With Flatpack Film Festival now less than a month away (it takes place 4-9 April) Cultural Intern Aisling Marks fills us in on how the festival prep is going…
Flatpack has upped the intensity since the new year. 2017 has so far brought weeks of meetings, deadlines, and challenges; suddenly the ability to multitask has never seemed more necessary. For my second blog post I’ll get you up to speed on what I’ve been up to since January, and while time is flying, the festival itself is the biggest hurdle yet.
As soon as I returned from the Christmas holidays everything from my end of the planning process was geared towards the brochure and website. The first thing to do was start sourcing high-res images for every event taking place at the festival – and that’s a lot. All of the images needed to be resized, and while this was tedious it honed my skills in the art of GIMP, and I even got the chance to fiddle with the software to make a visually appealing banner design. This side of the internship – that of practicing creative image making – has been few and far between, but when the opportunity arises it’s a pleasant, creative and satisfying use of time.
Then there’s writing copy, which has been one of my favourite aspects of these past two months. There are approximately one hundred events for this year’s festival and they all need copy. It occurred to me how difficult it is to write an enticing blurb, written for the purpose of selling the event, for an event, film or installation that I’d never heard of or haven’t yet seen. On the opposite side of the spectrum, it’s easy to get carried away when writing blurb for one of your favourite films, e.g. Mulholland Drive and Eraserhead. As a copywriter in this regard, it’s important to stay focussed on the context, and to keep the text conversational while telling a story, and most importantly to stay away from academic-sounding jargon, or just jargon in general. This became easier the more I practiced and it felt good to see that Ian hadn’t changed everything I’d written – I took that as a compliment that I was doing something right.
The lady in the radiator – Erasurehead
The day before the InDesign document was sent off to the printers, we were all ferociously proofreading until late into the night. Everything down to the last detail had to be correct. Times, dates, dashes, spelling, runnings times, etc – the margin for error was small. As a team we stared at our screens until we near blinded ourselves. We pressed on in the face of delirium. It doesn’t sound like much fun, but part of this process has given me another taste of what it would be like to work in publishing, since everything in preparing the brochure, including liaising with Flatpack’s master-designer, and sourcing logos and advertisements, is similar to preparing a book.
Another fun job I had was making preparations for the Flatpack Festival trailer. This involved watching a bunch of shorts with a discerning eye and plucking out key scenes, silly gestures, fun snippets of dialogue, and any kind of arresting image, and sending them off to the freelancer in charge of editing all the footage together. Alongside this, I had the great pleasure of choosing a selection of potential music to act as the soundtrack. Then it was a matter of keeping in touch with the editor, coordinating and liaising in accordance with deadlines.
Now with only a month until the festival, I’m project-managing the Student Ambassadors, the website, social media, distribution and mentally preparing myself for festival mayhem.