Attracting New Members

IAC General Discussions
User avatar
Mike Shaw
Posts: 652
Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2007 10:50 am
Location: Bromley, Kent

Re: Attracting New Members

Post by Mike Shaw » Fri Jan 18, 2013 11:47 pm

Invite them, if they're interested, to become a 'full' member paying the top level fee, to receive magazine / music licence etc (why else would they join?).

If you think about it though, the IAC as is would probably have to be totally disbanded and re-formed with new constitution/rules/bylaws and so on - because it would be serving a slightly different purpose: it would be the governing body for movie making clubs, rather than an institute that movie making clubs (and individuals) can join.

I'm not sure the hierarchy would like that!

What would happen to current Fellowships etc? Theoretically, should be carried across, but ... what ... new 'letters'?

How would the members of the ruling council be selected - as now, virtually by invitation? Or by vote from all members? As a volunteer group, the 'as now' method would probably prevail.

User avatar
Willy
Posts: 624
Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2007 10:42 pm
Location: Antwerp Belgium

Re: Attracting New Members

Post by Willy » Sat Jan 19, 2013 12:14 am

And what about "overseas members"? But, yes,... perhaps I am the only foreign member of the IAC at this moment. Since 1998 or 1999! I am proud to be a member of the IAC and I don't understand that there are only 1,500 members. Or am I wrong?
I'm willing to join a club in the UK you know.

A question: "Federation", "Alliance"... these words sound perfect in my foreign ears. And what about "Association"? Like in SAM, the Scottish Association of Movie Makers.
Willy Van der Linden

User avatar
Mike Shaw
Posts: 652
Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2007 10:50 am
Location: Bromley, Kent

Re: Attracting New Members

Post by Mike Shaw » Sat Jan 19, 2013 10:25 am

Individual membership would be the same as 'Full' Club membership Willy, so the two levels of membership could be

1. Basic/general/regular/acolyte membership - all, every and any member of a (recognised) Club. Small part of their club fee goes to supporting the 'IAC replacement' organisation / federation / alliance / association / group / affiliation / assembly ...

2. Full/??/?? membership - independent members not belonging to a recognised (UK?) club - and paying the full fee; and club members who (voluntarily) pay the difference to bring their 'club component' membership fee up to the required level to cover the extra costs. Both these categories of 'full member' receive the magazine, music licence (ie - you don't have to pay for that extra, it comes automatically), plus any other 'costing' perk added to the list.

Yes - I believe there are only around 1500-ish members of the IAC. Club membership on the other hand must be in the order of ten times that (?) - which is why I made the comment earlier that to get more members to the IAC look no further than the clubs as the 'hunting ground' and, in marketing terms, the 'captive audience'. But having been an 'IAC Ambassador' for a while, I know that with all the ploys and tricks of the trade, squeezing even one new member out of a club is nigh on impossible. They don't think they need it: those that do think they need it - the few - are already IAC members. But if the 'new' organisation can boast say, 15,000 regular members - it looks far more thriving. I guess you could call it massaging the figures ... making what you have work better for you.

Ah ... the old advertising and marketing ploys ... the hidden persuaders ... nothing changes!

And yes - Association is equally a good word Willy.

The core of all my thinking here is based totally on the thoughts of Alan and Brian, which for me anyway gave the whole thing a new perspective.

User avatar
Mike Shaw
Posts: 652
Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2007 10:50 am
Location: Bromley, Kent

Re: Attracting New Members

Post by Mike Shaw » Sat Jan 19, 2013 11:25 am

I think the whole point is, everyone seems to agree that the IAC should change direction somewhat in its aims, while maintaining high standards.

For example - People persistently ask for 'better judges' and more erudite judging crits and so on. Who do they think are going to do that - freely? They don't want to be judged by their peers - the complainers usually believe they are better than their 'peers. Use professionals in the movie world to judge? At a cost? And who really believes they wouldn't come under criticism as well - even more so as they're 'being paid for the job'?

So, maybe the current 'judging process' should be re-examined as part of the overhaul. Maybe it shouldn't be down to one, three, or small groups of individuals at all. Maybe it should be down to audiences, somehow. But remember the Abe Lincoln statemement - "You can please some of the people etc...". (And remember - audiences notoriously also 'get it wrong' - 'mob rule' isn't always the right way!)

Part of an overhaul would be in the name - killing once and for all the persistent 'we're not amateur(ish)' complaints. Part of the overhaul would be in the method of funding and accepting members. And part of the overhaul would be in what the 'asociation' provides for its members.

I really believe that much of what the IAC currently does is good and in the best interest of its members. Just needs a change of direction, to gain an impetus in enthusiasm.

User avatar
Dave Watterson
Posts: 1672
Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2007 11:11 pm
Location: Bath, England
Contact:

Re: Attracting New Members

Post by Dave Watterson » Sat Jan 19, 2013 11:44 am

When I enquired recently there were 1521 individual IAC members and 256 clubs.
From what we hear on this forum most clubs are quite small.
If we make a total guess of 25 members per club on average that would be 6,400 individuals.

User avatar
Mike Shaw
Posts: 652
Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2007 10:50 am
Location: Bromley, Kent

Re: Attracting New Members

Post by Mike Shaw » Sat Jan 19, 2013 11:52 am

Much less than half my guestimate :cry: - but still a fairly substantial number.

However, that number probably indicates why there are no longer any video magazines on the bookstalls.

Perhaps making movies is more of a cult hobby than we (I) thought.

You wouldn't think so from the number of movies added to YouTube every minute though ...

User avatar
TimStannard
Posts: 965
Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2011 5:20 pm
Location: Surrey

Re: Attracting New Members

Post by TimStannard » Sat Jan 19, 2013 12:42 pm

What Brian and Mike describe is very similar to the sort of organisational structure for many leisure activities. In fact, when I took up this hobby only a few years ago and joined Staines (how did they attract me as a member? An existing member and I happened to share a business client - so word of mouth), I was rather surprised to find the IAC was not organised along these lines.

I spent several years on the committee of a minor golf club. As many here will be aware, amateur golf in England is managed by the English Golf Union and within that County Golf Unions. Membership fees for a club include a small annual fee to both the County and to the National Golf unions. These would be equivalent to the "basic" membership Mike suggests. Individuals can also elect to be individual "full" members of both the County and the National organisations. This brings certain advantages - competitions organised just for individual members, and magazines.

It might be worth considering fees to the Regions (our equivalent to the County unions) so they have some sort of autonomy and don't need to go cap in hand to the IAC when requiring funding?

Of course, golf has the massive advantage that one needs to belong to a club or union in order to obtain an official handicap and one needs an official handicap in order to play in many competitions and on many courses. The IAC has no similarly massive carrot - restricting entry to national or regional competitions to members is obviously possible, but it's not quite the same as preventing someone playing Wentworth.
Tim
Proud to be an amateur film maker - I do it for the love of it

Alan
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2013 8:10 am

Re: Attracting New Members

Post by Alan » Sat Jan 19, 2013 1:16 pm

Apologies for not keeping up.

I've just had a quick whizz through. I don't quite like the idea of making it for 'clubs' like 'Federation/Aliance of Movie Making Clubs' as it completely cuts down the potential membership opportunity to bring all 'hobbyist' film makers together, like the indie population.

An 'Association of the Audio Visual Arts' is something that just popped into my head as it is not UK centric and it includes the A-V folks as well as film makers...and anyone else who does work in audio-visual arts.

But I guess the real question is how to improve the membership of the Association of Audio Visual Arts...ooops...'The IAC' to create a community that everyone would like to be a part of?

We need to understand what is needed out there in all those areas of interest of the visual/audio arts world and see where the gaps are. Then 'The IAC' can start to make moves to fill those gaps.

I think, like I mentioned in my previous post, the IAC and it's website have to act as a 'portal'/'conduit' through which people can learn, plan, collaborate, exchange, share and experience all that the hobby, in all its colours, has to offer.

It seems like there is a real opportunity out there, but it's going to need a fair few people to make it happen. But before then, perhaps there needs to be a what you might call a 'requirements capture' to understand an number of things:

- What interest groups are there in the visual/audio arts world?
- What is the 'flavour' of each of these?
- How do they currently collaborate and get to do what they do?
- What channels to they work through?
- What and where are the gaps in what they do that potentially holds them back form doing more?
- What can 'The IAC' do to fill these gaps?
- How does 'The IAC' need to be structured to support this evolving hobby?

For that last question the answer could lie in:

- Website portals for area interest area to find 'everything' they need to get the most out of their hobby
- Meet Ups for those interest groups
- Tutorials
- Lecture/learning/practical days
- Wants list for: crew, equipment, skills, actors, guidance etc.
- Festivals, competitions - could even be internet based and regular monthly, bi-weekly or even weekly, with or without prizes
- The regular weekly competitions could be like 'make a 2 minute film with as many wheels in it'! The sort of thing Vimeo does. Anything to get people filming, sharing, learning, enjoying...and so on.
- Latest developments in the Visual/ audio world
- Have links to related organisation like the IOV etc
- Create a network of film makers and people interested in the visual/audio arts for them to dip into.

And the list goes on!

Once there is a clear picture of what is needed 'The IAC' can then evolved to meet those needs and continue to grow. The organisation needs to be a focal point for visual/audio arts people. It has been for the past 80 years and it still can. It seems that it just needs to evolve to meet the current needs of those people...all those people.

Alan

User avatar
Mike Shaw
Posts: 652
Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2007 10:50 am
Location: Bromley, Kent

Re: Attracting New Members

Post by Mike Shaw » Sat Jan 19, 2013 4:36 pm

I wonder how many 'cinematographers' regard themselves as indulging in 'audio/visual' or 'visual/audio' arts: the two words have long been associated with presentations (or 'sequences' as they call them) of 'slide shows to music'. So whilst, technically, making a movie is an audio/visual art form, I'd wager many movie makers would probably baulk at the term.

Motion or moving arts perhaps, though that doesn't quite nail it down either.

The concept suggested embraces both Club members and independent non-club members - so perhaps the name should too. The purpose of introducing the word 'Club' (without making it exclusively for club members) was to bypass the continual struggle with the word 'amateur'.

There are far more club members, I'd wager, than non-club members in the IAC. I can see the attraction of trying to get the 'enthusiast' film maker who wants to source collaborators to join in order to use suggested resources, but first, those resources have to be put in place: if it were known that the website provides a source of movie-making collaborators and a wide variety of people with skills they're willing to put into practice, then the site would act as a magnet to potential new members. A directory of such willing people among the existing membership would get the ball rolling. Add to that links to the Acting Organisation sites - where budding actors willingly offer their services for nothing more than travelling expenses and a sandwich, and you have a basis for a good information source (ooops! Perhaps these lists already exist on the IAC webpages ... haven't checked! Sorry Dave!).

Basically though, we are in total agreement - the IAC, under whatever name, has to offer more in order to succeed in today's environment, and - as Douglas Adams might have intimated - the web has become a major focal point for life, the universe and everything.

The IAC website is already very extensive indeed - ask Dave and Jan! Maybe it needs more volunteers to help run 'new sections' on the site.

Alan
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2013 8:10 am

Re: Attracting New Members

Post by Alan » Sun Jan 20, 2013 11:14 am

Mike Shaw wrote:I wonder how many 'cinematographers' regard themselves as indulging in 'audio/visual' or 'visual/audio' arts: the two words have long been associated with presentations (or 'sequences' as they call them) of 'slide shows to music'. So whilst, technically, making a movie is an audio/visual art form, I'd wager many movie makers would probably baulk at the term.
Yeah, I have kinda purposely mixed up visual/audio...audio/visual so as not to alienate the A/V members, but still keeping it inclusive. I guess the question is: Does 'The IAC' want to be just for film makers or all forms of the audio/visual arts? I've got no strong opinions either way really, as I am a film maker, other than if it is for all, that no one is or feels left out.
Mike Shaw wrote:The purpose of introducing the word 'Club' (without making it exclusively for club members) was to bypass the continual struggle with the word 'amateur'.
Well, fair enough, if 'The IAC' is an umberella for just clubs. Although I think most folks feel 'The IAC' is for all.
Mike Shaw wrote:There are far more club members, I'd wager, than non-club members in the IAC.
I think you are right, looking at the numbers in a post somewhere above. However, I bet there are far more hobbyist film makers out there than there are club members. 'The IAC' could (I think should) be for them too.
Mike Shaw wrote:I can see the attraction of trying to get the 'enthusiast' film maker who wants to source collaborators to join in order to use suggested resources, but first, those resources have to be put in place: if it were known that the website provides a source of movie-making collaborators and ...
...links to the Acting Organisation sites - where budding actors willingly offer their services for nothing more than travelling expenses and a sandwich, and you have a basis for a good information source
Yep, absolutely! If this is the direction to go in (and for me I think it is if 'The IAC' is to grow) then perhaps the way forward is to generate a shopping list of subject areas covering all that has been discussed above and then ask for volunteers to go out there and research them and report back so it can be incorporated into a background website. Then, once tested, it can be rolled out to the masses and advertised on the appropriate film making forums.

Ahhhh....words are easy and cheap I know, and I appreciate those who look after the website do a lot of work to support it already. But, hey, if there are willing volunteers out there to take on aspects that interest them and pull together the various ingedients, it must be possible.
Mike Shaw wrote:Basically though, we are in total agreement - the IAC, under whatever name, has to offer more in order to succeed in today's environment, and - as Douglas Adams might have intimated - the web has become a major focal point for life, the universe and everything.
You said it...along with Douglas. :D Just look what we are doing here on the forum; we're making great progress in discussing how to enhance 'The IAC' for all film makers (and others...)
Mike Shaw wrote:The IAC website is already very extensive indeed - ask Dave and Jan! Maybe it needs more volunteers to help run 'new sections' on the site.
Yep. So does there need to be a plan on:

- What the ingredients need to be.
- Breaking it down into bit size chunks.
- Work out a consistent, easy access structure for people to fill in the gaps.
- Ask for volunteers to work on those areas either individually or as teams.
- Collate the info together into a beta website
- Get it tested and updated as required.
- Prep some launch material, timed with an issue of the mag.
- Launch it on all film making websites.
- Stand back and watch the fireworks!

Ooo...I think I need to sit down...ooo, I am sitting down - Hehehe,

Alan

Chrisbitz
Posts: 198
Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2008 2:31 pm
Location: Orpington, Kent

Re: Attracting New Members

Post by Chrisbitz » Sun Jan 20, 2013 11:41 am

I think the IAC is stuck between a rock and a hard place.

The structure of leisure 'organisations' or whatever the word is has changed since the 70s when the IAC's structure was developed.

There is no shortage of filmmakers, and no shortage of filmmaker organisations either, but unfortunately, the IAC has no connection with either group now.

have a look at http://www.youtube.com/user/filmriot

Quarter of a million free subscribers, and over 50 million views in total, and only been around for the last 6 years.
(and that's just one example)

THESE ARE THE PEOPLE THAT THE IAC WANTS TO CONNECT TO!

There's no shortage of people that want someone like the IAC, but the IAC is hanging out in the wrong places.
Unfortunately for the IAC, there isn't a big group of switched on volunteers that are clamouring to help out with the management of the organisation, so the die-hards continue with the status quo.

And that's where they're stuck until someone comes up with a boat-rocking and earth shattering idea, and the management choose to follow it?
I like to make films, this is- my Youtube account. What's yours?

"all of the above is nothing more than nonsensical ramblings, and definately should NOT be misconstrued as anyone's official policy"

User avatar
Mike Shaw
Posts: 652
Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2007 10:50 am
Location: Bromley, Kent

Re: Attracting New Members

Post by Mike Shaw » Sun Jan 20, 2013 11:55 am

Does 'The IAC' want to be just for film makers or all forms of the audio/visual arts?

It is, already, for AV people ... with pages in FVM, and their own night at BIAFF.

I can understand the reticence at using the word 'Club' (or similar) in the name. However, success breeds success, and by embracing video (and 'stills'!) clubs as the core, the membership by Dave's reckoning would be in the order of 6000 - which looks more successful and hence perhaps more inviting to potential members - who may be hooked initially by what's on offer on the website. More members means more potential for making those film-making liaisons.

(People often look in wonderment at the successful size of our club - OVFM (Orpington) ... but I think a lot has to do with the fact that when a potential new member comes along and sees the number of people at a meeting (usually around 40 but on big occasions more), they see a good, friendly, happy - and inviting - crowd they could gel with. Compare that with some other clubs I know, with perhaps a dozen members at each meeting ... a newcomer can feel a bit left out of it and maybe he/she thinks they won't 'click' with the others).

Yes to embracing (even more?) audio visuals from stills clubs - but as I say, that mechanism is already in place.

Yes, to expanding the facilities the IAC offers on its website (to its members, with 'tasters' to non-members). But someone has to do it ... and it is no small ask.

Yes, to tackling the current areas of contention within the organisation - judging, for example. ( In my mind, solution to this could be - use the 'Oscars' method (though very difficult to implement for us), whereby all fellows etc and notaries see and rate the films, so it is a 'group' vote re star rating, then the top star ratings go to outside judges in the professional film-making world. Expensive!

Yes to acting sooner rather than later.

And finally, Yes to Chris - but are you as a youngster (cf me) prepared to get involved in doing what you say is required? It needs that sort of incisive insight to move things forward. And more of you...

For me, as Samuel Goldwyn never said, "I'm busy - include me out"

Ivor ... are you reading all this? I don't envy you your task! Perhaps you shouldn't have asked the question!!

Yes

Chrisbitz
Posts: 198
Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2008 2:31 pm
Location: Orpington, Kent

Re: Attracting New Members

Post by Chrisbitz » Sun Jan 20, 2013 12:08 pm

Mike Shaw wrote: And finally, Yes to Chris - but are you as a youngster (cf me) prepared to get involved in doing what you say is required? It needs that sort of incisive insight to move things forward. And more of you...
As you know, I'm already involved with OVFM, but as for the IAC, I'm not even a member! I stopped my subscription about 4 years ago, when I complained about the amount of publicity and promotion they gave to the best part of the IAC, (this forum) and was met by blank stares, and all the IAC officials were genuinely terrified of giving a response or even their personal opinion, in the fear that it might be construed as official policy.
In fact, that was where my signature came from!
I like to make films, this is- my Youtube account. What's yours?

"all of the above is nothing more than nonsensical ramblings, and definately should NOT be misconstrued as anyone's official policy"

Alan
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2013 8:10 am

Re: Attracting New Members

Post by Alan » Sun Jan 20, 2013 12:18 pm

Chrisbitz wrote:There is no shortage of filmmakers, and no shortage of filmmaker organisations either, but unfortunately, the IAC has no connection with either group now.

have a look at http://www.youtube.com/user/filmriot

Quarter of a million free subscribers, and over 50 million views in total, and only been around for the last 6 years.
(and that's just one example)

THESE ARE THE PEOPLE THAT THE IAC WANTS TO CONNECT TO!

There's no shortage of people that want someone like the IAC, but the IAC is hanging out in the wrong places.
I think you hit the nail on the head there! That is the real truth of the matter.

'The IAC' needs to jump on that band wagon if it wants to do another 80 years. It'll be a bit of a struggle to transform to possibly be the 'hub' for film makers. If it did, it would be HUGE!
Chrisbitz wrote:Unfortunately for the IAC, there isn't a big group of switched on volunteers that are clamouring to help out with the management of the organisation, so the die-hards continue with the status quo.

And that's where they're stuck until someone comes up with a boat-rocking and earth shattering idea, and the management choose to follow it?
Yep, and the evidence speaks for itself. But a massive thanks to all those who do keep the organisation running. It seems like it now needs to evolve with the whole community's help. Just need to work out that path...

Alan

User avatar
Mike Shaw
Posts: 652
Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2007 10:50 am
Location: Bromley, Kent

Re: Attracting New Members

Post by Mike Shaw » Sun Jan 20, 2013 12:34 pm

Chris - I knew that! Nothing to stop you re-joining though, and getting stuck in (with like-minded others) and moving 'IAC' on to what it should, could and can become.

Another idea for the mix ... many often ask for an 'online' version of the magazine (I will always want and prefer hard copy). BUT - many publications have an on-line 'taster' - the start of a story or tutorial perhaps - and if you want the rest, you either have to pay or join the oranisation. Tom's reviews would provide a 'taster' - introduce the topic, add a few teasing statements to get people wanting to read more.

In other words, a members only area on the IAC website (OVFM and most clubs I know with websites have a 'members only' area), and 'teasers' or appetite whetters on the public pages to make people feel left out if they don't see the full whack.

Post Reply