• Tom Doona

The Manchester Filmmaking Network - What, How and Why?

Updated: Jan 19, 2021

Over the year and a half that we, City Projections, have been making films as a collective, we have worked with a vast array of creatives and artists across all walks of production. That is one of the main joys of filmmaking. It is such a collaborative medium, and the more hands and minds you can get on your project, the better that project will be. There is a straight correlation between collaboration and quality – and it also makes production so much more fun. Which is why, over the past few months, we have been designing and building a platform which will offer us, and anyone else who wants to use it, a better chance of broadening those collaborative horizons.

The Manchester Filmmaking Network, attached to our website, is something which has evolved out of a desire to open ourselves up and work alongside as many creatives as we possibly can do. Initially, we were building a platform which was solely for us to add updates to, and to find someone for a certain role or someone with a new idea. But, as we began developing that, it very quickly began to felt like a missed opportunity. Why not make this accessible to all? Why not build a network where anyone and everyone in the Greater Manchester area can meet, discuss, share and collaborate?

So we changed our plans. We went back to the drawing board (also known as Google Meet...) and added another dimension to the idea. That dimension was defined by two details: we wanted it to be a genuinely useful platform, and we wanted it to be as inclusive as it possibly could be. That first detail was quite simple to figure out. We knew what it was that we would want out of this sort of platform, and we up-scaled that, so it would be accessible to all. We divided the Network into sections, for ease of use: The Database, Project Listings, Filmmaking Discussion, General Film/TV Discussion and a page to introduce yourself. I would go into detail about these pages, but it would probably be a bit less tedious if you just had a look around the platform yourself, I don’t want to drone on!

Though, building the network with a firm inclusivity was something which we spent a lot more time and thought on. We haven’t been in the filmmaking world for long, relatively speaking, but we have already noticed how there is still a very, very stark inequality within productions. Hopefully things are now starting to change, because these inequalities and biases have been inherent for way too long, and we are determined to play a part within that change. So, when designing the Network, we removed the need for users to offer up any information about themselves other than their initials and their general location (Stockport, Hyde, Salford, etc). Apart from that, the Network is simply about sharing your creative qualities – because, from our perspective, when it comes to filmmaking (and any other sort of creative, media production) unless there is a uniquely beneficial reason for it, why should anything else matter? The focus should be on the ideas, the skills, the passions, the drive to create. And that is what the Network is built to highlight. Upon signing up, users only need to give their initials and location, and there is a rule against the use of profile pictures with you in them. We know that it isn’t going to shift the world and make everything right – but if it allows the Network to offer a genuinely inclusive and fair platform on which everyone has the same chance of getting crewed up if their creative ideas align with other’s, then we’re determined to make it work.

The Network is now live, and we are using all means necessary to get people signing up. Because for the platform to really begin to offer its full potential, it needs users. So, please follow the link at the bottom of this post and sign up – we already have nearly twenty users and I am confident that it will continue to grow. Have a look around the platform, introduce yourself (but only as much as you like), chat, share, bounce ideas around – the platform is everyone’s to use to their advantage. We look forward to welcoming you to it!

The link: https://www.cityprojections.co.uk/

(P.S. We are aware that all online platforms need to be closely monitored to maintain their safe and secure atmosphere, and even more so when the anonymity is in play. This is something which we are taking very seriously. A lot of our free time is currently being spent getting to grips with keeping the Network at the level we want it to be at and we will be making sure it never becomes anything other than completely beneficial and welcoming to everyone who signs up. On that you have our word).