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2007-2008 NEWSLETTER

31/05/2008 A few members visited the Projected Picture Trust and were given an interesting talk in the cinema by Ken Draper with some films. Afterwards there were museums and other places in Bletchley Park to peruse.

Laurie playing organ. Neil, Alan and Ken Draper Laurie at the organ with Don, John and Neil. Historical projector behind.

23/04/2008 At the AGM the previous committee stood down and all were re-elected bar Laurie, Brian and Guy. Two new members were elected onto the committee - Roger and David. The treasurer reported a healthy financial situation with more members than in any of the last five years. The theme for the summer project was WATER. A photo gallery of the making of Hat Trick is available. After some refreshments, two edited results from the recent filming exercise were shown and the meeting closed with 2 cartoons. With sadness, the recent death of Denis Finch is recorded here.

19/04/2008 The Oscars evening went off well with members and guests enjoying a meal and the winning competition films, with trophies being present by Don. A photo gallery is available. The winners of the Abbey cup, Points Award cup and Stan Olman award were also announced. Geoff was presented with a tankard for his 3 years as chairman.

16/04/2008 Geoff outlined a few rules about framing shots and then set members a task to make a short film about a confrontation between two people. Five groups were formed and some of the results were shown with some amusement. Laurie and Brian were back from Dubai wearing appropriate head gear and appeared in their short clip. Geoff gave a critique and compared it with Phil's 1 minute film IJust Knew. Other edited versions may be shown after the AGM.

09/04/2008 A very encouraging entry of 12 films for the open competition. The brighter projector was used despite its difficulty showing 16:9 format. Roger and Neil were the Stan Olman judges and they gave a brief critique of each film and nominated The Storm as a contender for the award. Summary stills are available.

02/04/2008 A brighter projector was tried out. Laurie explained how the seance film analysis would be done and members and guests watched 4 versions and noted comments on post-it sheets. Phil gave his opinion of the different versions and members voiced a host of comments, some of which had little to do with editing, but were nonetheless useful filming lessons. Finally a hilarious cartoon to close.

26/03/2008 Brian talked about the Guernsey Lily festival last year and showed his Mikropodium film together with Phil's The Red Kite Returns which both illustrated good documentary technique. Phil had some of his judges comments read out. Francis showed an interesting DVD of still photos of the weekend. The meeting closed with a very moving winning film by Bernhard Hausberger called A Rather Different Year about smoking and lung cancer.

19/03/2008 A good attendance for Don' s illustrated talk about documentary tips which included discussions on bits of his Japanese holiday films! Members had a fascinating insight into block printing, Kabuki theatre, cheesemaking in Scotland and silent monks in the French Alps. Don finished with an old fashioned film style by the GPO of a mail train made in 1936.
Roger and Tony represented the club at the Staines interclub competition on Friday. There was a second film about a robin's nest from Orpington Squatters in my Garage so the audience anticipated the answer to the dialogue "I wonder where the nest is" when our film was shown. The judges placed them both equal 2nd. Hemel Hempstead's film about The Rex cinema won. All the films were shot in the UK. Ours was the only one in 16:9 format.

12/03/2008 Phil invited suggestions from the audience for alternative storylines to some of his early fiction films. Constructive criticism was forthcoming which made for an interesting evening. He finished with his latest film In the National Interest which was discussed in depth. Finally he showed a beautifully crafted Danish film.

05/03/2008 Don entertained several members to an old fashioned film experience at his home cinema with the usual Pathe News, cartoons and main feature on the 26th Feb. There were 4 entries for the fiction competition.Summary stills are available. Brian and Laurie were the Stan Olman judges and they decided none deserved a nomination. Geoff showed his edited footage from the O2O 10K run event. Oracle are pleased with his effort. The traditional hilarious cartoon closed the evening.

20/02/2008 The film Who ate all the flies had won the Angus Bryant Trophy at the Surrey Film Festival for natural history and it was presented to Phil.The audience was enhanced with three of the lady 'participants' in the summer project film. This was regretably the only entry - a worthy winner nonetheless. Summary stills are available. Neil showed members the smoking film which was a celebration of the club's 50th anniversary. The Norwich showreel was available so members watched their introductary film and then a documentary about Nelson. Last Thursday, several members gave a fund raising film show for the church fellowship which was much appreciated by the audience.

13/02/2008 The Norwich showreel was not available so Brian entertained members with details of a recent visit to Red Bee and showed some promo DVDs. The achievements of live sub-titlers were impressive and graphics behind sports events were equally fascinating. Our guest speaker had some amusing anecdotes about insurance claims. The meeting closed with the traditional cartoon.

06/02/2008 Only two entries for the novice competition - unusual films which were captured using a stills camera in movie mode. The original sound was so bad, all the dialogue was shown as text a la an old-fashioned silent film with piano accompaniment! Summary stills are available.Members also watched the film whose trailer had been shown earlier in the season. Bernard produced a VHS copy of his original Seance film made in the club in one night about 10 years ago, and a film of the building of the Barbershop film set. Don showed some films including one about the Denham Studios. The meeting closed with the traditional cartoon.


30/01/2008 The practical filming of a filming of a seance provided a very unusual experience for members. Inevitable confusion and much laughter about the scripted events and actual events. The main lights failed, initially thought to be due to an overload with the various spotlights, but it turned out to be a faulty flourescent tube which triggered the trip! Several members will try editing the resulting footage to contrast various personal styles at a later meeting. Last Friday several members attended Barry Norman's entertaining presentation in the Town Hall, though more film clips would have been appreciated.
Actors and film crew making a filmAppropriate lighting for a seance

23/01/2008 Neil ran the meeting which planned next week's filming event.Two similarly made club films were shown to illustrate what had been achieved before. Last Friday some members and guests enjoyed the annual dinner held at the golf club.
members and guests at the annual dinnermembers and guests at the annual dinner

16/01/2008 Nine good entries for the documentary competition. Summary stills are available. Brian and Neil were the Stan Olman Judges who decided no entries merited a nomination even though there wer many good films, none were "pushing the boundaries". The meeting closed with a film by Neil about a blind man flying a jet plane - relevant following the competition entry about an eye hospital. An edited film from the green screen exercise was also shown.

09/01/2008 A Happy New Year to all our members. Don showed a variety of historical films which included Caversham Water Carnival, and the building of Reading station - about to be rebuilt soon! He also showed some holiday films on VHS and film. We are grateful to Dennis who refurbished the black box to make VHS projection simpler.

12/12/2007 Members enjoyed mince pies and mulled wine and a chance to socialise while waiting their turn to use Roger's green screen equipment to make a short film using their choice of background. A big learning exercise with sveral problems with sound and synchronising actions with the background changes. some of the results were shown afterwards - a small boy exploring a forest of giant toadstools, and weather news in Africa. The traditional rib-tickling animation closed the evening of the last meeting of 2007.
Best wishes for a Happy Christmas to all members.
James, Mark and Roger with green screenRoger and James studying complex equipment setupBernard watching Mark, Roger and James at work

05/12/2007 The seven entries for the holiday competition covered UK, US, Germany and Sweden. Summary Stills are available. Laurie and Brian were the Stan Olman judges and they nominated Northumberland for its excellent panoramic views. Time precluded a critique of each entry. Another hilarious animation was shown while the results were collated.

28/11/2007 Members were put into four groups and asked to capture af 5 minute film on the plans for the church hall. Editing was to be done "in camera". Each film was deemed very good considering the short time to plan and shoot it. One group used a camera using DVD which could not easily be repositioned to capture the next bit as with tape, but a laptop was available to do some crude editing. An interesting experience for most and after a second viewing, group 2 was voted the best. Another hilarious animation was shown to close.
Members working on their filmMembers creating a film

22/11/2007 Due to sickness. next Tuesday will be a practical evening. Bring your cameras, microphones etc.

21/11/2007 Members had the opportunity to discuss the merits of 9 of the 10 films on the Colcheter club showreel and air their ideas for improvements. Laurie chaired the eveing as Geoff was sick. The evening was concluded with another hilarious Shaun the Sheep animation.

14/11/2007 Nick gave members a fascinating insight into his experiences of making films using 16mm cine, VHS and finally digital. He illustrated his achievements with several films starting with LOST PROPERTY made 17 years ago, and then BLOOD MONEY made in 1992. The questions and discussion indicated the general interest in his subject. The evening was closed with a documentary about Whitchurch-on-Thames.

07/11/2007 Eight varied entries for the One-minute competition. Summary stills are available. Neil and Geoff were the Stan Olman Judges and they nominated Phil's film and newcomer Roger for his trailer - we look forward to seeing the main film later in the season. Geoff illustrated the difficulties of filming small children with his record of a music project in various nursery schools.

31/10/2007 The club welcomed 5 members from the Surrey Border club which included their president and chairman who introduced the films. Examples of the various categories of films they make were shown, displaying several humorous storylines. Some of the activities were similar to those in our club but with a different level of affluence - steam engines, and model railway systems! Due to technical problems, the summer project competition has been postponed till the new year, and a showreel from Colchester will be shown instead.

24/10/2007 Laurie and Brian decided to try something new for a change and challenged three teams to a game to plan and cost the making of a DVD for a client wanting a safety film associated with an airport fuel farm. They were impressed with each proposed content, but the costing were widely different compared with what they were actually paid when they did the job. The winning team members each received a DV tape. They showed the final film they had made earlier. Several members attended the Guernsey Lily Festival and the pictures show Phil and Brian receiving commendation certificates for the entries they submitted - The Red Kite Returns and Mikropodium.
Phil gets certificate for The Red Kite ReturnsBrian get certificate for Mikropodium

17/10/2007 The club welcomed several members from Bourne End and Staines clubs for the Gateway competition. Don chaired the evening in Geoff's absence. Neil provided an excellent buffet in the interval.

BOURNE END Grandad's Secret War
BOURNE END Farming Friends
STAINES Helen's War
READING X9 = Freedom
OPEN 5 4 6
TOTALS 15 13 17
JUDGES Derek Miller
Neil Hodgson
Laurie Joyce
Jeremy Holder
Roy Bowley

The picture shows Don presenting the trophy to the winning club Staines.

10/10/2007 There were a few new faces among the members who enjoyed an excellent talk from Tom who described his philosophy for shooting weddings and events.
Tom Hardwick demonstrating his camera technique
On Friday seven members attended the Surrey Border interclub competition in Farnham.
The judge was Mike Coad. South Downs won the trophy with Amy's Locket. The contenders were:-
Chichester Buried Alive 6:34 mins
South Downs Amy's Locket 15 mins
Reading X9 = Freedom 11 mins
Spring Park(Bromley) Flat Out 7:40 mins

After the interval, each club showed a supporting film:-
Chichester Bonjour Paris 12 mins
South Downs The Barber's Ball 1 mins
Reading Las Vegas 3 mins
Spring Park(Bromley) Speed Dating 4:45 mins

Finally Surrey Border premiered their film A Short History Lesson

A very good attendance for the first competition of the season with several new faces and 7 entries. Geoff and Phil were the Stan Olman judges and they nominated DRIVE for its fast pace and interesting shots and angles. Summary stills are available. Laurie and Neil took the technical class people after the competition viewing and they rejoined during the showing of 2 of last years Guernsey Lily films. The evening concluded with a humorous animation. Points tally is now updated, including some points earned at the tail end of last season.

26/09/2007 Three potential new members started their technical class under Neil's guidance with a plan to make a film using the offered script. Guy volunteered to help with the sound. Meanwhile Geoff, Don and James showed members gizmo's which covered various tripods/monopods, reflectors, lens hood + filters, wide angle lens, suction clamp, clapperboard. Roger demonstrated his green screen system which generated much discussion.

19/09/2007 The opening night of the season saw 3 potential new members attend the social. Several films which had achieved success in previous seasons outside the club competitions were shown to give newer members a flavour of past film-making efforts. The certificate given to the club by Linda Gough at the Oscars night congratulating us on our 50th anniversary was given by Geoff to the only founder member still with us, namely Alan Lott.

15/06/2007 At the first committee meeting, the committee roles were confirmed. Next season starts on Tuesday 18th September, but there is an external workshop in July which some members may wish to take advantage of. The club is also offering to run a practical training course to attract new members. A provisional programme is available which will be updated as evening slots are established. The Novice competition is later in the season to allow new members to create an entry. Reading are hosting the Gateway trophy this season, and the date has been confirmed with the other clubs. We have also been invited to enter a film for the Surrey Borders inter club competition.

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