Waterford Film Centre Timeline
Dec. 1st 2015 – The first meeting to help rejuvenate the idea of a film hub / co-op took place. The aim was to support local filmmakers and help them to secure a better living locally.
April 2016 – WFC submitted a proposal to Waterford City Council’s new Arts Plan (see enclosed Appendix 1) and in it they spoke about the need for a Film Centre and gave a brief five year plan of how they saw it progressing.
During 2016 a number of meetings were held with Arts Officer Conor Nolan who agreed that should WFC become better organised and official then he could see the possibility of WFC becoming the management of the Council’s film equipment which Waterford Council had accumulated over previous years.
In 2016 Waterford has seen:
5 short films made under the umbrella title of ‘Short Circuits’ this is an initiative of Stephen Butler which featured the following directors and camera people:
Also Dreamboat released their short film ‘Digs for Pennies’ to much acclaim in a packed Odeon Cinema
Waterford Whispers News goes from strength to strength and they are now creating their own comedy sketches that appear regularly. This year they made 6 satirical news videos using local crew (Matthew Reilly on camera) and local actors etc.
Keith Currams directed the social documentary ‘We’re All Saints Out Here’ a film on the early days of St. Johns Park launched October 2016.
Neil O’Driscoll is working on his feature length film ‘Waking the Witch’ due out in early 2017 but he also completed a documentary on the youth of the Manor St. John and how their lives have turned out thirty years later
Youth Film Training – a number of local film initiatives are involved in this area – Kenneally Films / The Art Hand film wing and Waterford Youth Arts. Some of their films entered in national competitions this year incl. First Cut in Youghal and Fresh Film Festival in Limerick.
Waterford Film Launch
In June 2016 Waterford Film was launched at Greyfriars Gallery and three top film people came along to give a talk and answer questions on life in the industry etc. They were Director Lisa Mulcahy, Producer Dara McClatchie and Animator, writer director Paul Bolger. Thirty Four people joined WFC on the night. (See Appendix 2 Images A and B from launch)
In 2016 Waterford Film went on research trips to Cork Film Centre, Made in Cork and Troy Studios Limerick. They also made contact with Film Base Dublin, Film Offaly and Galway Film Centre.
In 2016 a draft Film Centre Business plan was assembled (see Appendix 3 enclosed) and this was used to lobby both local politicians and the local LEO office seeking help to get the film centre established.
In 2017 and number of meetings were held (see appendix 4 Image of Committee) and research was carried out to find a suitable premises – a number were looked at but nothing suitable found given our limited budget.
March 2017 an online Survey was created to get information from our ‘members’ here is the preview https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Preview/?sm=ffNH6xEo4gpGKlTLAMTL_2BacHI0XzSBfwHJws8nRnPNuIlDqhvemzOhhAqTwJvy4W
April 2017 the Survey Monkey Results were compiled (See Appendix 5)
May 2017 WFC started on a process to create a vision and plan for WFC with the help of Nicola Kent a local business person who specialises in Social Innovation and her time and help was funded through a Mentorship scheme through Waterford LEO (Local Enterprise Office) This plan was published in Sept. 2017 and presented to both City and County Council and LEO (see Appendix 6)
October 2017 Local filmmaker Steven Stubbs submitted some ideas to Nicola Kent following the business plan that was developed (see Appendix 7)
Early In 2018 we started to look at ways that the membership could work together and among the items we decided to do were: Training days / Working together on each others shoots. Arts Office has agreed to fund training and also funding for membership of national film organisations.
In March local filmmaker approached WFC and said that he had secured ‘The Loft’ in the Forum as a space for himself to do his own work but that it was big enough to share with other filmmakers and WFC and would we consider it until we could find a more central space e.g. in the Cultural Quarter?
WFC becomes a Reality
We looked at it and spoke to the Arts officer and we agreed to go ahead and move in and so ‘Waterford Film Centre’ became a reality in April 2018. “At the meeting of the WFC steering committee (April 26th ) it was unanimously agreed that The Loft (Forum) is an ideal location for use as a multi-purpose studio, editing facility and training space.”
In May and June we physically moved into the space and also moved the film equipment from Waterford Council to a secure space the ‘The Studios’. Items like Insurance / bank account / staffing etc. were now looked at and sorted.
By October we had decided on a name ‘Waterford Film Centre’ / hire conditions for film equipment (only for films being shot in south east / use of studio space / formed various sub committees (development / equipment hire) / membership rates and conditions. We had also started to show each other our work and talk about ideas that we could cooperate on. One other filmmaker Keith Currams had moved into the Studio space as a base for his work.
In November 2018 the Arts office had announced three different Film Bursaries on offer all approx. €3.5K in value plus use of film equipment at WFC. One of these bursaries was for a joint application by WFC.
Also in November we decided that every second meeting of WFC would be a creative meeting e.g. looking at our scripts / looking at some of our previous film work. Also in November we asked Thomas Fitzgerald to develop our website www.waterfordfilmcentre.com
December 2018 Waterford Arts and Heritage agreed to allow a CE worker to be based and work for WFC should a good candidate be found.
Feb. 2019 Steven and Keith did some improvements to the Studios and made it more accessible for groups to hire. Also the first WFC Newsletter came out for members and friends. The studio space is starting to be used and local youth group ‘Waterford Youth Arts’ used the space for live facebook broadcasts of local young rock bands – ‘Make Some Noise’ Also in February we had a screening night in Downes for members.
WFC gets CE worker admin support
In March Ailise O’Neill started with WFC on a CE scheme as an admin support
Local artist Anthony Costine launched his music video ‘Graves and Sons’ at the Studios in late March.
In April WFC started to take online membership payments and also a number of creative meetings happened within WFC on ideas for our ‘Collaborative film Project’ that will be funded by the Arts office. The winning idea was ‘Infinity Sky’ written by Sam Jacob and to be directed by Evin O’Neill.
Also in April we agreed in principle to host a film competition for Imagine Arts Festival in October using Smartphones.
In May, Emagine used the studio for commercial work. Steven organised a very successful fundraiser at Downes ‘A film Pub Quiz’.
In May the first WFC open workshop took place Screenwriting by Sam Jacob / also in May Robert Fitzhugh ran a ‘Making films on Smartphone’ workshop.
In June we had James Fitzgerald doing a workshop on ‘Directing for Film’.
Also in June we discussed the idea of a new film festival for Waterford.