02/09/2018 CHAIRMAN'S CHAT. It is with great sadness that I share the news of the death of longstanding RFVM member, and past Chair, LAURIE JOYCE. On behalf of the membership I offer condolences to Laurie's family. Whilst so many film clubs around the country struggle to maintain a healthy membership, Laurie helped grow the club from around 12 members, when he joined, to around 40. Many of the members, including myself, joined the club via Laurie's "6 Week Introduction to Film Making Course", then stayed on to become full members, continually adding to our knowledge of the craft of filmmaking. Due to illness, Laurie was delighted that RFVM member Daniel Brant was willing to take over the running of this excellent course last year, and Daniel will continue with a further course this year, starting 18th September. Laurie will be missed by so many, and his legacy will be his kindness, and encouragement to share his passion for filmmaking. He will be remembered often with happy memories, as members compete to have their name engraved on a new trophy which Laurie presented to our club at the AGM in May. The Laurie Joyce Comedy Trophy. Anne Massey, Chair
02/05/2018 CHAIRMAN'S CHAT. My thanks to the 26 members who attended last night’s AGM. 8 apologies were
also received from members unable to attend. I summarised the year, thanking
committee members for their help and also members for their contributions,
and indicated that I was willing to stand for another year. Roger presented
the figures, which were unchallenged. The club is fortunate to be in a
healthy state looking forward. Oli and David agreed to join the committee
next season. Mike Hammond then thanked me for my hard work and leadership
during this season. Thanks!
Laurie presented the club with a new trophy “The Laurie Joyce Comedy Award”, which is made of aluminium on a heavy marble base. Very nice! The committee had already discussed that since the club already has a number of stand alone competitions, we agreed to included nominations from any competition throughout the season, where the film has a comedy element. At the end of next season the whole club will then vote for the most popular comedy film.
We then enjoyed 3 very different “tension building films” made at a recent club practical evening, as well as “Second Chance” our club production made at South Hill Park back in January, and only just finished editing…… YESTERDAY!
Thanks to Tom for meeting the deadline. Anne
28/04/2019 Last night selected films were screened at the Reading Golf Club and the club trophies were presnted by Bernard to the various recipients. Thanks to the staff for an excellent meal and the use of the golf club's projection system. A photo gallery is available.
25/04/2018 CHAIRMAN'S CHAT. Our meeting yesterday evening was to discuss "Summer Project Ideas". It was a very interactive evening with no fewer than 8 members pitching an idea! Some of them even had multiple ideas. Most were fiction stories, but there are also two live events, and also a documentary idea. Members were then invited to put their name on sheets of any projects they were interested in helping with, and which skill they could offer. Now it will be up to each Script Writer, or team leader to coordinate their project, to be made over the summer break. With some members volunteering to help with multiple projects this is a great way for members to mix and get to know each other better.
I also set a couple of challenges to as many people who may be interested to make a short 1-2 min promotional film for our website, as well as perhaps rewrite a Classic, whether a Fairy Tale, Shakespeare or even an advert. We also discussed pooling some footage taken by several members, sharing online over the summer, so that we can each try an edit using part or all of the footage. SO..... we have a busy summer ahead! I look forward to seeing even half of the ideas made into films, to entertain us next season. Anne
18/04/2018 CHAIRMAN'S CHAT. Shinfield Theatre Director Maggie Smith, presented to us last night about her role as Director of a Play. Not the same as film directing, but many similarities. Casting, learning lines, stage positioning, lighting, audio, costume, make up... All are under the umbrella of the Director, who has to manage on a very tight budget. A good "Prompt" is also a skilled role, judging when to actually realise that a pause is just a little too long, before offering 2 or 3 words to get an actor back on track. (in filming that would be Take 10!) Maggie included some interesting clips from YouTube on the subject of directing, including an amusing clip by Michael Caine on close-ups, and another Director who explained that telling an actor HOW to perform is impossible, compared to telling a camera operator or lighting engineer to change a lens or a lamp for example. An interesting talk. Anne
11/04/2018 CHAIRMAN'S CHAT. Our final competition of the year attracted 10 entries, ranging from short comedies, documentary, poetry, holiday, and tension drama amongst others. Laurie and Anthony volunteered as the critiques, and although not every film was highly praised, they did consider others of a very high standard and 4 films were nominated as Stan Olman trophy contenders. That must be a first! The winners tonight, Leon and Sophie, jointly accepted the plaque for Bournes Cup, Best film of the year with a very amusing short film featuring "Buster", Sophie's dog. It was also one of the 4 Stan Olman nominations.
We had a few minutes spare at the end of the judging, when they told us that the film came about as a direct result of the fact that the film they HAD planned to shoot that day, had to be postponed due to illness. Sophie had been thinking of the idea of Buster starring (not his first film appearance), so they pulled it together and made the film in just one afternoon, all shot in Sophie's flat. Well done to all the team involved in the filming, directing and editing. Very entertaining. Anne
Summary stills are available.
04/04/2018 CHAIRMAN'S CHAT. We hired a DVD (ref 163) from The IAC with a selection of some of the BIAFF entries from the 2017 Festival, for last night's entertainment. It was pot luck amongst the Five Star and Diamond winning films, which ranged from Animation, Nature documentary, French romantic fiction with subtitles, a fiction film set on an allotment (which did not have a happy ending!), and finally an animation with simple graphics telling the story of a Syrian refugee. Overall we enjoyed the films, adding our own critique of course for good measure. It was interesting to watch such a diverse range of films amongst just 6 of the 250 or so entries in the competition. Anne
21/03/2018 CHAIRMAN'S CHAT. Our challenge this week was to create tension. Two teams set up, with short scripts written by Oli and Dan, written to build tension. With the addition of lighting effects, facial expressions, sliders and dolly shots, we tried to add drama during filming. Music will of course further enhance the stories during the edit.
Last Friday night, Brian, Tony, Anne and Sophie attended the 45th Silver Salver competition hosted by Staines Video Makers. Eight clubs took part, with Harrow taking the trophy with a film called "Bosnia & Beyond". Runners up were Epsom with "British Wildlife", and Potters Bar came 3rd with "The Festiniog and Welsh Highland Railway". We had entered our club film made last season called "Money from Heaven", one of only two fiction films shown on the night. Anne
21/03/2018 CHAIRMAN'S CHAT. Our thanks to RFVM Member Sophie, a sound mixer, for an excellent evening covering the topic of audio in film making. Sophie discussed and showed a range of microphone options, why and when to use each type and very importantly where to position each to get the optimum sound whilst recording. Short film clips demonstrated this well. Always wear HEADPHONES, to hear the actual sound being recorded eg is there unwanted background noise? Fridge, distant airplane etc? The camera volume level also must be set to around mid point during recording, or similar if using a dedicated audio recorder.
The second half of the evening covered post production, and how to build the soundtrack. This is achieved by adding ambient "spatial sound" and foley sound effects, subtly X-fading each sound event to blend with no "empty" spaces and to paint the illusion of a space, whether interior or exterior, and finally music, all kept to an even volume throughout the film.... unless for a purpose. A tip to create a "hole" in the music track fx equalizer control to allow the human voice to be clearly heard. Finally, leave a bit of space in the editing programme master volume level, ie just under the clipping red zone, since rendering may increase the level. Listen to your final production wearing headphones, since this will highlight any issues not audible through your speakers particularly if editing on a laptop. Thanks Sophie! Anne
14/03/2018 CHAIRMAN'S CHAT. 4 entries for our annual Fiction competition last night for the Bernard Bareham Trophy. Two were new films, and two previously seen. First up was a short film called "PARIS" made at club just last week (see picture below) and written, directed and edited by Oli. Next were two films written by Anne. "THE PICTURE, " a summer project film, which just today was also given 3 stars at BIAFF. Then a new film "THE WAITING GAME", written specifically for and starring Anne's grand daughter. Finally, and also the winner of tonight's trophy, was "MONEY FROM HEAVEN", the club film made towards the end of last season, written and directed by Steve Jones, and edited by Sophie. Steve unfortunately has not been at club this season, so is not included in the photo of many of the team who were involved. Anne
Brian and Jim gave a critique on each one and decided that none merited a Stan Olman nomination. Summary stills are available.
07/03/2018 CHAIRMAN'S CHAT. We had two scripts last night for a practical session, and worked in two teams using both halls. One script written and directed by Oli, called "Paris" needed 2 actors, 3 cameras, 7 changes of clothing, and 7 flower arrangements! The other script written by Anne called "The Phone Call" had potential to use everyone else, with Dan directing. It's always fun to do a practical evening, and depends on everyone mucking in and sharing equipment. Big thanks to the team who also brought along lighting and audio equipment We hope to see the results soon maybe even for next week's Fiction competition? Anne.
28/02/2018 Special thanks for Gordon who travelled from Bristol in such icy weather, and for giving such an interesting talk about documentaries. Of particular interest for anyone who knows or has visited Bristol and Venice, he had some fantastic views of the Avon Gorge and traditional Venician landmarks plus a Mother and daughter dancing in an deserted square without music which Gordon added later. There were some amusing quips in his anecdotes. He suggested members could make an A to Z of Reading like his one of Bristol, though X may prove tricky and the length of such a film probably exceeds our normal efforts. We only watched the first few minutes of some of his films. Roger stood in for Anne to front the evening and Dave was on hand to cope with a few technical problems with playing the discs, choosing between two bluRay players to display some of the films. Gordon is also an avid train spotter and screened an 8 minute film of a train journey from Scotland to Penzance to finish his talk about his passion for documentaries and enthusiam for the research involved. We learned a lot about making them and about the places captured in the screened films.
21/02/2018 CHAIRMAN'S CHAT. We had 5 entries for our annual Documentary Film Competition last night, mostly 10-15mins long, so a full evening, including critique. We learned about a Battle filmed around Gun Street in Reading, then a Grand Designs style film of an extension, an annual gathering of fans of "The Prisoner" in Portmeirion, and a separate gathering of comic characters in Reading. The winner was Jim with his film about The Suffragettes commemorating 100 years since women got the vote, but showing a different side to some of them. Two films (Womens Suffrage + In The Village (the Prisoner)) were nominated as entries for the Stan Olman award by Tom and Anthony. Anne
Summary Stills are available
14/02/2018 CHAIRMAN'S CHAT. "It feels like Heaven to me". We got another couple of scenes in the bag last night, as we set up in the hall with white blankets as a backdrop, and our talent dressed to play their part in another part of Anthony's script "Second Chance". Tomorrow night, we'll be shooting outdoors in a car park for the opening and closing scenes of the same film. (Hoping for dry weather!). BIG thanks for the whole team who turned out last night to make this happen. Lots of sharing of equipments to get the best footage we can. Anne
07/02/2018 CHAIRMAN'S CHAT. It was wonderful to have our "Caversham Cup" 1 minute film competition so well supported this evening with 11 entries, ranging from fiction, to adverts and days out.
The "Burke Trophy" for Novice filmmakers followed, with a further 4 entries including 2 fiction stories, and filming of a live band. With so many entrants, we were struggling to find 2 members to offer critique amongst those not entering! Myself and Roger, offered feedback but concluded that no one film stood out as a Stan Olman Trophy nomination on this occasion. A big thanks to all film authors and their teams for all the hard work put into the film making. A very enjoyable evening. Anne
Summary stills for the Burke Competition are available, also for the Caversham cup competition.
31/01/2018 CHAIRMAN'S CHAT. Something a bit different last night. Local short story writer Brenda Martin presented to us and gave us some good tips on how to develop a character, and then how to build a story. We worked in groups, so a very interactive evening. The hope was that a few people who have never written a script before, might now feel able to at least have as go. And for a few members who have written scripts, some good ideas of how to keep the plot interesting. Anne
Last Monday and Tuesday, Tony, Richard and David Goddard filmed the Reading School Year 7 concerts.
24/01/2018 CHAIRMAN'S CHAT. In our annual Holiday video competition and we travelled from Paris to Iceland and Italy. Dave's Iceland film, shot using SloMo, was really interesting to watch the waterfalls and geysers slowed down. But with just 3 entries, I reiterated that to support this competition members can also include films of "Days Out". This hopefully means that next year, those who don't manage a holiday, (or don't take their video camera on holiday), can consider entering a film of a day out in the UK. After all, some "holiday" films are simply just one day of that holiday, visiting a particular town/site. Our critiques tonight were Mike and Jonathan.
To finish, we watched a couple of short tutorial films, from youtube, one explaining the history of frame rates, the other about using timecodes for syncing audio/footage. Thanks goodness we don't all need to be techies!! Anne
Some Competition film summary stills are available.
17/01/2018 CHAIRMAN'S CHAT. Our ambitious two part project continued at South Hill Park, Bracknell. Working with a detailed shot list, very much out of sequence, we had a really good chance of getting it finished. Just a shame that the local traffic came to a stand still causing several of our actors, and essential props, to arrive about 90 mins late. (For the second time this season!) Needless to say, we did not complete our project and now need to come up with a plan to find a suitable time and location, to finalise it. Anne
10/01/2018 CHAIRMAN'S CHAT. It was the first of an ambitious two part project last night to be filmed in a room we had hired at South Hill Park, Bracknell. After necessary furniture rearranging, prop set up etc, setting up all the cameras, lights, and microphones, we finally got filming. The actors had all done a brilliant job with their costumes and props and thankfully were all very patient as one by one we ticked off the shot list. The pressure now on to get the film finished next week before we lose our venue. Eeek! Anne
Tony and Richard filmed the Twyford pantomime Dick Wittington on Saturday with David Goddard who does the editing.
13/12/2017 CHAIRMAN'S CHAT. A late change of plan tonight as our guest unfortunately was unwell. We had scheduled an evening of filming small animals. Instead we spent another useful evening contributing ideas towards finalising Anthony's script for filming in the new year. A few groups rehearsed their lines whilst others filmed them. Anne
Chas and helpers filmed the Queen Tribute Band event on Saturday using 6 cameras.
20/12/2017 CHAIRMAN'S CHAT. A fun end to the first half of our season, with two quizzes and some jokes from Oli and Anne. As we enjoyed some drinks and nibbles, a surprise visit from Bernard, our President, who has not been along to RFVM yet this season. Very nice to see him and at almost 95 he is amazing! Anne
06/12/2017 CHAIRMAN'S CHAT. Congratulations to Leon and his team who won our Diamond anniversary film challenge with their production called "Diamond Dog". Our guests and IAC judges Dave and Jan Watterson, who had seen the films ahead of time, offered critique after each film was screened, and also very kindly provided a written review to each author too. Great job Dave and Jan! The films were all fiction shorts filmed in a variety of ways either indoors, outdoors, green screened, and also animations. All very entertaining. The entertainment continued as Dave and Jan shared some of their favourite films seen at International Festivals this past year. We were all inspired by the ideas and talent of all those films too.
Karen was presented with an engraved tankard with our thanks from the club, marking the end of her term as Chair, as she stood down at the end of last season. It was Karen who set the Diamond Anniversary Challenge, as she had led the club into it's 60th year. Anne.
29/11/2017 CHAIRMAN'S CHAT. 25 of our members gathered last night to discuss further planning for this season's club production to be filmed in early January, over 2 nights. A room at South Hill Park, Bracknell, will become "The Connoisseur Club".
The script was read through, then it became a very interactive evening with plenty of suggestions as to how this ambitious script, written by Anthony, can become reality. Roles were allocated to ensure that as many of the club who want to, will be included in this fun project.
Meanwhile, in the smaller hall, David and Krzys did a great job of installing our new speaker system, in time for our next competition night next week. Thanks guys! Anne
22/11/2017 CHAIRMAN'S CHAT. A tremendous 9 entries for last night's Summer Projects Team films, for the Grosvenor Trophy. Mostly short fiction or action films, but also a live event (Woodley Carnival), and a website promotional film for Wokingham Choral Society, who generously donated £150 to the club for the production of the film. A couple of new critiques last night in Oli and Michael, who after delivering feedback on each film chose "The Bench" as a Stan Olman nomination for originality. The members vote resulted in joint 3rd place for 3 films, 2nd place to "The Choir", and first place to "The Bench". I was personally delighted to receive the trophy which Michael, one of the judges presented to me. A BIG team effort though, and only afterwards thought we should have got the whole team included in the photo! So, my thanks to Brian, Leon and Dave for their excellent camerawork including drone, and time lapse sequence. Anne
Winning films summary stills are available
15/11/2017 CHAIRMAN'S CHAT. The show must go on! Despite horrendous traffic problems in Reading last night, a few of us made it to the club whilst others gave up and turned back home. Our challenge - to film telling a story through close ups. Oli and Jim Directed one team, and Gabi (who only managed to arrive just before tea break!) directed a second group. Clever editing now required, and all a bit rushed in the end. Thankfully the traffic had cleared for our return journey home. Anne
08/11/2017 CHAIRMAN'S CHAT. What an excellent evening! We had 13 entries for our first competition of the season, our annual 4 mins competition for the Currie Cup. The films ranged from Travel, animation, fiction, documentary and live events. Laurie and Mary gave feedback, and also selected 2 films as outstanding for technical ability and innovation, therefore qualifying as contenders for our "Stan Olman" trophy. Both were produced by new member Jim, who also took the trophy for the evening with his film "Making a difference", a documentary about The Hawk Conservancy Trust. Congratulations Jim. 2nd place went to Leon and crew for their "Diamond Dog" comedy short, and 3rd place went to "Applecross", a short travel film by myself. A big thanks to ALL the filmmakers for such an entertaining evening. Anne
Summary stills of thw winning films are available.
01/11/2017 CHAIRMAN'S CHAT. We have a number of Competition night's at RFVM over the course of our season, but tonight was an evening of non-competitive member's films, not about scoring, simply enjoying a selection of short films offering plenty of variety. We kicked off with some edits from last week's Greenscreen scripts which went down well, as both were comedy sketches. Interesting in particular to see two different edits using the same footage. We also saw an edit from our "interview" evening a few weeks back, also a comedy sketch. Since we have several newer members over the last 2 years, we also revisited 3 films made by members which were specially made to "Introduce themselves" to the club, a bit of background about themselves. These 3 min films help us to get to know each other a bit better. An AV up next, then a couple of short live event edits, followed by a few short fictional Action films. Thanks to all the contributors for a very entertaining evening. Anne
29/10/2017 On Friday Brian and Tony attended the Gateway competition hosted by Staines. There was a technical problem reading one film off a bluRay disc, so it was agreed that it could be viewed online and the judgements emailed to Tim over the weekend. The final results are as shown below:
|CATEGORY||CLUB||MOVIE TITLE||BOURNE END||READING||STAINES||TOTAL|
|STORYLINE||BOURNE END||THE NEXT STOP - Club Film
|READING||THE GIFT OF LOVE - Anne Massey
|STAINES||To Eleanor... - Tim & Martine Stannard
|DOCUMENTARY||READING||WOKINGHAM CHORAL SOCIETY - Anne Massey team
|STAINES||SONNING - Geoff Rippingale
|BOURNE END||MOSAIC - Geoff Bourne team
|OPEN||STAINES||WALK ON THE THAME SIDE - Allan House
|BOURNE END||AFTERNOON TEA
|READING||THE PRESENCE - Ian McDougall
25/10/2017 CHAIRMAN’S CHAT. Due to a late postponement of our planned guest speaker, we decided instead to set up for a greenscreen evening. With not too much time to plan, a couple of short scripts were filmed, whilst several people recorded the footage to allow for some greenscreen editing practice at home The 2 scripts will be set into a backdrop of under the sea, and also a kitchen/diner which involves serving of chocolate moose ...... with a difference. Anne
18/10/2017 CHAIRMAN’S CHAT - Guest speaker Alan Colgrave joined us this evening. Alan has won awards at International Level for his own amateur fiction films, and is also a BIAFF judge. He had decades of experience as a news cameraman in Eastern Block countries , and now draws on some of his experiences to write and direct short film scripts, some of course with a dark message. These were interspersed however with a few gems of short comedy films. During our break Alan answered questions from some newer members, pictured here. A very enjoyable evening.
Tony, Dave and Chas filmed the Swallowfield Old Tyme Music hall performance which included supper on Friday.
11/10/2017 Anne, Brian, Laurie and Tony attended the Surrey Border interclub competition (4 club entries) on Friday. Our film did not win. Tony helped David Goddard film the Twyford play Mort on Saturday, and Tony attended the Swallowfield Music Hall rehearsal on Sunday to assess camera/mic positions etc. for filming next Friday.
Students and members including a late course joiner practiced lighting arrangements and interviewing techniques last night. Four groups were involved.
04/10/2017 CHAIRMAN'S CHAT - Our programme last night was a "Planning Meeting" to discuss ideas for a Production which will include the whole club. It will be filmed in the New Year, over 2 evenings, at South Hill Park in Bracknell. It proved to be very successful, with around 20 members taking part, with lively, enthusiastic ideas from no fewer than 5 members, whilst others chipping in further thoughts to build on the basic script ideas. ALL ideas had potential, so they may ALL be made into a short film in time. We are so lucky to have a bank of script writers amongst us! We voted to go for a comedy, and one of Anthony's ideas was chosen. He will now work on his script over the next month or so. Sounds like a lot of fun to make.
We also did some other planning for an upcoming practical evening in November, planned by Chas, for 3 or 4 groups to film a Card Game, with a short script to keep it interesting.
The 10 new members attending our Beginners course, separately concentrated on the subject of Editing in the small hall with Daniel. We joined the group for tea break, then again later as we all squeezed in to join them for the last 10 minutes to watch a short film supplied by Mark, which demonstrated a filming style which used different POV to tell the story. Very interesting idea, and food for thought for our script writers. Anne
We welcomed yet more new budding film makers last night for week 3 of our 8 week course. All full of enthusiasm and ideas, which is what every club needs to keep lively! Last night's practical challenge was to replicate some shots from a favourite film scene. Whilst Daniel led the course members who concentrated on lighting for dramatic effect, another team used a smoke machine to add impact for their short piece. It got a bit foggy in the hall! A long dolly track was set up for others in the larger hall to practice a technique of zooming OUT, whilst you dolly towards your talent, the goal to have their head the same size at the beginning and the end of the tracking shot. Not easy! We look forward to sharing the results of our efforts, and I am sure that everyone learned something from the exercise.
And a surprise for me as Laurie presented me with the Penny Cup Competition Best Drama award for the film made with my team last summer "The Gift of Love". Anne
20/09/2017 An impressive display of equipment was set up by members and each piece had a brief explanation about how it is used. Meanwhile Dan discussed cameras and camera-craft with the students. Plenty of time for social chat.
13/09/2017 CHAIRMAN'S CHAT
A great turnout for our first meeting back at RFVM for the start of our 61st season, and my first meeting as the new CHAIR.
We welcomed 7 new people who came along for the popular "Introduction to film making course", which starts in earnest next week, and will be led this year by RFVM member Daniel. Each gave us a brief introduction and their reasons for attending the course. An interesting mix of goals ranging from a desire to create good Wildlife, Political, Environmental and Fiction films. Later, and by means of demonstrating to them what WE as a club can achieve, we collectively enjoyed half and hour viewing past club projects, with a good laugh (and a few cringes!). The members were told of the generous donation from Wokingham Choral Society of £150 for a short film which was made of them "In Rehearsals" for use on their website, which a 4 crew team worked on during the summer. A different 4 crew team also now agreed last night for filming an up coming live event in October for the Russell Players, who will donate £100 to RFVM. Anne Massey