What we have done in 2019
For those readers who can recall our last club report you may recall one unusual event for our members in August 2019; it was filming snail racing! We are pleased to report that the winner completed the course by November, but one snail had to retire; it was running on shell, and sadly ran out of fuel!
Writing of ‘retirement’, just a month after our October agm, we were sad to learn from our newly appointed chairman – our only member still in regular paid employment – that, owing to other priorities, he was unable to continue in membership . However, the committee produced a draft programme for 2020 which promises to meet most members interests and needs. It includes an evening on ‘storyboarding’, interviewing techniques, animation, several competitions, and dates of several film festivals. There are also several suggestions for projects yet to be discussed and ideas refined.
One final look back to 2019; a challenge to make a film on the theme ‘Change of Direction’ resulted in one team producing a spoof film based on the fact that the direction water goes down the plug hole depends on whether you are in the northern, or southern, hemisphere. The film entitled Vortex is to be shown in a competition in May; look out for the report on its success, or not, in our next report.
The majority of members rounded off the year with Christmas lunch at The View, the Seaford Head golf club house; this proved to be a very enjoyable event.
The The last club meeting for 2019 saw the result of one group of members film entitled ‘Vortex‘ on the Albany theme for 2020 – Change of Direction. Another film on the theme is yet to be completed.
This evening focused on ideas for projects in 2020; ideas put forward were:-
- a film based on the short stories by Guy de Maupassant,
- a movie based on a poem
- a film about a model railway club (Pevensey?),
- a short film advertising a local company – a possible source of income,
- a documentary,
- a student group due to visit Eastbourne in April,
- the Albany Festival competition theme for 2021 Nothing Ventured.
All ideas require further discussion.
This was the A.G.M. with Chairman Barry Martin reviewing the activities of the previoous twelve months. David Bristow became the Club Chairman for 2019/ 20 whilst Barry Martin continued on Committee. James Mackenzie took over from David Dalton as Treasurer. Val Mac Macmus continued as Secretary . Trevor Weston remains on Committee. All were duly thanked for their contribution and support during 2019.
Regrettably the club’s newly appointed chairman announced that, after considerable thought, he had decided not to renew his membership.
The Cub’s Annual Film Competition attracted a mix of entries. Members judged the winner to be Alan Tutt’s holiday film which showed the many attractions to be found on the island of Malta
This meeting was 30 second advert time. Members watched each others skill at producing a commercial advert lasting no longer than half a minute. Whilst several might be acceptable on a little watched commercial TV channel, unfortunately one was unlikely to attract backers due to camera malfunction and the top of the presenters head being severed. Being a competition, members were asked to judge and decide a winner which resulted in member Alan Tutt’s creative editing skill and use of computer based special effects resulting in a colourful and temptingly appetising Pie Rates of the Caribbean advert, as yet, Channel 4 have not shown interest.
It was a ‘look back’ (not in anger) to April when the result of filming a knot tying demonstration was shown and entertained (1) members. Two experienced knot tiers, one being an enthusiastic and experienced channel going seaman sailing out of Emsworth Harbour, the other a local wit and retired fireman, paired up to demonstrate many of the knots used in their line of work. Granny & Reef, Common Knot & Clove hitch, Slip and Sheepshank (regret no lamb shank) all were shown to be effective – at least when correctly tied – for the respective purposes the knots are used. Members were left to decide if, cast adrift with the channel sailor, or requiring the ex fireman (sorry ladies,not in uniform) to recue them, they would place their trust in the demonstrators – or not.
This meeting featured members’ films edited to pre-selected music. Of the three entries the winner was Geoff Davey – his film Drums with his percussion band demonstrating their rhythmic skills. David Bristow’s entries Roadworks and Graveyard took 2nd and 3rd places
It was the idea of member David Bristow that to give members the opportunity to do some slow motion filming that the club’s first meeting in August should be ‘snail racing’ Members were encouraged to scour their gardens for suitable varieties of molluscs, trained or untrained, and bring them along. Armed with assorted travelling containers, some filled with lettuce and other delicacies to boost their entry’s energy, the parade ring was soon full. Members were impressed by the work put in by David to prepare the race track; start, and finish, lines were clearly marked, and a very attractive display of advertising hoardings (old holiday postcards) lined the track.
With various obstacles (a la Aintree’s Grand National )in place, the competitors were given the chance to test ‘the going’ which was found to be firm. Soon they were under starter’s orders, and on the word “go” (a starting gun had been ruled out by the RSPCS) the front crawlers were eventually underway. One deviant was so attracted by the advertising hoardings that he/she (sex not registered on race -entry form) decided to visit Hastings via Minorca. An hour later the leading snail had travelled ten furlongs (10 millimetres in snail distance) and had reached the first climb -snails can’t jump. At this point, in view of the owners and trainers tea break, the race was shortened to 15 millimetres. It is still not known who won: one owner called for a steward’s enquiry due to one snail failing a drugs test. It is hoped results of both the tests and the race will be known by 2020. Fortunately the threatened disruption by the Mollusc Protection Society did not occur due to saboteurs forgetting to bring their slug and snail pellets!
David Dalton did a presentation entitled ‘Page to Screen’ illustrated by a number of film clips. These depicted how different film directors chose to convey actors delivering the “To be or not to be” speech from Hamlet. This led to an interesting discussion on both the film clips seen and other aspects of camera work and creative filming.
‘Filming on location’ took club members to Lime Kiln Farm, Chalvington, the home and garden of Mr & Mrs M Royle. Mrs Royle provided a very informative account of the history of the house, and of the garden. We then went on a guided tour of the extensive garden with plenty of opportunities to film the many different roses, other plants, and features which adorn the borders and grounds. The part which created much interest was the Physic garden in which a large variety of herbs, many used for medicinal purposes, were being grown.
Member David Dalton presented a very informative session on ‘Sound’ and showed a large range of equipment for achieving the best possible quality sound. Often the situation in which the filming takes place determines the type of microphone to use.
Having been divided into two teams, the challenge was to plan for a film made on the theme A Change of Direction. The teams have until November to produce their film which, if of sufficient quality, may be entered for a Sussex wide competition in 2020.
This meeting had members watching the feature film They Might Be Giants starring George C. Scott and Joanne Woodward. As only part of the film was viewed the discussion which followed focused more on the cast and story line than on the creativity of filming and direction.
‘Just a Minute’ was the limit set for members’ films shown at the first meeting in May. The variety of subjects chosen for their one minute films ranged from Instructive and Informative to Artistic and Comedy. All ‘one minute’ films were enjoyed which proves entertainment depends on quality, not quantity. Members were showing their originality and skills with a variety of entertaining one minute films – not an easy task. To sum up the evening; “
Practice at filming indoors featured members Geoff Daley (retired fireman) and David Wood (keen sailor) demonstrating their knowledge and skills in tying knots from ‘grannies’ to ‘bowline’ and ‘sheep shanks’ – to name just a few.
The ‘Holiday Film’ competition was won by Alan Tutt whose holiday in Malta in November 2018 was graphically and instructionally documented.2nd was Barry Martin with a film of Arlington Court 3rd was David Wood with a film of his Sailing trip to France.
presented by David Bristowe
A workshop on ‘How to Film an Event ’. Led by Chairman Barry Martin, and using draft guidelines, filming a theater production was discussed first and members with experience contributed additional advice.
See page ‘Hints & Tips’ on this website.
Similar attention was given to filming an outdoor event e.g. a carnival or a garden party. Some further plannin of a club project the subject being a fashion presentation by Austrian students on an educational visit to Eastbourne.
Was spent watching award winning films from the 2018 South East region’s film festival. Members saw a mix of dramas, travelogue, comedy, and documentary films. The excellence of the camerawork, editing, and, where appropriate, musical backing, was very obvious. Even for those who had been present at the festival seeing the films again was a reminder of their quality.
Following a short presentation by a member who has had experience in filming weddings members sought to clarify some of the terms relating to light temperature, and ‘white balance’ camera setting.
Excerpts from member’s favourite commercial films were viewed and discussed. These included Creation about Darwin, Amelie, La Charge of the Light Brigade, and South Pacific.
Members welcomed another potential member to the first meeting of2019. The instructional evening gave opportunity for learning more about how to ‘set’ their camera for better results – the tendency to leave the camera on ‘auto’ does not suit all filming situations.