What we have done. in 2018
Film projects for 2019 occupied member’s minds. Several ideas were ‘floated’ for further discussion; these included a visit to Eastbourne by Austrian students in April, the attractions and uniqueness of Eastbourne, and East Sussex, and longer term projects such as a Band, or model railway enthusiasts, preparing for an event. All ideas to be worked on at a later date.
Earlier in the year two teams comprised of club members were challenged to make a film based on a poem. The result of their endeavours was seen at the first meeting in November. One team based their poem on a man who thought he was loosing his mind; the other subject was based on a poem written about the attractions of Seaford. Independent judges Julia Galvin (a previous club member) and her husband Chris deliberated and delivered their verdict with great care and diplomacy. They adjudged the film A Little Mixed Up to be an excellent production which ‘grabbed you’ from the start; it was also thought to be well suited to the audience (!) – It scored 24 out of 30. Commissioning your own poem was thought to be a ’high risk’ strategy – a risk which the team making the film about Seaford had taken – and some variation in the quality of the clips was observed. – This film scored 20 out of 30. It was encouraging to welcome Patrick, a potential new member.
A LITTLE MIXED UP
At the Club’s agm, all Officers were re-elected for a further year – Barry Martin (Chairman), Val Mcmanus (Secretary) and David Dalton (Treasurer); David Bristow (Competitions) and Trevor Weston filled the two committee member vacancies. Discussion followed on next year’s programme, and other filming activities. Earlier in the month five members went to the Sussex Film Festival where over twenty films were viewed, and awards made.
he club’s annual film competition attracted six entries on a wide variety of subjects – all with elements of interest. Members ajudged the following to have a combination of better camera work, sound and editing qualities, and /or were the most entertaining: Olympia – a group of mature (or possibly immature?!) friends, filmed by David Bristow, performing a few garden games e.g. egg & spoon race, on the pretext it was the Wilmington Olympics!. Second place went to Alan Tutt for a film depicting a display by Lipianzer horses, and edited to Alan’s choice of classical music. The winning film, by Geoff Davey, showed a large number of clips filmed in and around Eastbourne between January and September 2018. The film reflected the wide variety of development, entertainment, and scenic attractions in the local area. Geoff is now the custodian of a valuable (?) glass bowl for the next twelve months.
The results of setting a film to one of four pieces of music selected by acting chairman Barry Martin. Of the four tunes Bratton’s Teddy Bears Picnic proved to be the most popular. Children on an Easter Egg search, and a walk by two girls in a magic wood and finding a real teddy bears picnic, were the themes selected by two members. However the winner, Geoff Davey, had set a piece of black & white film of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers doing a dance routine to the same music which proved to be the preferred choice of the chairman for which a chocolate orange was the ‘winners’ prize ! The evening concluded with discussion on the content of programme for 2019.
Results of filming a guest flower arranger in action (the subject of an indoor exercise in April) were viewed. One unedited film, and two completed films provided the material for aspects of the filming and editing processes to be discussed. Members then considered three proposals for a film project based on the theme To Close To Call. It was decided to develop the synopsis centred on an election result.
‘Green Screen’ was the topic for the next meeting when Geoff Davey did a very informative presentation on the history and techniques used in this method of film production. Members then experimented filming various actions using the green screens erected for the purpose. The experience proved to be very enjoyable – we wait to see if the edited outcome is as entertaining.
The meeting was centred on films made by the Riot Film Group. RFG, for short, was formed in 2010 by three members to make Marching to Music about the Salvation Army and the riots which took place in Eastbourne in 1891/92). With the camera work and editing by Jonathan Wilde RFG have continued to make two films a year. Those shown this time were Ten Years and Rolling – a film based on Brightlights Drama Group based in Little Common, and Follies Man which featured the 18th century eccentric MP John Fuller commonly known as Mad jack Fuller played by actor Geoff Hutchinson. An additional film made by Jonathan which featured local actors David Horne and Paul James entitled A Mystery at Mr Chomondley’s Country Cottage was also shown. The evening rounded off with discussion about future meetings and film projects.
Films from the archive. filled the club evening. Many brought back memories, and for newer members it demonstrated how active the club had been in former years. Films included Working Man, Save our Seagulls, Trusty the Gardener, Cleaning up the Parish and Home for Dinner – all of them drawing on the talents of different local actors.
From farm to fork is a publicity quote from the Bluebell Farmhouse Kitchen cookery school; this was the location chosen by the moviemakers for their summer ‘on location’ filming evening. Nestled in the Arlington area, and famed for its bluebell walk, the kitchen, the surrounding produce and livestock proved to be a very challenging subject for filming. However, hosts Philippa & Michael Vine could not have been more co-operative and hospitable. After being interviewed about their cookery and farm enterprise their vegetable and herb area was visited and then on to the sheep, pigs and poultry all of which played to the cameras. Back in the kitchen Philippa demonstrated her culinary experience and skills making a vegetarian pizza, and a Summer Pimms cake, whilst Michael attended to a butterflied leg of hogget (lamb) which was also cooked in the wood stove outside. With filming over, members tucked in to the newly prepared and heated pizza, lamb and cake – all fare appealing to the taste buds.
Owing to illness the talk on sound equipment was postponeed. Further discussion was centred on arrangements for the ‘filming on location’ evening being planned by David Wood and on other film projects in the club programme. The evening concluded with a showing of Barry Boot Bites Back a comedy film starring local professional actor David Horne. The film demonstrated the amount of planning and time required to produce even a short film of quality.
Variations on 3D was the subject for acting chairman Barry Martin’s presentation in June. Using special ‘glasses’ he made, members watched a series of film clips to observe the 3D effect. Unlike the ‘glasses’ with separate red, and green, lens which people remembered which created a three dimensional effect on specially prepared images, Barry’s glasses had lens which omitted different degrees of light thus tricking the brain into believing the films were in 3D as opposed to two dimensional. Some members, possibly because of differing sight, did not find the effect constant, but it made for interesting discussion.
Member Trevor Weston shared information about his background in film making and still photography. Accompanied by his first film camera – a 8mm cine camera powered by a clockwork motor, he talked about its use, limitations and cost of film making by this means. Having built up a business in wedding photography he then purchased a semi-pro video camera which used VHS tapes and this enabled him to offer a movie film service to his clients. Now retired, his film making is mainly on holidays and family for which he uses a smaller digital camera.
‘ Just a minute’ – not a second more (but it could be less); these were the rules for the club’s One Minute film competition at the first meeting in May. Of the seven films entered the ‘also rans’ were entitled October, Red, and two ‘talking head’ films on the theme of Brexit – for, and against. In third place was the film Drawing made by David Bristow. Coming second was a film with the original title 1 Minute (!) by Geoff Davey featuring a flower arranger. The winning film, entered by Alan Tutt and entitled Pier Automatons, depicted the display of amusing automatons exhibited at Hastings Pier.
Barry Martin showed how he edited film using Pinnacle Studio 12 Plus programme. This generated discussion about the processes involved in adjusting the length of film clips, using transitions, and adding titles and music.
It was “Cameras rolling? . . . Action” when guest flower arranger Pat Easton of Eastbourne Flower Arrangers club was the subject to film for the indoor filming evening in April. Armed with creamy white roses, yucca and ivy leaves and oasis Pat described what she intended doing as members adjusted their camera positions and framed their subject. It was then, with commentary, the display began to take shape. With the floral arrangement completed, the cameramen and camerawoman took up new positions for re-filming from new angles whilst Pat dis-assembled her artistic creation in readiness for the process to be repeated. A near identical arrangement was re-created and Pat was thanked for her work and co-operation; later the display was raffled to defray expenses – the winner being Geoff Davey.
Members were watching scenes from each others choice of favourite commercial film. Those shown included a Swedish animated version of Alice in Wonderland with sub titles, Bandits starring Bruce Willis & Billy Bob Thornton, Hacksaw Ridge – a true story war film, Grand Budapest Hotel, Bizet’s Carmen, and Singin’ in the Rain with Debbie Reynolds & Gene Kelly. Something to please everyone.
The holiday film competition attracted five entries. The subjects included a family sking, a visit to a zoo, and three films in which water was a major feature – namely the English Channel, in Bankok, and the Panama Canal. All five films were entertaining, and it was on camera work, sound and editing qualities that the differences were evident. After scores were totalled and checked it was Alan Tutt’s film Bankok’s Floating Market that was declared the winner and he was presented with the Morely Cup and cinema vouchers kindly donated by the Curzon Cinema, Eastbourne. Alan’s film featuring the animals in San Diego Zoo came second, the runner up was September Cruise to Honfleur filmed by David Wood and edited with assistance from Geoff Davey.
Options and ideas for a film as a club project were discussed. Of the various ideas put forward one was agreed to be potentially achievable and a script will now be written. Other possible subjects put forward will be discussed again at a later meeting.
February saw a first for the club when the evening focused on a commercial film. The film, selected by member David Dalton, viewed was In My Father’s Den. The setting is New Zealand and the story line traces the experiences of one of two brothers who returns to his homeland for his father’s funeral. – the role played by Matthew MacFadyen. Many of the early scenes are difficult to appreciate, as is the dialogue – the actors’ speech being very indistinct at times. The opening scene is of a teenage girl lying between railway lines whilst a train passes by on the next track – a scene which only has meaning later in the film.
The ambivalence felt by the returning brother, a successful photographer and reporter from war torn countries, and the tension between him and his ‘stay at home’ sibling where family relationships are distressed permeates the story as it unfolds. The discovery of a baby’s photograph in their father’s possessions and the disappearance of a teenager add mystery to the storyline. Regrettably time limited the amount of film viewed, and the last third will be included in another club evening.