having a quick cigarette and killing time while soundchecks were going on, when I bumped into a musician running down the road to a gig he was involved in, a launch for a new independent film collective called The Southern Screen Professionals. I couldn’t resist his offer to head over – it was only down the road and I had plenty of time – besides I liked his band, thought a pint would be in order and the launch sounded like something worth investigating further. Any new arts venture is.
The SSP has been put together by a group of film makers, producers and film festival organisers who have decided to take the initiative away from the authorities, the bureaucrats and start working for themselves. The plan is to:
- Create an online location and crew database
- Market the Southern region of Ireland as a great location for film shoots
- Organise the various film groups and organisations in the region under one umbrella, one voice
- Run a full time office space in Cork City for all members of the database
- Develop training and network programmes
It’s a great idea and another example of people deciding to fuck the status quo and do it for themselves, to use their own initiative, energy, talent, to create new possibilities, new space, new directions for their work. Naturally all of this is done on a shoestring, takes up an inordinate amount of time and will be a fight to survive – not unlike mutantspace infact. Anyway, I hope it goes from strength to strength. The film community in Cork City are resilient, they work together, they’re proactive, they can and will do it, will succeed.
I know very little about film besides enjoying them in the cinema and on the couch on Saturday nights. Having said that I organise, through mutantspace and the Trash Culture Revue, a film shorts competition, called Mutant Shorts, which has gone from strength to strength over the past two years. That experience has only been positive and I have nothing but praise for all the film makers involved in it. They support one another, share resources, offer positive criticism to one another and are there for each other’s failure and triumph. My wife also works in film – for the past 10 years as a wardrobe assistant – and from what she tells me it’s a very tough job requiring plenty of stamina, fortitude and resilience. All the assets required for Southern Screen Professionals to work.
I could only stay a while at the launch. I met so many positive people, both young and old, ready for action, ready to make it happen, up for the fight. As I ran back up the road to the gig I was full of excitement for them, another bunch of people who have decided that by sharing resources and working together they can overturn all the obstacles that stand in the way of their ambition to create and work in the film industry.
Marvellous. Another arts group has decided to take the power back, has decided to go out and get it done, has decided not to wait for a government agency, a local authority, a quango, to give it the green light and force it through hoops of red tape and paperwork for measly amounts of funding. This is for them, owned by them and will live and die because of them. We should all want more of that attitude everywhere, we should take note, we should support this type of initiative whenever possible. We should all want more of it in Cork. Good luck to you all, congratulations on a great idea, a great night and if you ever need a hand mutantspace is here to help.
611 total views, 1 today