14/05/2003 The club closed the season's regular meetings with
the AGM on Tuesday. Neil announced that he was prepared to stand as
Chairman for one more year, and was re-elected unopposed. Mike Stevenson
was not able to continue on the committee but Mike Wilding was prepared
to take his place. All the other officers
were re-elected for the new season which starts on Tuesday 16th
Sept. Two more teams were established for the summer
project and certificates for the minor placings in the competitions
were awarded. Bob Upham presented two floral hanging baskets for the
wackiest movies in the year which went to Phil for Escapade
and Bernard for Froo. Mike Wilding raised several controversial
discussion points and the meeting was concluded with an interesting
animation all about cricket - no music, no spoken words, but hilariously
funny! An early Laurel and Hardy film on DVD brought the season to
07/05/2003 Brian conducted an analysis of summer project ideas
with members and finally coaxed four recent award winners to volunteer
to lead a team. Brian hopes that at least two more people from the
members who couldn't attend will volunteer to lead a team (they don't
have to have won an award). The contraints
are minimal with no linkage between films as for last year.
Details of the Cotsworld
International Competition were announced for any member who wishes
to enter, Closing date 1st June, for 5th/6th Sept.
03/05/2003 About 80 members and guests including some Reading
Golf Club members enjoyed a splendid meal followed by the RFVM winning
films. The presentation of trophies was made by the guest of honour
- Val Ellis who is President of the IAC. The Abbey cup was awarded
to the most improved member of the year.which the committee decided
was Mike Wilding. Pictures of the event are available in the Oscars
2003 gallery. Summary stills for the Bournes
cup winning videos are also available, though not for the 2nd
30/04/2003 The second half of entries for the Bournes Cup
were shown to club members and the judges comments were read out by
Laurie after each one. Most of these entries had been shown at previous
competitions. As an exercise the audience did their normal judging
and after a discussion about the merits of having an external judge
it was decided that a panel of three external judges might be the
ideal. Interestingly, the audience and Chris Waterlow agreed on the
overall winner, but the minor
placings were completely different.
The result of the Points Award cup
was also decided and by a significant margin goes to Mike Wilding,
though Phil did manage to close the gap a little. Trophies will be
handed out at the Premiere evening on Friday which is expected to
be well attended with about 80 people including golf club members.
29/04/2003 The first 70 minutes of entries for the Bournes
Cup were shown to club members on Tuesday 22nd. There was only time
for critique from the external judge Chris Waterlow. Further discussion
about each entry will have to be carried over to next week if there
is time. The videos shown covered a wide spectrum of style and subject
and made for an interesting evening of entertainment. Peter and Bob
helped resolve technical difficulties encountered with the projector
for showing Mark's three cine films which the judge had not previously
seen. Results will be announced after next Wednesday's
showing and the winner of the Points Award Cup will also be known
11 entries will be shown next week.
16/04/2003 At the Tuesday meeting members were treated to
a fascinating presentation by Laurie and Brian who have turned a hobby
into a successful business. The amusing anecdotes of how they started
their corporate video business were interspersed with a variety of
short clips illustrating some of the work they do under the name of
The clips included bits of their promotional video; a lorry driving
competition; a recruitment video for the Rutherford
Appleton Laboratory ; a 9hour solicitors conference; the Mapledurham
video; a primary school play; a high society wedding and some of Caversham
Remembered which is what started their collaboration and began
as a club summer project.
Members were reminded of some changes to the programme, in particular
the original Tuesday 29th meeting is now to be held on Wednesday
30th as the church has a special function on. This season's
summer project will be discussed on 6th May and the arrangements for
the record number of entries for the Bournes Cup competition were
09/04/2003 Brian controlled the Tuesday evening
meeting in Neil's absence, and the members watched several films from
the Stoke club's
showreel. Being discerning film making members there were plenty of
suggestions of how each film could be improved. The selection was
varied and of mixed quality, and included a flavour of Hong Kong;
a tasteful documentary on shapes and sculpture; a well-contructed
fictional story of a vacuum cleaner overpowering its owner; a holiday
film; two documentaries intended to assist with local tourism and
an unusual full length drama about Santa Claus. It was interesting
to see what members of other clubs produce.
05/04/2003 The number of entries
for the Open competition is now 21. Some of them have been entered
in earlier competitions, some made have had further work done on them
as titles are slightly different.
02/04/2003 The first April meeting began with
reports about the Staines competition results and the opinion that
good acting was a significant feature of the winning films. Members
were then treated to an unorthodox talk about making movies without
a physical camera. Tony's enthusiasm for 2D and 3D animation and the
fun element of his newly acquired application skills with kinematics
prompted some interesting questions. He illustrated his talk with
several very short clips generated by computer graphics.
The evening was then concluded with the showing of several short films
from the 10th Raindance Film Festival showreel DVD which included
some 3D animation.
There was a record number of 15 entries for the Open Competition which
is likely to cause a few difficulties with the time to show that many
entries in one evening.
26/03/2003 The Tuesday 25th evening was the
second of the two where club members split to attend different functions.
Some went to Geoff's sound studio, while others enjoyed an old fashioned
cinema experience at Don's cinema. Traditional adverts, cartoons and
a news reel from 1956 were shown before an intermission when ices
were served. The main film was a comedy made in 1937. Afterwards members
could chat as they enjoyed refreshments.
The interclub competition at Staines
Cine & Video Society on Friday 21st showed 10 entries with
RFVM's entry 9-11 failing to win any prizes. The judges appeared to
prefer drama. The standard was varied, but altogether made for an
Remember 1st April is the last day for submitting entries for the
open competition for the Bournes Cup to be judged by Chris Waterlow
19/03/2003 The Tuesday 18th evening was the first
of two where the club members split to attend two different functions,
some visiting Geoff at his sound studio, while others watched some
films at Don's cinema. Geoff explained
the difference between various microphones - moving coil, capacitor
and shotgon types among others, and the different directional aspects
of each, with tips for interviewing people and recording opera singers
and ambient sound. He recommends the use of a mini disc recorder for
contiuous ambient sound while using the camera for a variety of shots.
He demonstrated various controls he could use to produce stereo or
surround sound from a standard CD in his impressive studio. He also
discussed several software applications for editing sound. A very
enlightening evening about a technically challenging subject.
Summary stills for the Currie cup and Gear Trophy have been added
to the gallery
12/03/2003 The last of our storytelling theme evenings was
presented by Mike Wilding on Tuesday 11th. He showed us some early
animation clips and some interviews with John Lesseter, and to show
how far computer animation has progressed, various clips from The
German Film School illustrated how well cartoons can be used to tell
a story today. A very entertaining evening.
The 9-11 film is the RFVM entry in the upcoming Staines
Cine & Video Society inter-club competition on Friday 21st
05/03/2003 Tuesday 4th was another competition evening, this
time for the Gear Trophy for
documentary films. There were only 4 entries, but the quality more
than made up for the lack of quantity and made for an interesting
mix. All the entries were also intended to promote a particular skill
and the discussions afterwards about the problems encountered while
making the films were as interesting as the films themselves.
Summary stills for the Caversham cup and Ward Trophy have been added
to the gallery
28/02/2003 A Reading based charity, Real Time Video, funded
by the Arts Council, makes videos for local community groups. Clive
Robertson presented a number of their recent productions, ranging
from documentaries about young people in Caenarvon to dramas written
by ethnic minorities and those with learning disabilities to members
at the 25th Feb meeting. Apart from the wizzy editing, each video
is conceived and shot by the groups involved. Illuminating and thought
21/02/2003 On Wednesday 19th February, instead of the regular
club meeting, members attended a Royal Television Society meeting
at Pincents Manor.
This was a presentation by the Moving Picture Company, starting with
a Pop Video from 1980 to show just how far things have come in twenty
years. MPC's forte has become computer-graphics and this development
has rapidly increased their staff to around 150.
We were first shown MPC's 'Housereel' followed by two commercials
that they had made for Royal Mail and Sky Television, with explanations
of how they were assembled.
MPC was asked by Warner to prepare some computer-graphic sequences
for the two Harry Potter films. We watched a specially prepared film
"Pottering with Special Effects" showing how MPC takes a situation
with props from Warner and painstakingly develops it with 2D and 3D
filming, models, and computer-graphics to a sequence that is part
of the finished film. Particular sequences in the second Potter film
were: the opening sequence showing suburbia; the flying Ford Anglia
including Harry hanging from the car door handle just above Hogwarts
Express; and the scene where a giant willow tree tries to destroy
the car and its occupants. In some cases these scenes take months
to complete to the detail and very high standards required for the
giant cinema screen.
A lesson in what the future holds for our members perhaps.
Tuesday 11th February brought a visit from Graham Young of Gygraphics
who showed members the inner workings of the Quantel Paintbox system
with HAL effects. Quantel, the broadcast graphics company from nearby
Newbury produce high-end systems for television companies around the
world. Graham began by showing members his showreel that demonstrates
to potential customers the kind of work that he does. Following this
he took members through the various techniques and effects that are
possible with HAL and described how work flows from an idea on paper
to a finished graphics production that is used in a program. Graham
began with his opening for the television series 'Commanding
Heights' and demonstrated how the world of model making and computer
controlled cameras can play a part in creating a complex opening to
a program. The evening continued with examples of computer graphics
layering, pseudo-3D graphics and 'computer origami' in building an
At the end of the evening Graham demonstrated more of his work for
the corporate workplace and displayed some examples of how apparently
complex graphic displays can be constructed from simple elements combined
in up to 100 layers of uncompressed video footage held within the
07/02/2003 Another excellent set of 8 entries for the 4-minute
Currie Cup competition provided the members with an interesting evening's
viewing on Tuesday 4th Feb. Don and Brian were the two gurus who judged
the wild card winner which went to John Montague for his Twin Differences.
John had intended to enter it for the 1-minute competition but failed
to have it ready in time. The judges comments were that it was a good
succinct story. Some entries produced much discussion and comment
which contributed to an entertaining evening.
There were reminders about no meeting on Tuesday 18th because of
the visit on the Wednesday and to book up for 18th or 25th March visit
with the alternative at Don's cinema. Entries for the Bournes Trophy
competition need to be in by !st April to allow the external judge
Chris Waterlow to preview them before the night of 22nd April. If
the number of entries is as good as for earlier competitions, there
may be limited time for his comments.
At the recent committee meeting the film 9-11 was selected for the
Staines Cine & Video Society inter-club competition on Friday
A list of all the past Chairmen and Presidents has been added to
the Club background page.
31/01/2003 On Tuesday 28th January members attending the meeting
were indeed fortunate to hear from Michel Gemmil of MG Films. Michel
has spent a lifetime in the film industry initially serving a four
year apprenticeship as a tea maker, film loader, focus puller and
cameraman. (and we learnt what all those titles really mean!) As he
gained experience on both feature films and commercials, he finally
achieved the position of Director of Photography and now has his own
Wardour Street based company of MG Films.
He demonstrated his undoubted skills by showing a variety of his showreels,
many of which were commercials produced for very familiar household
names, and his anecdotes about the production issues raised whilst
filming them were very revealing. One of his specialities is working
for car companies and he explained in detail the difficulties and
challenges of filming hunks of shiny metal to their best advantage
and which required amazing ingenuity in meeting the demands of the
conceptual ideas that he had been given by the client.
The evening finished with an excerpt from a film he had made about
the Le Mans 24 hour race for the McLaren stable - although normally
working in film, here he had used small DV cameras fixed inside the
cars which gave very dramatic pictures. Ironically when asked how
many cameras he had used altogether - he said he had started out with
two full sized cameras plus 5 mini dv cameras. However by the end
of the race he was only left with one out of the original five dv
cameras working - the vibration and pressures of the race had written
24/01/2003 Laurie stood in as Chairman and made an excellent
job of presenting, linking and summarising a not-very-good collection
of 15 films (all shot on 16mm) on a showreel from Norwich Movie Makers
that covered the club's work from 1960ish to 1999... at this week's
The showreel was used as a catalyst for the club's continuing theme
on Making a Story; this meeting being 'Sound: making your story come
alive', for which Mark Chapman had prepared a two-page aid.
16/01/2003 Chris Waterlow is an assessor with the Institute
of Videographers and he visited the club to talk to members on Tuesday
14th. He is also a cameraman with the TV Shopping Channel QVC. Chris
drew from his experience to explain and illustrate various aspects
and techniques to be avoided when preparing a video. Many examples
were taken from wedding videos.
11/01/2003 The annual club dinner was held at the Reading Golf
Club for members and their guests on Friday 10th. The staff there
laid on a splendid spread of plentiful food and everyone enjoyed a
leisurely feast without any films on this first social occasion of
the new year.
A good number of members braved the cold to attend our first meeting
of 2003 on Tuesday 4th. The evening was a continuation of our storytelling
exercise and we spent the time reviewing and analysing our summer
"newspaper" project in detail.
Each team's section was shown and then each element of the editing
was discussed and debated by the members. A particularly useful exercise
was to attempt to identify ways that the flow of the story could have
been improved by tighter editing or different treatments.
At the end of the evening everyone agreed that it had been a very
useful exercise and if certain members can find the time to take on
board some of the comments and suggestions Neil Hodgson is hopeful
that we may be able to show a new "directors' cut" version later in
Newer members may be interested in some more newspaper clippings
about the lottery grant and Caversham Remembered film, which
have been added to the Old Snippets
20/12/2002 The Christmas party was well attended by members
and their partners, with food and drinks available. Music was by the
trio 'Laurie and the Videos', with Laurie Joyce on keyboard, Mike
Stephenson on saxophone and Don Currie on drums. Francis Crossley
presented a quiz, which was tackled in teams of four. For a change,
there were no films. A very good time was had by all.
The January dinner is selling well - latest numbers are at about 40.
Biscuits are Mark and Theresa Poole, a two-person film-making
organisation in Guildford. They started making films for their own
amusement in conjunction with their Dramatic Society activities. They
then found that there are outlets for their productions such as Art
Festivals. Their budget is, well, no more than an average young couple
can spend on a hobby. As a teacher, Theresa is conscious on the effect
that some types of material can have on children (and on adults),
which is refreshing to hear.
They presented a programme of films on Tuesday 10th running between
one and fifteen minutes. Titles such as "Macbeth - The Scottish Picnic",
"Bagladies" and "Mothers Ruin", may give an idea of the light-hearted
and wacky approach that lies within some carefully made productions
07/12/2002 The club had 8 excellent entries for
the Ward trophy for the best holiday movie on Dec 3rd. The countries
featured included Spain, Morocco, Australia and New Zealand, Madiera,
Czech Republic, Switzerland, USA/Canada and Finland, but the winning
entry was about a painting holiday in Kent! It was a very good blend
of historical painting and the depicted as they are now, together with
views of what the students were painting. Judging was made very difficult
by the superbe quality of some of the films. A wild card award was made
to Mike Wilding for his skillful editing of quality tracking shots and
a good balance of appropiate music with a pleasant commentary. Laurie
and Dennis were the 'gurus' involved in the choice. Because of the number
of entires, discussion and comments were regretably restricted.
At the previous Tuesday meeting, members were shown some archive films
made by the club rather than by individual members. The conversion from
cine film to video was done by Dennis who found the actual time to do
it far longer than he had expected.
The results of the Grosvenor trophy on 19th Nov. for the best section
of the summer project film were finally ratified as:
1st - Group 5 - Peter Marsh's team with a naturist theme
2nd - Group 3 - Tony Colvile's team with some origami
No third place was awarded. Some of the sections fell outside the brief
of "between 3 and 4 minutes" so were ruled inadmissable for any placings.
The clips are summarised in the award gallery
22/11/2002 The premiere showing of the 6 part summer project
film was very well attended by members guests and supporting actors
associated with the various groups. All 6 parts were very different.
Food was provided by the committee members (or their spouses) and drinks
were also available. After the voting for the best part of the film,
discussion followed and the winner of the Grosvenor trophy was finally
announced and went to Peter's group 5 film, with a tie for 2nd place
- Tony's group 3 and Brian's group 2. A thoroughly enjoyable evening
was rounded off with two short cartoons.
15/11/2002 The original speaker unfortunately had
to cancel, so Francis Crossley showed his half hour holiday video taken
in Italy and afterwards members discussed this together with ideas on
alternative editing and presentation. After the break, Mark Chapman
entertained the members with an eclectic selection of short films, chosen
for their unusual approaches in camera-work, editing and communicating
to the audience.
06/11/2002 A record number of 13 excellent entries
for the 1-minute film/video for The Cavesham
Cup provided members with a wide variety of quality films demonstrating
good imagination, interesting ideas and even some stories. The comments
by the authors about the making of each film were equally interesting
and the evening was a thoroughly entertaining one. Don Currie was asked
to select one of the non-winning entries for the new wild card award,
and he chose FROO for its imaginative idea.
31/10/2002 An interestimng change of venue and
evening for members when the club participated in Wokingham Arts Festival.
The rather splendid room in the Town Hall in Wokingham was a grand location
for the presentation of 12 films specially selected to illustrate the
wide spectrum of films which are made in the club. The show was well
attended by members and their guests and some visitors who hopefully
will be encouraged to join us on other occasions.
Members, guests and visitors during the interval at the showing
of 12 films in Wokinhgham Town Hall
The gallery has been updated to cover
the winning entries in the Burke Trophy competition.
23/10/2002 Members were entertained to a fascinating talk by
Adam Gauntlett of the Progress Theatre about characterisation
in the 2nd of the theme evenings on STORYTELLING. He illustrated his
points using scenes from various films, in particular 2 made in 1926
by Murnau which had no dialogue so the action and music had to develop
the characters in the story. He also used scenes from a Japanese animation
film which mixed reality with fantasy. Issue 7 of the In Focus magazine
was also available, and the articles have been added to the website.
16/10/2002 The first competition of the season attracted 4 excellent
entries with a new member winning the Burke
Trophy Laurie showed us the intro of an army training video to illustrate
how mundane routine can be made to look interesting, and a video of
a curious sequence of short clips was also shown.
09/10/2002 Members were enlightened to the many advantages of
using DVDs for the storage of their films by Steve Lichfield of 3-Lib
(see Useful Links) in an interesting
talk at the 08/10/02 meeting. Examples are the compact storage compared
with the shelf space required for video tapes and the lossless quality
after repeated viewing and copying. It was nice to hear that the cheaper
DVD players are more likely to play home written DVDs than the more
A draw was held for all those members who could correctly answer a question
Steve posed. Marina Dulay was the lucky winner and received a copy of
DVD Workstation software
Tony Colvile then demonstrated an off-line version of the club website
for the benefit of members who do not have Internet access. This stimulated
some discussion about whether some of the content should be published.