Video clubs

IAC General Discussions
Post Reply
ned c
Posts: 760
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2007 3:39 pm
Location: Dammeron Valley USA

Video clubs

Post by ned c » Wed May 16, 2007 7:05 pm

I was going to post this in the Banbury discussion but decided it didn't really fit. One of the problems with video clubs is that they tend to be restricted to video camera/equipment owners. In practice the shooting part of film making, although important, is a small part of the production process.

I live in a small city in SW Utah where the film making community is very small. About a year ago a group was formed by two teachers from the local college and a professional actor to promote the performing arts. The result is a group that encompasses; theatre, puppeteers, dancers, musicians playwrights, I injected myself and formed a film/video unit.

This has been very beneficial as the film makers have now been integrated and are used as both a resource for the other activities and have created a great interest in film making. We have shot auditions, rehearsals, training sessions, a promotional for the organisation and are running a script writing competition. We have access to actors, musicians and writers. By being part of the organisation we are aware of what is going on and are asked to be a part of other activities. I was invited to be assistant director for a stage production of "Waiting for Godot", it turned out to be a great learning experience. So my suggestion to anyone thinking of forming a video club is to consider being part of a much broader, integrated arts based group. One of the benefits is the very wide age range of our membership.

So look out for productions from "The Space Between"!

Ned C

Paul Ekert
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed May 16, 2007 1:56 pm
Location: Oxfordshire

Post by Paul Ekert » Thu May 17, 2007 10:57 am

Yeah, this is the problem I have when thinking about setting up a club in Banbury.

I want to belong to a club where the members make films/documentaries/short videos on whatever subject meets with enthusiasm. I'd like to include performance artistes, camera people, lighting, animation and writers... but.... This is a very big umbrella to open and I would need enough rain to justify opening it at all...

Michael Slowe
Posts: 623
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2007 4:24 pm

Film Making and Art

Post by Michael Slowe » Fri May 18, 2007 9:16 am

Following the posts of Ned and Paul under another topic I agree that we should connect with other artists. Ours is not a technical activity (as so many seem to regard it) but an artistic one. I always find that artists (of all disciplines - painters, sculptors, potters etc) take great interest in my films and are always asking to see them. I also get very useful and illuminating feed back from them since they approach the art form so differently from most amateur film makers. Technical problems do have to be understood by us of course but it is the artistic aspect that is the crux.

User avatar
Willy
Posts: 621
Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2007 10:42 pm
Location: Antwerp Belgium

Re: Film Making and Art

Post by Willy » Fri May 18, 2007 9:56 pm

[quote="Michael Slowe
Technical problems do have to be understood by us of course but it is the artistic aspect that is the crux.[/quote]

Balance and harmony
I agree with you, Michael. So what is art in film ? I will try to give my feelings : I think excellent photography is essential. A good example is the first film in the winners' show at BIAFF. I mean the story about the old man : "Silence After The Day". I think that you said something like : "That is a real piece of art !" We should always try to get a harmonious relationship between image and sound in our film. Balance and harmony are very important. So rhythm is also very important. The technical aspect may help, but it is not so essential. In our clubs there are too many discussions about technical possibilities of editing systems and that's a pity. I think we should always try to express our feelings in our film in a special, in an original, in an artistic way.[/b]
Willy Van der Linden

User avatar
Willy
Posts: 621
Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2007 10:42 pm
Location: Antwerp Belgium

Re: Film Making and Art

Post by Willy » Fri May 18, 2007 10:10 pm

Willy wrote:[quote="Michael Slowe
Technical problems do have to be understood by us of course but it is the artistic aspect that is the crux.
Art in film
An other example : Mike's "The Remote" was the best one minute movie at BIAFF. It was a piece of technical cleverness. It was also very original. I wonder how he did it. I voted for it. Congratulations ! 8 out of 10 (Sorry, I used to be a teacher) However, the best one minute film that I have ever seen is still "I Just Knew" made by Phil Martin. It was a harmonious unity of photography, rhythm, text, atmosphere ... and a story with emotion. That film is a bit more artistic. (10 out of 10)
Willy Van der Linden

Peter Thomlinson

Post by Peter Thomlinson » Sat Jun 30, 2007 12:20 pm

It is good that (in my opinion, of course) people are saying what they have said on this thread. Film making must not be seen in isolation, but as part of the great world of the creative arts.

This thread has given me great hope!!

User avatar
FILM THURSO
Posts: 241
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 1:37 pm
Location: Thurso
Contact:

Post by FILM THURSO » Sun Jul 01, 2007 12:55 am

This is not unique among clubs, in amateur dramatics everyone wants to be an actor / starlet in their own spotlight. It's across the board. My club has camera people and writers but getting an actor (see tufts of hair on floor). There is no shortage of actors in Thurso, just they all want instant fame and can't see past the parr80 canons. Just wait till they get to drama college and get that beaton outta them with a heavy stick. The daftest thing I get from a 'stage' 'actor' is that acting for film "sounds like a lot of work". Kind of telling about their charactor that but hang on, the better part of a film actors day is spent just plain waiting. How difficult is your job?
Mind you when the cameras roll you've got a director shouting at you- if it's on film then the director shouts abuse and death threats at you!
No-one wants to edit either.
Another aspect I've found is people suddenly take an interest in making a movie when they get their first camera. Unfortunately whilst movie production is fairly easy they don't realise it takes many hands to make film happen and there are actually a lot of jobs involved. If they realise it's a team effort then they will advance but otherwise the notion vanishes almost as quickly as it came.

Peter Thomlinson

Post by Peter Thomlinson » Sun Jul 01, 2007 8:28 am

FILM THURSO wrote:This is not unique among clubs, in amateur dramatics everyone wants to be an actor / starlet in their own spotlight. It's across the board. My club has camera people and writers but getting an actor (see tufts of hair on floor). There is no shortage of actors in Thurso, just they all want instant fame and can't see past the parr80 canons. Just wait till they get to drama college and get that beaton outta them with a heavy stick. The daftest thing I get from a 'stage' 'actor' is that acting for film "sounds like a lot of work". Kind of telling about their charactor that but hang on, the better part of a film actors day is spent just plain waiting. How difficult is your job?
Mind you when the cameras roll you've got a director shouting at you- if it's on film then the director shouts abuse and death threats at you!
No-one wants to edit either.
Another aspect I've found is people suddenly take an interest in making a movie when they get their first camera. Unfortunately whilst movie production is fairly easy they don't realise it takes many hands to make film happen and there are actually a lot of jobs involved. If they realise it's a team effort then they will advance but otherwise the notion vanishes almost as quickly as it came.
Actors are unusual and creative people, and have to be nurtured carefully. Any dirctor that shouts at actors (apart from the one or two famous professional ones) should be given their cards. You have to work WITH actors, and use their skills, tallents and creativity to make your job as a director work. A director can learn more from actors than anyone else.

And any professional actor, musician, or anyone ,will tell you that waiting around is the hardest part of all. I've seen professional actors shaking with nerves waiting for the first scene of a movie to be shot. Thick skinned directors like me rarely get nervous, but perhaps we should.

Most film making is a team effort, and certainly drama is the one obvious area. But then there are some great films made by solo makers, and I know more than one of those sorts of people, who continually produce stuff of the highest order.

User avatar
Dave Watterson
Posts: 1665
Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2007 11:11 pm
Location: Bath, England
Contact:

Post by Dave Watterson » Sun Jul 01, 2007 8:39 am

There is real rejoicing in movie clubs when someone comes along saying they want to be a scene-shifter, lighting gaffer, editor, props person, continuity checker, researcher or writer.

The next most welcome newbie is an actor.

It seems to me that a lot more might be done when advertising clubs to make clear that these other skills are in demand. Most clubs tacitly sell themselves as a pleasant way to learn the technical skills of using the camcorder.

I understand that - when someone has just bought an expensive piece of kit they want to know how to make the best of it and hands-on help from fellow enthusiasts is an appealing notion. But few clubs make any obvious moves to attract the other talents required.

Dave

Peter Thomlinson

Post by Peter Thomlinson » Sun Jul 01, 2007 8:53 am

Dave Watterson wrote:There is real rejoicing in movie clubs when someone comes along saying they want to be a scene-shifter, lighting gaffer, editor, props person, continuity checker, researcher or writer.

The next most welcome newbie is an actor.

It seems to me that a lot more might be done when advertising clubs to make clear that these other skills are in demand. Most clubs tacitly sell themselves as a pleasant way to learn the technical skills of using the camcorder.

I understand that - when someone has just bought an expensive piece of kit they want to know how to make the best of it and hands-on help from fellow enthusiasts is an appealing notion. But few clubs make any obvious moves to attract the other talents required.

Dave
Yes, this is totally correct. I think it is important to do EVERY job at some point so you have some idea of what it's about.

Continuity is one of the jobs nobody wants to do, but it is extremely important. Unfortunately the director and producer have to add it to their long list of jobs, or risk some major clanger.

It annoys me that people want to be camera operators, directors, and the more glitzy jobs before doing the hard graft as gaffer, scene shifter, cable runners, continuity, planners and the like.

User avatar
stingman
Posts: 442
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2007 10:37 am
Location: Isle of Wight
Contact:

Post by stingman » Sun Jul 01, 2007 11:05 am

FILM THURSO wrote: No-one wants to edit either.
I would! Or be the cameraman!
I find editing one of the most powerfull jobs. Does anyone else.
My reason is this. You are given hours of raw footage and it`s your job to turn all this footage into something worth watching witha story! You could edit it in a way that is totally different. I mean this... You have all this footage and you can turn it into any sort of film like a slow thriller or make it more fast pace. You can alter the film so it has a different ending. The power you have at your fingertipps as an editor is quite amazing. Everyone sees your work.
As with being a camerman. That is great. I would love to do this as a proper job. I have tried in the past. You get a real buzz while working on location.
What do others think?

Ian Gardner
Moderator
Ian Gardner
Film Maker

User avatar
FILM THURSO
Posts: 241
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 1:37 pm
Location: Thurso
Contact:

Post by FILM THURSO » Sun Jul 01, 2007 12:33 pm

Oh Peter, Peter, Peter. It's all too serious. I'm an actor, director and writer. I have first hand eperience acting on stage and screen and waiting is no problem for me. I know people do get nervous- very nervous and can't all be like me, able to stand silent in a post office que. Working on both sides of the lens or footlights I feel is important to being a good actor or director. It gives the actor an understanding of what the director is up against and vice versa. For the writer too, seeing their greatest work torn to ribbons by inept directors and junior drama queens! Everyone is creative and even our local actors can be but let me tell you a true story about some of them.
A local professional theatre writer/director was working with some young local actors from the local drama group on a play set in Dunnet. He took them on a field trip to Dunnet Head to help them get the feel for the play. On the headland you can see over 40 miles across Caithness and out to Orkney. So up there the director pointed to a place and asked the actors, "what's that?" The actors didn't know, he points to another place, same again, and again and again. Exasperated he was amazed that these actors who were born and bread Caithness folk didn't know their own landscape. He pointed out, "How can you expect to put on a play if you don't even know about the place it's set in?"
The reality of our local actors on the most part is restricted to Home, School/work, the theatre and the path in between these respective locations. They are wrapped up in themselves. That said they aren't all like that and those are the ones I'm friends with. The other big factor with actors here is they want to get involved but don't try to find time to be there.

It annoys me that people want to be camera operators, directors, and the more glitzy jobs

This is what our local actors are like- they want to be the star, they don't want to be the charactor in the script.
We're not really harsh on our crew but even the nicest director can be brought to teeth and claws by the worst of cast and crew. I am actually very good with people, I'd have to be after nine years in a factory and having been a waiter, shop assistant and cinema publicist.

Peter Thomlinson

Post by Peter Thomlinson » Sun Jul 01, 2007 1:26 pm

FILM THURSO "We're not really harsh on our crew but even the nicest director can be brought to teeth and claws by the worst of cast and crew. I am actually very good with people, I'd have to be after nine years in a factory and having been a waiter, shop assistant and cinema publicist."
I've in fact been very lucky as on my one really very serious directing venture I had a terrific crewe. The only problem was occasionally curbing their enthusiasm a bit. Likewise, I had professional actors who were very calm and a joy to work with. One of them was a bit nervous, but there was no real problem as all she needed was encouragement from the other actor and also from me.

The more I hear of things like you mention the more I realise that the club I belonged to had very outstanding members, and I was also lucky with the actors I used. I did use about three club members as actors in smaller parts as well, and they were fine and did a very, very good job too.

Peter Thomlinson

Post by Peter Thomlinson » Sun Jul 01, 2007 1:33 pm

stingman wrote:
FILM THURSO wrote: No-one wants to edit either.
I would! Or be the cameraman!
I find editing one of the most powerfull jobs. Does anyone else.
My reason is this. You are given hours of raw footage and it`s your job to turn all this footage into something worth watching witha story! You could edit it in a way that is totally different. I mean this... You have all this footage and you can turn it into any sort of film like a slow thriller or make it more fast pace. You can alter the film so it has a different ending. The power you have at your fingertipps as an editor is quite amazing. Everyone sees your work.
As with being a camerman. That is great. I would love to do this as a proper job. I have tried in the past. You get a real buzz while working on location.
What do others think?

Ian Gardner
Moderator
Well Ian, some editors have been given total freedom, but usually some nasty guy or gal who directs the piece has other ideas! So you become a hired lackey!! Nice try though, and I won't get you to edit my film if I ever make one again!! :lol:

User avatar
stingman
Posts: 442
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2007 10:37 am
Location: Isle of Wight
Contact:

Post by stingman » Sun Jul 01, 2007 2:31 pm

Peter Thomlinson wrote:
....and I won't get you to edit my film if I ever make one again!! :lol:
Spoil Sport! Your loss :D !!

Ian gardner
Moderator
Ian Gardner
Film Maker

Post Reply