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2003-2004 NEWSLETTER

10/06/2004 At the first committee meeting, the committee roles were established. Next season starts on Tuesday 21st September.

12/05/2004 The AGM was held as the last meeting of the season. 3 members were voted onto the committee to replace the 3 who were standing down, Welcome to Phil, Geoff and Andy. The other committee members were re-elected to continue, but Neil stressed that the club needs someone new to take over as chairman for the 2005/06 season. It was announced that a new trophy is being donated by Bernard, for a new competition for fiction films. To compensate, the committee had decided that the Bournes Cup competition should be restricted to the 1st and 2nd places of all the previous competitions, thus making it 'the best of the best in the season'. No new or changed films will be accepted for this competition in future. Next season will start on Tues.21st Sept. The rest of the meeting followed the normal AGM format and the evening was closed with two rib-tickling Tom and Jerry cartoons..
Peter and Bruce announced that they will be opening their garden with trains to members and their families on 25th July, 2-5pm.
Bob again provided his floral prizes for the wackiest films of the season which went to Tony for his Mechanical e-motion, and to Bernard for his comedy group production Every picture tells a story

04/05/2004 A rather disappointing attendance on Tuesday evening to discuss summer project plans. Stan's project may struggle to conform to the word limit restriction, so it was unanimously voted to lift all restrictions and allow any subject, but the idea of a team effort should be key. Phil then discussed possibilities for a group outing to the Andover Falconry and showed us some raw footage of some of the activities he had shot at a recent public showing.
An excellent meal and viewing of 12 films were enjoyed by about 50 members and guests at the Oscars night at the Reading Golf Club on Friday. The President presented all the awards, except for the Stan Olman Award which was presented to Phil Martin by Stan's widow Jean who had donated it. Phil also won the Points Award Cup, and the committee considered Peter Marsh to be a worthy winner of the Abbey Cup for the best progress during the season. Photos are available.


28/04/2004 A prospective new lady member joined members to watch and discuss several BMW films called The Hire and some others to illustrate how the pace of the film can help tell the story. The evening was closed with a film made by Volvo, parts of which are an advert on TV. A certificate had been received from Staines, for Geoff's winning film and it was also announced that the IAC had requested a copy of We Fought The Law... for their archives.

21/04/2004 The meeting room was temporarily turned into a museum with Alan's collection of 9.5mm and 16mm projectors and cameras as shown below. Alan is a founder member of the club and gave an fascinating talk about the history of movie cameras etc. from 1900, covering pictures, sound and colour. He showed a colour film he made in 1938. Don concluded the evening with 4 films made only 39 years ago about Penang; Corfu; an aircraft carrier; and Mapledurham, all in colour and with sound.
Alan's collectrion of working 9.5 cameras and projectors Alan talking with Bob
All points earned in the rest of this season will be credited to next season.

14/04/2004 Some of the Bourne cup entries were shown again for the benefit for any member who missed them last week, and comments were aired for each one after background explanations from the film maker. An interesting discussion about the use of J-cuts arose at one point. Summary stills are available for the winning films. Neil also announced further recent successes for RFVM members in the international arena - see the IAC website. Phil invited interest in members joining him to do some filming at the Andover Falconry sometime in the summer.

07/04/2004 The picture shows Geoff accepting the Staines Interclub trophy on behalf of RFVM from Councillor Gerry Ceasar, Mayor of Spelthome at a presentation on Friday 2nd. Geoff's film also scooped the Bournes Cup on the Tuesday evening in a close fought final competition of the season. Seven excellent entries, several of which were fiction, made interesting viewing for members. Two entries meritted nominations for the Stan Olman award by judges Brian and Laurie:
  • Phil for his technical excellence and innovation and seamless special effects with THE PRODIGY
  • Geoff for technical excellence and creativity with ELEGIA which had been changed since its first viewing in the Burke Trophy competition.
The winner of the Stan Olman trophy will be decided at the next committee meeting from all this seasons nominations.

31/03/2004 Neil welcomed the vice chairman of the Chippenham Movie & Video club as a visiting guest and announced some more interclub competition successes, this time at the SoCo event at Gloucester on Saturday 27th. RFVM won Best Club shield, Best use of Sound, and Overall runners-up trophies. The members were then shown examples of how to use cutaways and add commentaries to events where what happens may be somewhat unexpected. Some problems of what can happen were well illustrated in the clips The message was:- Plan for as much as one can, and leave the camera running - it is surpisinmg what precious moments do get captured amongst all the less interesting imagery.

24/03/2004 Neil announced that our club had won the Staines Inter-Club competition on Friday 19th with Geoff's film. The picture below shows Neil accepting the trophy on behalf of RFVM.

31st Staines Inter-Club competition

11 clubs entered and nearly 2 hours of video shown. Video topics ranged form fiction to documentary. Many were very humorous whilst others required extensive research.

The final result, judged by Graham Large and Laurie Miller from Staines was:

1. Reading (Elegia)
2. Haywards Heath (The late Mr McKenna)
3. Orpington (The Green Room)

After a brief discussion about the other films in the competetition, members split into two groups to start brainstorming/planning the summer project. Tony and Stan had ideas, and Mike and Neil controlled the groups progress. Further suggestions were offered, with humorous banter as various story lines were developed. It was very different from the usual meeting, but certainly helped concentrate on aspects of film-making. Hopefully more than two teams will evolve before the summer.

17/03/2004 11 members had brought in a variety of camera accessories which they talked about. A very hands-on evening with some useful tips, and surprisingly little duplication of equipment which included some ingenious home engineered parts. Devices shown included 3D beam splitter attachments for stereo cine film; cam sling; steadycam, monopod and tripods - one which could be adapted to become a rostrum camera; lens hoods; radio mic holder for small camcorder; remote monitor; sound boom and a minidisc sound recorder. Some short clips demonstrated the effect of wide-angle lens and use of a suction clamp on the side of a car. A very practical evening - see photo gallery.

10/03/2004 Members were shown examples of what can be achieved with 3D animation software on a home PC and the evening was concluded by a brilliant 3-minute film of a mix of animation and real footage by Bruce Branit and Jeremy Hunt together with 'the making of the film'.
Next week will be Accesorize as per the printed booklet, and members are requested to bring along their useful gadgets which help them use their cameras to good effect.
03/03/2004 The Gear Trophy was closely contested by 4 documentary films and members were educated in the historical connections of Dickens, blue tits, Reading town and replacement windows. None of the entries were thought worthy of a Stan Olman nomination by Brian and Neil. It was good to see such a good standard from a new member. Summary stills are available.

25/02/2004 Mike introduced the two parts of a presentation film by Albert Noble called Animation Animates Any Mate, which explains the history of stop frame animation from early examples using film, to use of digital cameras and to computer generated films without any camera. Each part was 50 minutes long - longer than the typical film members usually watch. It was however an interesting new angle to film-making. Stop Motion Pro was one software package mentioned. See Useful Links for others.

18/02/2004 Unfortunately the original outside speakers could not attend. We wish Mavis a speedy recovery. Instead Don was able to show members a selection of films from the Wakefield Movie Makers showreel which included a local newsreel from 1999 and an animation initially on 9.5 film format, with the images drawn onto the actual film frames and sysnchronised to music. Wakefield has an active club with about 50 members including a significant number of ladies. Don closed the evening with two of his films, one of a holiday in Havana, the other about tree surgery.

13/02/2004 On Thursday members of the church fellowship were entertained with a very enjoyable film show by some RFVM members. 12 films were shown including a church bell tower clock renovation documentary and the winner of this year's 1-minute competition I JUST KNEW which was very appropriate so near St Valentines Day. The event was well attended, with refreshments served in the interval and numerous prizes were won in the raffle.

11/02/2004 Tutor Mark Chapman introduced several students who explained what they had done with the various films that they showed members. Films included a short chase sequence, lost memory after an accident, a fashion promo, a ghost party documentary and the homeless people in Reading. The college accept commisions for clients and anyone interested should contact Mark. It was interesting to see what youngsters are achieving these days.
Some members have visited or are visiting the Video Forum at Wembley with its bewildering array of products from steady-cams to long-arm jibs; lenses and the ultimate in editing systems.
Please note the recent programme changes

04/02/2004 Sickness meant the ever versatile Neil had to operate the projector to show the 5 entries for the 4-minute Currie cup competition which included an interesting commentary by a local Antiguan taxi driver with a powerful message and a hastily composed skiing episode. Fairground Attraction got Peter a Stan Olman nomination for a beautifully crafted images which he shot to fit the song, and Dave also for his Visit to Nottingham in which he had made some unexciting family holiday footage into an interesting movie by his clever editing. Time allowed for lengthy feedback and comments on each film, and Neil projected the winning 3 films again for the benefit of the latecomers. Summary stills are available.

28/01/2004 Brian illustrated his impressive technical demonstration of Imaginate (by Canopus UK) by creating a clip which traversed across a map from Reading to High Wycombe. A demo version can be downloaded free. Brian also demonstrated a few facilities in the more complex Adobe package of After Effects which offers various motion graphics and visual effects including image stablisation which can produce interesting good quality clips. These require infinite patience and lots of imagination, which might put off some less PC skilled members. All in all, it was a very technically intensive evening.

21/01/2004 Members were treated to an interesting step back into history when Peter Smith of the Narrow Bandwidth Television Association delivered a slide show about his personal involvement with mechanical TV since 1983 and the life of John Logie Baird. Working replicas of the original equipment were on show. Brian displayed the original Soko puppet shown below, which was the first star transmitted on TV.
Peter Smith adjusting his replica TV SOKO puppet, first star transmitted on TV Mix of replica kit and electronic converter of 625 lines to 30 lines

14/01/2004 For technical reasons, Mike could not deliver the dissect-a-scene programme that had been planned, so members watched some more IAC award winning films - a humourous one about an enterprising gentleman who throws nothing away; an educational wildlife film; and one about brewing beer. Other changes to the programme include a fund raising film show for St Andrews Fellowship on Thursday 12th Feb. A black and white film made in the 60's depicted memories of a travelling gentleman with minimum dialogue, and a film about a Victorian family which involved interesting techniques applied to still images brought the evening to a close.

10/01/2004 Members and guests enjoyed plentiful food at the annual dinner in the Reading Golf Club. The staff provided very good value and excellent service which all helped to make a very pleasant evening - see photo gallery

07/01/2004 The first meeting of the New Year was well attended. The films for the planned showreel were not available so some winning entries from the IAC were shown. The best overall winner film had some commendable acting by children but was not a popular subject for the start of the year. The gold seal award film was interesting and was compared with a similar film members had seen earlier in the season. The silver seal award was a short animation by a youth. Thanks go to Dennis for the repair of the club's black box which made the showing of the films possible. More summary stills are now available.

17/12/2003 The Christmas party was very well attended. Committee members and partners provided a sumptious spread. After an unplanned barbecue, entertainment started with an Odd Angles quiz, then Francis recited poetry about the Law. Mike bemused us with some magic and the evening was concluded by another quiz after a sketch by four 'oldies' reminiscing about using ancient video equipment. See the photo gallery. Our thanks to Bob Upham for the live music, and best wishes to everyone for a VERY HAPPY CHRISTMAS.

10/12/2003 Members enjoyed seeing some summer scenes in the holiday competition for the Ward Trophy which included footage from Florida, Bahamas, Italy and England. Neil was the Stan Olman judge for the night, but decided none of the seven entries were innovative enough to merit a nomination. Summary still are available, also some for the Grosvenor Trophy.

03/12/2003 Some members have been busy entering films in the Surrey Film-Video Festival on Sunday, and returned with four trophies which were:

The Leonard Robinson Festival Trophy For the best senior movie ELEGIA by Geoff
The Woking Cup For Comedy WE FOUGHT THE LAW by Phil
The Derrick Seagrave Trophy For animation WE FOUGHT THE LAW
The Other Cup For a movie of special merit ESCAPADE by Phil

Phil started the Tuesday meeting with explanations and ilustrations of how he did some of the special effects he used in WE FOUGHT THE LAW and I JUST KNEW. He used the sort of effects anyone could achieve with a computer, infinite patience and hours of time! Some sound effects were found on the web - see Useful Links
Mike then outlined his ideas for next season's summer project and illustrated them with two films: KICKER - an animation about table soccer with no dialogue - and 14 minutes of suspense with very little dialogue. Other ideas for the successor to Caversham Remembered were also suggested.
Some changes to the committee were announced.

27/11/2003 Three of this years summer project films were completed and shown. Varying interpretations were made of the theme 'Every picture tells a story'. Critique and discussion was interesting with opinions on working with large and small teams. Because of the group nature of the entires, award of points will be deferred until discussed in committee. The speed camera topic was a very poinient subject and generated several personal anectdotes about the unpopular devices. Next week Phil will explain how he did some of the special effects he used. A photo gallery of the making of the film is available. The image below shows the winning team.

19/11/2003 Other outside speakers visited the club to explain what the IAC does and about SoCo which is the largest of the 9 National Regions in the UK. The Chairman of SoCo Alan explained a little about the complex and grey area of copyright, and how the IAC can help members with the use of music. He bemoaned the lack of entries to the annual SoCo competitions from RFVM. He illustrated his talk with some short winning films - While the cat's away and some images of Las Vegas cut to music and another one about the Antarctic. Anne introduced some footage of the annual kite festival in Weymouth and a film about badgers.

12/11/2003 Tuesday was a meeting with a difference. Mike showed us how to make two variants of a tracking dolly using bits available from a harware shop - see gallery photos. Neil had brought his professional £400 dolly to illustrate what money can buy. The audience was quick with cryptic comments about dollies and the whole evening was highly entertaining, with ample opportunity to discuss other aspects of cameras. One prospective new member attended, and volunteered to be tea boy next week! The only film clip shown was a demonstration of the difference between a hand held traverse and one using the dolly Mike had constructed. Instructions for making similar dollies can be found on several web pages.

05/11/2003 The 1-minute competition had 10 entries showing a wide variety of ideas - including comedy, tongue-in-cheek, horticultural education, and romance, It was good to see several entries from new members. Brian and Laurie were the Stan Olman judges and they nominated two for the award (Phil and Dave). Tony's original idea merited comment, but lack of technical excellence meant no nomination. Summary stills are in the award gallery. The evening was closed with two more SoCo films which the audience found much to comment on.
At the recent committee meeting it was proposed that Dennis and Margaret Burke be made lifetime honorary members for their past services to the club and they have accepted, so we look forward to seeing them both on occasions when they find they can attend.

30/10/2003 Several members enjoyed the hospitality of the Bourne End Video Camera club who hosted the annual Gateway Triangle competition. Some good quality films were shown and Reading emerged the eventual winner as shown in the results below.

STORYLINE STAINES 10 to 4 2 2   4
READING Escapade 3   2 5
BOURNE END It's Your Call   3 3 6
DOCUMENTARY READING Horological Renovation 3   2 10
BOURNE END A Tale of Two Bridges   2 3 11
STAINES Eden 2 3   9
OPEN BOURNE END Anzac Day   2 2 15
STAINES Time for No Man Stays 2 3   14
READING Pendragon 3   3 16
OPEN 4 6 4
TOTALS 15 16 14
JUDGES   Mike Wilding
Francis Crossley

The picture shows Mike and Francis receiving the Gateway Trophy from Derek Miller.

At this week's Tuesday meeting members (including one potential new member) had a chance to see some historical footage made by members who used film to create their masterpieces. The films shown included a black and white record of an archeological dig of a Roman villa near Maidenhead from aeriel survey in 1958 to the eventual burial under a housing estate. Alan Lott also showed a colourful 16mm film of Lisbon in 1964 which included a bullfight. Bruce showed his award winning documentary Lifeboat from 1995. Another showing had footage made by the club in the Abbey Gateway which was the venue for early club meetings.
There are at least four entries for next week's competition. Some programme dates have had to be changed around, and the programme page has been updated.

22/10/2003 Club members enjoyed the first outside speaker to visit the club this season. Jolyon Bainbridge talked about his career in radio controlled model making for the film industry. He gave us an amusing and fascinating insight into how certain special effects in some of the Bond films were done and animatronics in other films. He specialises in flying model helicopters and his latest venture involves aerial photography. See www.flyingcamerasystems.co.uk for more details. The pictures below show Jolyon and Andrew answering questions, and the model helicopter used for aerial photography.
Jolyon and Andrew Model helicopter

15/10/2003 The first competition of the season was for novice members who have not won any previous competition and attracted four entries. It was encouraging to see two entries from a new member who showed considerable talent with his Paraglide video which also won him a nomination from Don and Neil for the Stan Olman Trophy for the innovative editing effects he achieved. The winning entry was about making a double bass but without any commentary - the imagery alone telling the story. Summary stills are in the award gallery. The evening was closed with another SoCo film about a Cornish drama about events in 1800.

Committee members selected the following three films to represent the club at the Gateway interclub competition at the end of the month: Horological Renovations; Escapade; Pendragon.

08/10/2003 Mike presented three of his previously shown 1-minute films for the audience to judge, working in pairs and the results analysed. He handled the lively discussion well and took a lot of very harsh criticism with very good humour. At the end it was hoped everyone had learnt something about what can be involved in film making and perhaps in future competitions, judging will be done with credit being attributed to technical excellence even when the subject of a film does not appeal. There are at least 4 entries expected at the novice competition next week.

The points award tally table is growing, having started with some tea makers from the tail end of last season.

01/10/2003 Tony's inexperience of story-telling and inappropriate use of music meant he achieved the desired audience interaction and had numerous suggestions for improving the Oscars film he had produced using Francis's footage. Ideas included using it as a web advert in the style of a short news report. The next step will be decided by the committee. Neil then showed the results of his labour of love researching his family history with a moving film of the1914 war time events of a Welsh regiment. Discussions about the special effects he had used brought the evening to an interesting close.

24/09/2003 A rather smaller audience than usual at this week's meeting, but it did include three potential new members. Several more films from the SoCo Roadshow were shown and discussed, covering dancing, pigeons, icons (religeous images), Tower Bridge and a superb travelogue about a boat trip in India.
The points tally table is now available, and includes tea makers from the last two meetings of last season.
A change of programme for 20th Jan was announced and stickers are available for the paper booklets. Phil can no longer support his "how to" talk about Escapade on 28th Oct with technical demonstrations so will do a similar presentation about special effects in his summer project later in the season. Members are welcome to bring along non-competition entries they wish to show to the club for feedback/critique on the 28th Oct.

17/09/2003 The opening night of the new season was well attended. The treasurer was kept busy collecting subscriptions and distributing the programme booklet. Neil announced that Mike Wilding had accepted the position of Vice Chairman and the picture shows Mike explaining the events that he has lined up for the season.
The new vice chairman Mike Wilding
The Stan Olman Award was announced and a little used 16mm projector was sold in aid of charity. The rest of the evening showed some films as a taste some of the what members can expect later in the season. There were some interesting comments on the use of sound in one of the films. It was a good start to the new season with one prospective new member.

03/09/2003 The provisional programme is now available. There are a lot of gaps. The details for which will only be filled in after the opening night.

30/08/2003 At the recent committee meeting it was agreed that Mike Wilding should be promoted to the Programme secretary in light of his efforts and work commitments of the assistants. He is full of new ideas and is planning next summer's projects.

It is with sadness that we have to announce the recent death of one of our members.


12/06/2003 At present teams of members are presumably busy with the summer project The club new season's regular meetings start on Tuesday 16th Sept. A picture of this season's officers is now available.

It has been brought to our attention by some Dutch fellow film makers that there is a Film Festival in December which some members may be interested in.

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